Initially Made in Italy and now Swiss Made: this is how Luisa's baby accessories have conquered the online market
Gastone the Lion, the Snail and Agostino the Penguin are just three of the fun characters that animate the baby accessories designed by Luisa Masciello. With a managerial career behind her, on the occasion of the birth of her first daughter Luisa found the opportunity to reinvent her life and give space for creativity; today those that she herself defines as ‘walking bibs’ bring smiles to babies all over the world, from California to Japan.
A birth, a new adventure
Luisa discovered her passion for sewing as a child, making clothes for dolls, and this hobby accompanied her even when, after studying computer science, she began working for some large multinational companies. In 2003 Luisa became pregnant: the sweet expectation is perfect to devote time to creativity. “For fun I had made items for my daughter” she says: “People stopped me in the street, asking me where I had bought this and that. I said to myself: Maybe I have a talent I could develop…”
Taking advantage of motherhood, Luisa designed an entire collection of baby accessories and personally sewed a piece for each model. “Everyone tried to dissuade me, telling me that I didn’t have the contacts to enter the fashion world. I thought I had nothing to lose: if you let yourself be discouraged, you’ll stay still. So I sent my catalog to Pitti Bimbo, one of the most important Expositions for children’s fashion in Italy, and I was accepted.” In Florence, Luisa’s creations were noticed by Barneys, an important American chain of stores, which purchased the collection.
I said to myself: Maybe I have a talent I could develop
“Until that moment I had wondered whether to leave my job to devote more time to my family, or whether to return after maternity leave. The success at Pitti Bimbo was like a signal: I quit my job and gave myself a year to launch into this new adventure. It was the right time, in my career I had arrived exactly where I wanted: I simply started a new phase of my life.” So… ZigoZago was born!
The queen of bibs
Luisa organizes the production, relying on small companies for the realization of her garments: “Everything is strictly Made in Italy or in Switzerland and cared for in every detail,” she ensures.
Initially, her creations are distributed by chain stores in various parts of the world. Luisa’s bibs sold like hot cakes. An American magazine dedicated an interview to her, renaming her ‘Queen of bibs’. “Unfortunately, in the last three years, many of my distributors have closed their doors.
The crisis wiped out 99% of my Italian market, and I found myself in great difficulty.”
That’s when Luisa decided to give e-commerce a shot by opening a store on Amazon.it. She uploads hundreds of models from her own collection to the virtual store: “One morning I woke up, checked the site and found an order, my first sale. I was very amazed.” To get the word out about ZigoZago’s colorful accessories, Luisa activates ads campaigns on the site through Amazon’s Sponsored Products service. She accompanies each small item sold with a poem, “I imagined the smile of the person who would open the box.” Gradually, Luisa’s online store gained breath until it became an essential component of the business.
I feel like an accomplished person, I couldn’t ask for more
“It now represents 50% of my business. I’ve hired someone to take care of the online business exclusively, and I’ve set up a workshop close to home, to support the Apulian companies I work with, for small, last-minute productions: I can do everything here, from embroidery to labels!” she laughs. “Before, I didn’t have time to sell one accessory at a time. Now I have direct contact with customers, who recognize me, thank me, send me photos of my bibs around the world: from Dubai, America, Japan. For me, that’s the best success.”
“Thinking back to the crisis of the past years, I am very grateful to Amazon. Maybe if I hadn’t decided to try, I wouldn’t be here today,” he says. Reflecting on her choice of life, Luisa is satisfied, even though her work rhythms are no match for the hectic pace of the office: “I feel like a fulfilled person, I couldn’t ask for more. ZigoZago started as a hobby, but it has grown with passion and creativity. And it allows me to keep a child’s eye on the world.”