Behind the scene: Joka Belgrado

 

Mrs Joka Belgrado

Anyone who has ever contacted Rossi1931, by phone or through the website has, no doubt, pleasantly encountered the sales, marketing and linguistic wizard, Joka Belgrado.

Joka has been with Rossi since 2007 after she and her husband had moved from Florence to the beautiful area of Tuscany known as Mugello, ( a beautiful wide green valley north of Florence) After commuting to Florence for work for several years, she decided,” enough of commuting!” Her husband told her of a local radio station that had been advertising different jobs. She signed on to their website one day and noticed there was a job very close to home with Rossi. “They were looking for someone in the export dept. with a good knowledge of English and German. I sent in my resume, was contacted and after 2 weeks I was working here.” A lucky day for Rossi, indeed. Not only does Joka speak English and German, but Dutch and Italian as well. She says,” years ago I spoke 6 languages, but when you don’t use a language for many years, it kind of sinks away.”

Joka was raised in Holland and Curacao, Dutch Antilles which was still part of the Netherlands at that time. After high school, she took a “gap” year and lived on a kibbutz in Israel. She liked the idea because she could work 4 hours a day and learn the language during the other 4. When she later transferred to the advanced language class in a different kibbutz near the sea, she met a wonderful young man from Italy and today they have been married for 38 years. After they returned from Israel to Italy, where she began college in Florence, they had 2 lovely daughters. Both out of the nest now, Claudia is an architect and lives in Sardinia and Sylvia, a nurse in Florence.

She loves her time with Rossi; “I handle the US and Canada markets, as well as the German speaking countries in Europe….Austria, Switzerland and Germany. I have daily contacts with customers and reps, research to find additional customers and sales representatives in selected areas, and do translations into English and German when needed. “A lot of potential customers find us through our website and sometimes I find them. Either way, I include them in mailing lists and when we send out warehouse catalogues.”

Her favorite part of the job: “The relationship that I have established with some of our customers and reps, which go beyond work”. She never gets bored. “I enjoy talking to potential new customers, explaining how we operate, encourage them to try our line. When they do and it works out for them, it’s a satisfaction and pride for me. They become a regular customer and I feel that I have made a contribution to the company.”

One would think time differences would be a major problem, but Joka handles it with ease. The internet of course helps, as she can simply email customers while she is at work and they are still sleeping. ” I prefer email by far, as the Romans said: scripta manent”.  (Loosely speaking: ‘spoken words fly away, written words remain’). ”In my previous job we always had to confirm phone conversations in writing. It was a lot more work and they had offices all over the world”.

With all the positive growth in design and products at Rossi, Joka says there has been a lot of challenges, as well: ”The last 5 years has been difficult for many companies, everywhere. Italy is no exception. It has been very hard for small companies to stay alive and many have found it tougher to survive. Basically, I have seen that those who did not export have not made it. Rossi has been exporting for decades and that, in addition to making qualitative investments in IT, has kept the company alive and healthy. I feel very fortunate to work here.”

Outside of the fact that her job is only a 10 minute commute now, the best part of her time with Rossi is that she “is trusted and valued” for what she contributes and has “ a lot of independence in handling the job. I had never handled paper products in my career, so I had to learn the product first. It then became automatic to look at similar products in the shops. Now that I have some experience in the category, I think stating Rossi is at the top quality- wise is not an exaggeration. “

When asked to name the product she loves the most: “The letterpress design called Venice in the navy/mauve version. I like the fact that the design is 500 years old. I also like the idea of a new use of the vintage letterpress machines that Rossi kept”.

letterpress stationery

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Perhaps”, she muses,” I also like it because it’s called Venice, my favorite city in the world!   “

Joka can be reached at: joka.belgrado@rossi1931.it

 

So glad you asked…

There are thousands of thoughts lying within us that we do not know until we take up the pen to write. As Oscar Wilde said in that famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest ‘I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train’

So, “why should I keep a journal?” you ask.

~Your children and grandchildren will want to read it. Perhaps that’s hard to believe right now for maybe your life seems quite ordinary and of little interest to anyone else. But, wouldn’t you be thrilled to find a journal written by your great grandfather about life in the 1800’s or your grandmothers take on her new purchase, the first washing machine? Such a peek at days gone by is fascinating. And so it is with you; when your grandkids or great grandkids are talking to people via hologram, they are going to be absolutely fascinated by your excitement of those ancient things like the I- Phone and Microwave oven. Share your thoughts and emotions of where you were when the World Trade Center was attacked or your experience driving your first hybrid car…… any and all pertinent events. While you may think that you’ll be able to remember everything clearly in the future, you won’t. It is said that by age 80, you will only remember the faintest outlines of the big occurrences in your life. Your journals will leave a legacy for your family.

~It can make sense of issues. After struggling with a choice and thinking long and hard about it, make a decision and then write down how and why you came to that decision. A journal can aid you in these dilemmas.  In time, if you start doubting the choice, you can look back, remind yourself of why you made that decision in the first place, and feel reassured.

It is a perfect tool to use if you find yourself in a funk and can’t seem to get out of it; look back through your journal to find the times when you were happiest.  Old journal entries can help you rediscover the kind of changes you need to make to get your life back on track….or simply to realize what a fool you were in your 20’s. Finally, simply writing about your feelings and frustrations helps you focus on what’s really going on in your life and in your head, so that you can come up with a solution to your problems.

~Journaling grants you immortality. Think of the billions of people who have and will perish from the earth without leaving a trace of themselves behind. They vanish into the ether, completely forgotten in the annals of history. A journal helps make you immortal. It is a tangible piece of evidence to leave behind that you were here! And who knows? Maybe the whole world might be interested in your musings someday. How many men were ignored in their lifetime, only to be celebrated after their death?

~It’s empowering.Philosopher and psychologist William James once said, “If you can change your mind, you can change your life” — and journal-writing can help you do just that. Writing about the ups and downs of your daily life can help you to get perspective on your experiences and find lessons in them. Keeping a journal is a constant and clear way to remind yourself that YOU — and nobody else — are the author of your own life story.

Whether you use your journal as some of us do, to simply keep grocery lists or your “to-do “list, or as a therapeutic catharsis, or to have the printed word to reflect over your past, it is for certain that journaling has become very popular. The most telling statistic on the popularity of journaling comes from notebook/journal manufacturers, who estimate that more than five million blank books are sold each year.

 

“I have all my life regretted that I did not keep a regular [journal]. I have myself lost recollection of much that was interesting and I have deprived my family and the public of some curious information by not carrying this resolution into effect.” Sunday, 20 November 1825,Sir Walter Scott

 

Behind the scenes: Manufacturing and Production

5 questions for Taddeo Rossi:  We continue our Behind the Scenes series with Taddeo Rossi, the head of manufacturing and production at Rossi. 

foto taddeoCan you tell us a little bit about the craftsmanship that goes into your products?

Many are the steps in the production of our items, where the experienced manual “touch” is what determines an excellent final result. Maybe the secret is to combine technology with the experience gained by our family of printers for over three generations. Many teachings from my grandfather Antonio are still valid today and many times, that’s what makes the difference.

 What does it mean to you to have your products still produced in Italy?

Manufacturing in Italy means manufacturing beauty… Unfortunately, for many companies producing in Italy is no longer cost-effective. Some have outsourced the production in Eastern Europe where costs are clearly lower than ours, others are even having almost everything produced in south-east Asia.  But one sees the difference, you can touch it. For a company like ours, tied to the Italian tradition and with a very strong identity which stands for quality and design, this can never happen.

Can you reveal any insider manufacturing secrets on how you achieve some of the amazing effects in your print production, such as your brilliant colors and metallic inks? 

There are many small and big devices  in our multiple productions that one might call “secrets”. For sure every factory has its own and they are jealously guarded. In our case passed on from father to son. However a good lot of love for one’s work is always necessary.

What I can say (not really a secret because it’s under the eyes of all our customers) is that we use, in all cases (almost obsessively), first quality material and this inevitably evolves into superior products from every point of view. Only the best papers, the best inks, the best glues are used in our company. In our opinion the best components always make the difference and since quality is our strength and our pride, we couldn’t act differently.

 What do you think is the most exciting development that’s happened in the Rossi 1931 history?

My grandfather Antonio started his small printing business in 1931. With great sacrifices he purchased the first typographic printing machines which unfortunately were partially destroyed during World War II. After the war he managed to restore some of them and he went back to his work with more determination than before (in Italy, we Tuscans are considered – in a positive sense – a bit stubborn). These same machines have arrived until today and, again restored, they are now working in our modern factory next to the most recent printing machines.

These old machines remind us every day what a long way we have come and are, as once my grandfather, tireless workers. Keeping alive a part of our history has been for us the exciting development or, so to say, the most exciting challenge.

What technology trends do you see with regards to printing and manufacturing? 

We always keep an eye on the new technologies. A company like ours has to stay updated and must constantly make investments in new technologies. But in our case the new machines work integrated with the old ones, the limits of some are made up for by others. We work like this because often only with an old procedure (which at first glance may seem obsolete, outdated) can one obtain a product of real, different, refined “flavor”.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...