Milan can boast of an age-old tradition in tanning. The little Travi workshop, located in the heart of Milan, across from the church of San Lorenzo and its columns,
can be included in this tradition, specializing in the creation of purses, wallets and other hand-crafted leather objects and objects commissioned by clients.
Where did you learn your trade?
"My family did not have much money, so I went out to look for work right away – "finding" this job. Unlike many craftsmen who started working in their families’ shops, or were driven by an inborn passion, I was moved by necessity. However, I must say that I was lucky, because I liked the work. It gave me a sense of satisfaction, so it was easy to continue. I started my apprenticeship as a boy of fourteen in a shop here in Milan, and then I went to the Veneto, where I was a modeller in a small industry for five years. In the end, I came back here, and opened this shop together with my wife".
The uniqueness as well as the success of our shop come from the fact that we are completely at our clients’ disposal: we work almost exclusively on commission.
What is your workshop’s relationship with Milan like?
"Having a workshop in the centre of Milan, across from San Lorenzo and its columns, in the middle of Milan’s shopping streets, has helped my business a great deal.
It ensures that many Milanese women or tourists will discover me while window shopping and become my clients".
What products do you make here in your shop? What makes them unique?
"The uniqueness as well as the success of our shop come from the fact that we are completely at our clients’ disposal: we work almost exclusively on commission. We are not the classic shop that offers standard items; we adapt to the client’s requests. Moreover, we produce for third parties: we make boxes and packaging for jewellery, as well as purses and accessories. These third parties bring us the pattern, the materials, the thread and anything else needed to make the goods. We deliver the finished products".
What is your clientele like?
"I can say that 80% of my clients are from Milan, 10% come from all over Italy and 10% are foreign tourists passing through. Since the shop is in a main street, I get different types of clients: whether it be the lady who wants a classic bag or the girl who wants a trendy one with studs".
What do you think the future holds for your workshop?
"Fortunately, our workshop works well enough, especially because of our "on request" service, and thanks to our clients’ appreciation of our products. Now we are satisfied with this, and we don’t ask for anything more: we have a job that we love, and that is gratifying. In any event, when we "retire", one of our collaborators will be there to keep the shop going: he started with us fifteen years ago, when he was a little boy. Over the years he has learned the trade and has matured professionally."