If you do something, do it really really really well
As we walked out of Solange’s studio we ran like crazy people to catch an Uber. Hardy and I thought we could walk across Hyde Park to our next meeting with Carolina Bucci, but we quickly realized we would be late. Her manager had gotten back to me while I was in Paris and had a very strict timeline as we were going to interview her, and then the NY Times was on my heels..(lol). Solange was 11:00 to 1:00 and we were to be prompt at 1:30 to meet Carolina. This was very tight timing. I was not as prepared to interview her as I had hoped to be, so we were on the fly. As we walked in the fresh air and we realized that we would never make it through Hyde Park walking in time, we had to figure out a place to get an Uber, and my app was not working great. We did share with another couple from Japan, and we thoroughly enjoyed an insane ride across town skirting Hyde Park, which I could see from the window, was gorgeous with fall colors and cascading sunlight. I was definitely stressed having not been as prepared and having a crushing timeline. The Uber squealed around the roundabouts as we told him we had to be at:4 Motcomb St, Belgravia, London SW1X 8JU, UK within about 20 minutes. This was no minor feat with London traffic and sharing an Uber. The driver threw us out of the car at the entrance of Motcomb, as it was a little like a mall area and you could not drive down the street, as there was also construction. We raced with all our equipment up to the door at exactly 1:30 pm. When you walk into Carolina’s store front the history of her craft is clearly outlined in images on the wall and throughout the pieces in the cases. Carolina is the 4th generation jewelry designer from her family’s manufacturing in Italy, and the first and only woman. We did not have a lot of time, but the young ladies accommodated us by getting us comfortable with tea, and showing us around in the store front. Carolina had started weaving textiles of silk with the gold chain, as her entire family got it’s start from making chains in Italy for pocket watches. Chains were a big part of Carolina’s works as was fascinating chain links. Everything about Carolina spoke history, heritage and complexity. Her store was filled with light, and everyone was sparkly and friendly. The girls had just received a shipment of products they were merchandising in the cases, and Carolina’s manager knew every single thing about her product and her process. Carolina came out from her office in the back and was friendly and accommodating, but clearly no nonsense. We got a jewelry and studio tour, where they showed off the new designs that were 40 plus carats each of stretch bracelets made with incredible intricate links that fit together like a machine. The spring coil allowed for the bracelet to be rolled onto the arm, and a gold chain was threaded for security should the spring break. The links she had created for this new bracelet style are unbelievable and so clever one could barely stand it. Each bracelet was priced around 100,000 US dollars each, and there were several of them, as well as the historic charms, necklaces and braided silk and gold pieces all around the store. The girls brought everything out, we touched everything and got to feel the weight of each piece and their fine construction. Carolina is very light, blond, small, and very very sharp. There is no emotion here, strictly design and business and it was laser focused. There was light pouring on her desk as I set up the table video camera and Hardy sprinted to photograph her during the very pointed interview. I struggled with asking every artist the same questions, as I felt that was not insightful enough, but what evolved was that each artist then had parallel stories and stories that diverged dramatically. With Carolina there was never a moment of that she would become a designer, only when. Her father was a great mentor and she carries her family’s tradition and heritage with pride. She is clever and deft, very very simple, empty desk ,one monitor, simple surroundings, and wears elegant exquisite clothing. Her gaze is piercing and she is brilliantly direct in response to every question. I thoroughly enjoyed her interview and came to be in awe of her designs. Beautiful, clear like water, simple and sharp. She was an incredible inspiration for the business of jewelry design.