When Andrea and Bruno Valdettaro grew up in Peru, beautiful paper was nowhere to be found. Fast forward a few years and this enterprising brother and sister team has finally found lots of beautiful paper…. and brought it to Peru. In August of 2013, they founded Arte Cartaria.
Andrea left Peru after her schooling was done and headed to Rome to study theology. She was smitten by all the beautiful Florentine papers.
Andrea tells the story that when she came back to Peru after living in Italy for 5 years, she noticed a friend was selling mini notebooks wrapped with the beautiful Florentine paper she loved while in Rome. There, she always had a supply of beautiful notes and envelopes for special occasions. She says, “And went I came back to Peru, I brought my personal supplies of paper. When my friend showed me these mini notebooks, I thought, ‘why we don’t have this paper in Peru?’ I wondered why we don’t have this many beautiful things in stationery that you can find in Europe and in the USA.”
In the meantime, her brother Bruno had quit his job and was awarded a scholarship to Georgetown University. “I told my brother about these Italian beauties and one day he called from Washington and said, “Why don’t we start something together? We don’t have any of these stationery products in Peru ( like they have in Italy and the US)…. we can import them and sell them.”
So, they took their savings and invested into a personal business and Arte Cartaria was born.
Andrea knew just which company to contact first. She contacted Rossi.
“Because I lived in Italy, I love Rossi. People recognize the quality right away… like a jewel in paper. “
Bruno who had been scouting the stores in the Washington DC area, found Cavallini…and so it was. They now had the exclusive rights to both companies for Peru. Now, to find retailers……….
“Actually before buying we had (pre-sold) some stores, libraries, design shops that agreed to sell the products, but we needed to have samples and the products to start. “
“Bruno contacted Cavallini which, at the beginning was very difficult to get, but he happened to be in San Francisco for other matters and reached them personally. That’s how we started with Rossi and Cavallini, with many ideas and a barely non existing stationery market in Peru. I must say that everything happened very easily; it was like everything was getting in place and Arte Cartaria was born. We wanted an Italian name because it all started under Italian inspiration and we wanted to transmit art and beauty through paper, design and elegance, originality and style. This is how we choose our lines, they have to have all of these characteristics or (at least) most of them.”
“We started to attend trade shows in NY and London, to learn about the stationery and gift business, to know the market, new brands, etc. It’s nice to meet the people and providers and learn about the products. We quickly discovered there is a very extensive market and many things to do. This helped us to expand our horizon and to find new lines. So, this is how Knock Knock, Anne Taintor, Nostalgic and Rifle Paper came to us. These, plus Rossi and Cavallini are the lines that we represent exclusively for Peru and these are the only ones we distribute right now, “said Andrea.
Bruno explains, “Rossi for us, is the best brand in quality, and customers notice that. The number one selling product are the papers, and actually Rossi´s papers are one of the top products from all the items and brands we represent and distribute. After the papers, the envelopes and notebooks are the second and third most selling products. In general the traditional Florentine style in papers is what people like the most. Also for envelopes the traditional Florentine style are the most requested.”
“From the papers, these are the designs that sell the most.”
“About the notebooks… people love everything related to Paris and also botanical designs. “
One of their good customers, Cartonaje Italiano, (https://www.facebook.com/cartonajeitaliano) is now featured regularly on the Rossi Facebook page. Make sure to like them on Facebook! Milagros, the owner teaches how to use Rossi paper in decoupage and other creative ways.
As if taking on the entire country of Peru to market their new products wasn’t enough of a task, the duo decided to open a retail outlet in Lima as well. Explains Andrea, “Because of the lack of stationery stores, we decided to open Market, which we own with other partners. It is a separate company from Arte Cartaria, actually a customer of Arte Cartaria. But, it is our most important customer!
We wanted to show what a stationery store looks like and develop the concept to expand the market. Basically, it’s a booth in the most exclusive mall in Lima, but we hope to open many more and turn them into stores.”
Located in Jockey plaza, one of the largest malls in Latin America — with upscale department stores, restaurants, movie theaters, a supermarket, and some 200 exclusive boutiques and shops, the likes of Ferragamo, Puma, Herrera and Armani.
Market Stationery and Gifts https://www.facebook.com/marketshop
“The fact is that Peru is still a country in development, so these kind of products are still only for a few people; they are not basic needs, so I think that’s why there weren’t stationery stores. We have printing shops but no specialized stationery and gifts shops. Now that Peru in growing and the economy is better, there are new needs and demands. But, the expansion will take time. “
We will put our bets on this brother and sister team to be very successful!
They would love to expand the business (both wholesale and retail) to Colombia (where they have some contacts) someday, and feel that is a good market for them, but right now they are very busy developing Peru.
“My brother and me, both are from Lima… we always lived here, but I studied in Rome and now he is doing a master in Milan. We tend to work very well together… also when we are apart.”
Bruno and Andrea Valdettaro
wholesaler and importer of paper goods and gifts
CAL. MANUEL miota 578 URB. SAN ANTONIO