Category: WORLDCHANGERS

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I’m Dicky from Morse Toad and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Dicky Broadhurst, founder of Morse Toad, a chocolate gifts company that creates personalised chocolate bar messages delivered to your letterbox.

Dicky-Broadhurst-Morse-Toad-scaled
Dicky-Broadhurst-Morse-Toad

Location: We are based in Lymington which benefits from both the beautiful New Forest and the seaside.

Current job: Morse Toad, I am the Chief Everything Officer.

One word that best describes how you work: Happily

My inspiration: My wife

My role model: Anyone who kept going.

My biggest fear: I’m not much of a worrier, to be honest, The only thing I worry about is my family.

My favourite e-commerce: Monster Supplies. They’re winning at the product, tone of voice, sense of humour.

Something I love: A good story.

Something I hate: Complainers.

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you get the idea for personalized chocolate gifts.

Back in 2010, I was made redundant. Rather than find another job, I answered an ad in the paper asking me to cycle to Cape Town and the football World Cup for charity. Five and a half months later, we arrived in Cape Town exhausted but jubilant having crossed deserts, tropical forests and savannahs complete with every sabre-toothed beast you can think of. It was a great experience, made better by raising £10,000 for charity.
Shortly after completing the trip, I received a package. Inside was a few useful items, but there, hidden underneath it all, was a chocolate bar. It transpired that my Mum had sent the package 4 months earlier, but it had missed me at the first checkpoint. It had duly been shipped from country to country in hot (literally) pursuit of the avid cyclists. Saharan sun and tropical heat had not been kind to the chocolate, and by this point, it looked a shadow of its former self. But at that moment, I recognised it for what it was….a gesture of support from mother to son. Via the medium of chocolate, my Mum was saying ‘good luck; you can do it’.
Even in its miserable state, this chocolate packed a massive punch, and this got me thinking. Sometimes it’s those little gestures that make all the difference. In our world of relentless digital messages, a proper gesture, an actual physical thing, can go a long way to making a big impact on someone’s day, or even someone’s life.
And so Morse Toad was born. A messaging service dedicated to making small gestures with a big impact.

Does your chocolate passion come from your childhood?

Whilst I enjoy chocolate as much as the next person, my passion lies around the idea of making other people happy. If the opportunity is there to go a little bit further to make a much bigger difference to someone’s day, then you should take it. Life is short. Why not celebrate every moment? Get the balloons, make a cake, make a fuss of someone. You can’t underestimate the impact that might have.

Have you seen the clients’ behaviour changing on your e-commerce in the last six months?

The last six months have been the craziest ever for my business. We were very fortunate. What do you do when you can’t give someone a hug or a high five in person? You send a hug in the post. And send them we did.
It’s safe to say that, during the lockdown, there was an outpouring of love, positivity and humour that came through our little business. It was nothing short of extraordinary. Lockdown taught us what was important and what to be grateful for, and that is the other people in our lives.

What do you think it’s essential to adjust a business in this unusual time?

As a business owner, you often face challenges that come out of nowhere. Clearly, the pandemic is unprecedented, but behind every cloud is a rainbow. My hope is something positive will come from this tragic and challenging time. If I have adjusted anything during this time, it is to identify what really truly matters, and that is my family.

Where do you see Morse Toad being in the next three years?

We exist to connect people in unique and wonderful ways. We want to help people make the world a happier place, one small gesture at a time. So in three years, we will have created many more exciting ways for people to connect. Chocolate is just the beginning.

Today every business tries to find a way to give back to society, has Morse Toad been involved with a cause or a charity partner?

During the lockdown, we created a gift box specifically for NHS keyworkers. We shipped many hundreds of boxes and got amazing feedback from both the recipients and the senders, who were happy to give some moral support to those at the coal face.
– From an environmental perspective, in a bid to reduce packaging waste, we converted our chocolate box into part of the gift. Now you can add your photo to the top of the box. Once all the chocolates have gone, you can hang the box on the wall from the holes in the back. There’s no need to throw it away. There’s even the option to include a frame.
– We also offset our footprint by contributing to a tree-planting organisation.

Our gifts have the potential to lift the spirits of people in challenging  situations. We are looking for an ongoing charity partner to work with on an ongoing basis.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I am blessed to live in a beautiful part of the world. Every day I get out and about to enjoy the countryside with my family.

Best advice you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur just starting up their business

Be sure to celebrate every success and brace yourself for a marathon.

If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently? 

I was so green when I started. I had no clue. If I were to do anything differently, it would be to find someone to help me inhouse. You can’t do it all yourself, and I have wasted so much money over the years paying for external help.

Last but not least, can you suggest the best corporate gift ideas?

Is it cheeky to suggest ourselves? With our corporate gifts, a business can apply their own branding or imagery to the top of the box. Inside, a message made from the best Belgian chocolate. We can send these, including shipping, for £10 each depending on the quantity.
During the lockdown, many businesses sent boxes to all of their staff working from home, and this Christmas represents a great opportunity to send something festive to clients all over the country.

You can follow Morse Toad on Instagram @Morsetoad

We love to interview #WORLDCHANGERS and listen about their challenges and their achievements. We can help you to optimize your Brand Strategy to reach your business goals.


I’m Anne Welsh from Painless Universal and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Anne Welsh who, despite being born with sickle cell disease (SCD), transformed her illness into a strength becoming a successful entrepreneur, published author and an international speaker. 

Anne Welsh
Anne Welsh

Current job: Founder and CEO of Painless Universal; Executive Board member for The Business School (formerly Cass).

One word that best describes how you work: Passion

My inspiration: Everyday people making a difference in extraordinary circumstances

My role model: My former boss. He is my role model because he believed in me and gave me strength and motivated me when I was at my lowest point. He inspired me to believe in myself, to be fierce and relentless in everything I did.

My favourite place in the world: Home

A quality you like most in people: Honesty

A food you can’t live without: I enjoy a good doughnut every now and then

First of all, tell us a little about you and how you have transformed your chronic illness into a strength?

The mental and physical effort that was needed to overcome the daily challenge of living with sickle cell disease (SCD) has pushed me to space where I can clearly see my own potential. I have been able to transform a chronic illness into a strength by surrounding myself with people who believed in me and never gave up on me, even at my weakest point. Also, I made a strong mental decision to approach life positively after a trip to Nigeria. It changed my internal thinking from one of feeling self-pity to one of feeling grateful; appreciating that my life is not the worst off and that so many people needed more than I could possibly imagine.

When was the moment you understood you could become a role model for all people struggling with chronic illness?

It started when I joined the Sickle Cell Society UK charity and became its Chairperson for two years. In this role, I heard so many stories of pain and realised my leadership could influence many everyday positive changes for people living with SCD. I really understood that I was becoming a role model for many people struggling with Chronic illness in 2016 when I started being approached for my advice on how to deal with issues of pain by patients and carers. I was also invited to give a large number of talks on these issues. I believe this happened because I have always tried to build on positivity, compassion and empathy by mentoring and reaching out to people with chronic illness through business, my charitable undertakings and with the launch of my book Pain-less.

Tell us about the journey to becoming an Instagram influencer, and how did you build up more than 700K followers? 

This was not an overnight success. I built the number of followers gradually by speaking at events and encouraging people to follow my page. Big strides happened in 2017 when I changed the content focus and simultaneously improved the quality of my posts. The interest really started growing when I began to share stories of places I was visiting, how to deal with pain and my family adventures.

It’s fantastic to see a social media platform used to deliver and share a positive message about pain, do you believe digital transformation can make our life better?

Of course, digital transformation can make life better. Already I am seeing this outcome for the Painless Universal business. On this platform, we use the digital space to share stories of inspiration, hope and how people have found joy along the way. It is a really strong example of how the use of digital technology facilitates the sharing of inspirational stories quickly and to a global audience. Some people will have better lives because of access to this information. 

You have a wide variety of video interviews on your social platforms, how do you choose your guests?

It’s all in the story – how the person being interviewed is able to share and inspire. The story must come from the heart with deep feeling. I read a person’s profile and can immediately tell if they are the right fit. I also do basic research on the person. The method is a very holistic process by which all types of media are researched to match the individual to the right story. I also listen to current events and take suggestions from my team to help choose and appreciate a pain topic of interest to the audience.

Where the idea of founding Painless Universal came from?

It came purely from my book “PAIN-LESS – Living with Pain, Finding Joy”. During the launch of my book, I was speaking to guests at the event and I realised it was not just my story that was important but that of so many other people facing the same challenges as myself. I felt empowered to help others by understanding their pain and helping them find their joy.

Tell us about the journey of writing ‘Pain-less‘ your memoir about living life with sickle cell anaemia?

The journey was long, about five years long. It was long because I started in 2014 and stopped because I didn’t want my life to be out in the public at that time. I just was not comfortable including the negatives as well as the positives in my life. However, in 2018 I just decided to really go for it and get the book completed. My biggest fear of putting everything out there for the world to read was solved after talking to my family and friends and reading lots of positive memoirs form celebrities like Maya Angelou and more. I was no longer ashamed of my story, especially the unpleasant parts of my life brought on by my chronic illness and life circumstance. I felt encouraged to use my story to inspire others which turned into a very transparent life story sharing the journey of success and disappointments, and most importantly how I found joy along the way. I was committed to setting deadlines and working diligently with my publisher so that in the end the publisher delivered the books as promised and the London launch went off smoothly in June 2019.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I really love what I do and I never want to rest from it! As someone famously said: do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life. Also, I often spend time with my family and my two sisters along with their children, and this really gives me an emotional lift. With so many young children around you don’t have time to think about work. I take a warm bath, exercise and sleeping without a setting a wake up on Sunday’s to ensure I get my rest.

Tell us about a movie you could watch over and over again?

Honestly, it is very had to choose just one film. I will say any movies on the Christmas channel – I can watch those over and over again any time of the year. It just gives me so much joy!!

To finish on a light note, as a fashion icon, who is your favourite designer?

Gianni Versace, for his opulence in life and how he projected that into his fashion experience. As a guest of a corporate event, I was fortunate to visit his Miami Beach mansion after his untimely passing. The detail and beauty of his home captured so much of his fashion personality, and for me, showed why to this day his classical designs live on and influence new generations of designers.

You can follow Anne Welsh on Instagram @ladyannewelsh

We love to interview #WORLDCHANGERS and listen about their challenges and their achievements. We can help you to optimize your Brand Strategy to reach your business goals.


I’m Rusi from Rusi Designs and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Rusi, founder and designer of Rusi Designs.

Rusi Founder of Rusi Designs 

Location:  London

Current job: Founder and Creative Director Rusi Designs

My greatest success: Seeing the President of Georgia wearing my handbag when she met the President of France and his wife Bridget. 
My role model: Gabriella Hearst
My biggest fear:
People continue consuming throwaway fashion, which will eventually lead to more environmental disasters. 
My life dream:
create a luxury lifestyle brand – Rusi Designs
My favourite website: 
www.net a porter.com 

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia.  Despite studying environmental chemistry at university, I had always wanted to be in fashion, but fashion schools did not really exist in Georgia where, at that time, fashion was not considered to be a profession. Georgians are very much like Italians, they love fashion and looking good is And was very important to them! I made my own clothes, before that my mother made clothes (she was a mathematician but loved to sew!) and my grandmother also made clothes – she was a professional seamstress. Maybe my love of fashion comes from my grandmother? She was a very important person in my life and I am named after her. She told me ever since I was a little girl, I was always gathering fabrics into a sort of pouch and saying it was a bag!  

When I moved to Brussels I enrolled in the Art Academy there and then obtained an Interior Design degree with the Rhodec International UK, but it was not until I joined a five-day handbag making course in London, that I realised how much I loved handbags!  I created my first clutch bag in Bangkok in 2013.  I found this little workshop and I asked the craftsman, Tony, to make me a sample. I sat with him to share everything I knew from my course.  RusiDesigns was born! I never set out to make cheap bags, I wanted quality and longevity in my products. My first clients from my Asian production days are still with me. I offer a lifetime guarantee to make things right if something goes wrong – it seldom does, but for me, the customer’s experience is very important, so I go the extra mile. I moved my production to Italy after 3 years of testing the ground. My current factory makes bags for Chanel and Delvaux. It does not get better than this. I am so proud. 

How does inspiration come about for your creations?

I start thinking about the new design with someone in mind.  I think about their lifestyle and what they do on a day-to-day basis, then I play scenarios in my head and come up with ideas and solutions. Sometimes it’s instant. Sometimes it takes time. But the most important thing is to create something that people will treasure. I believe in longevity and simplicity.  I think the essence of design is simplicity, and simplicity is in good design! 

Today we talk more about sustainability, in what Rusi Designs can be defined sustainable? 

To me, sustainability is quality over quantity. If something is well crafted it will last longer.  If you do not need to replace it after a short time it’s better for the environment! I make small numbers and I do not waste any leathers.  I use every piece of leftover leather to create something useful.  I work with responsible factories where the artisans get paid a fair salary, and I work with local models and photographers so they do not need to travel far thus reducing my carbon footprint.  On a personal level, I reuse and recycle everything I can, and I walk and use public transport wherever possible.  I support the economy in these difficult times by giving people jobs.

Can luxury and sustainability coexist?

Absolutely. Luxury to me means quality and taking responsibility for your actions in environmental terms. Be responsible, waste less, give back, make quality items that last. 

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

Seeing my Mezzaluna tote being worn by the President of Georgia while on an official visit meeting the President of France and his wife. The Georgian President sent me a photo saying “Two Presidents and one bag”. Oh, joy! 

President of Georgia with MezzaLuna Tote from Rusi Designs

What about your cause marketing? Has your company been involved with a cause or charity partner?

Due to my husband’s work as a career diplomat, we lived in Asia for 8 years. While there I worked closely with women’s organisations on charity projects. One of the last projects was a charity fashion show at the British Ambassadors residence in Bangkok, Thailand, with the amazing charity Steps with Theera – they promote equality and independence, by giving employment to adults of all abilities.  It was a very fulfilling experience. 

What is Rusi Designs vision for the next 5 years?

I just want to be able to continue to do what I do best, and grow my brand into a lifestyle brand. 

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Now that made me smile! I love what I do and I never want to rest from it! As someone famously said: do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life. 

What book are you currently reading?

I listen to podcasts, and my current book is an audiobook on learning Italian. It is never too late to learn. 

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I probably would have started earlier with designing handbags – but better late than never. I believe everything happens for a reason. 

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _____ answer these same questions.

 Gabriella Hearst 

You can follow Rusi Design at @rusidesigns

 

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. We can help you to optimize your Cause Marketing and your Brand Strategy to reach your profitable and ethical goals

 

I’m Elizabeth Rees from ElizaEliza and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Elizabeth Rees founder and designer of ElizaEliza that creates the perfect zip purse to #carryyourcause.

Elizabeth Rees_ Eliza Eliza
Elizabeth Rees_ Eliza Eliza #carryyourcause

Location: Cardiff, Wales

Current job: Full-time Mum, Founder of Eliza Eliza

One word that best describes how you work: Analytically

Current mobile device: iPhone XS Max

Favourite website: BBC News

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

Before becoming a mother, I taught as a Secondary Geography Teacher and never really went back. Taking a step back to have children, made me realise that teaching wasn’t something I felt truly passionate about. Whilst I was on maternity leave, I rediscovered my love of sewing. I made a zipped pouch to organise my changing bag better and my family and friends started asking me to make these pouches for them too. Before long I was selling via Etsy and not long after, set up my website. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had so much support along the way, featured by magazines such as Stylist and In the Moment magazines as well as being shared by influencers such as Gillian Anderson. All this has helped me get to spread my message and mission of building awareness all over the world, for the causes we care for.

How can you define Eliza Eliza ethical/sustainable?

In my mind, every business should without question be ethical/sustainable. Unfortunately so many are not. The choices of who makes the materials and products we use and what they are made of should not, in my opinion, be at the detriment of someone else’s health, wellbeing or wealth. I have worked hard over the years since starting Eliza Eliza to educate, research and carefully source the materials I use. Getting to know my suppliers and not being afraid to ask questions. For example, I spent quite a bit of time, particularly early on in my business, speaking to the hemp producers I use. They are undoubtedly passionate about what they do and taught me so much about hemp’s eco-friendly advantages compared with other textile choices. Environmentally friendly and non-exploitative textile production is central to their business model, these are the businesses I want to work with now and in the future.

What motivates you?

My children motivate me. I want them to grow up understanding the importance of kindness, looking after each other and that giving back can be just as rewarding as receiving. I hope that my business shows them in just a little way how this can be done.

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work.

The first time I sent a donation to my charity was the best feeling. It wasn’t even a huge amount, but the fact that I could contribute from something I had I made and someone else had chosen to purchase was incredibly rewarding.

Worlchanger cluch_ ElizaEliza
Worlchanger cluch_ ElizaEliza

How does Eliza Eliza get involved with a cause or charity partner?

Sometimes it’s the cause that comes first and I research to find relevant charities to support it and other times it’s the charity that I initially discovered. But they have to work together appropriately. In some instances, I launch without a charity because it can be just as important to raise awareness around the cause as raising money. When I contact the charity, I explain what I do and we agree on a partnership agreement.

Elizabeth Rees_ Eliza Eliza
Elizabeth Rees_ Eliza Eliza #carryyourcause

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Yoga, meditating, going for a run or walk always help me recharge. I do so much of my work through my phone, that switching it off every once in a while help give me a break and allow me to focus attention elsewhere.

What book are you currently reading?

Borrow Box allows you to digitally borrow e-books and e-audiobooks from your local library. I’ve been listening to The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor which discusses how happiness and positivity can contribute to successful futures. I’d definitely recommend it.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Without sounding too cliché it really is the journey that counts. I love to think that I could have forgone the stresses of training and being a teacher, but there are so many lessons and skills I learnt from that time.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _____ answer these same questions.

Kate Auguste from Mi Apparel

 

You can follow Eliza Eliza at  @elizaelizauk

 

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more.

We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. We can help businesses to optimize their Cause Marketing and their Brand Strategy.

 

I’m Carolina from Carolina Bucci and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Carolina Bucci, founder and designer of Carolina Bucci, fine and elegant jewellery pieces meticulously designed, beautifully executed.

#WORLDCHANGERS -Carolina Bucci Florentine Jewelley
Carolina Bucci, Creative Director for Carolina Bucci

Location:  London

Current job: Jewellery Designer for Carolina Bucci

One word that best describes how you work: Always

My greatest success: Pursuing and sticking with my passion

My biggest fear: I am absolutely terrified of needles

My secret wish: That smartphones were never invented

My role model: Fulco di Verdura

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how your love for fine jewellery began

My family have been manufacturing fine jewellery in Florence since 1885. I grew up visiting my father in the atelier right next to the Ponte Vecchio in the Goldsmiths’ quarter of Florence. Designing fine jewellery was all I ever wanted to do…

Was there a moment that gave the breakthrough to Carolina Bucci?

I left Florence to study jewellery design in NY. While I was studying at FIT I started to put together some ideas for what I thought contemporary fine jewellery could be. A piece here, a piece there. Nothing too coherent. One of those ideas was for a silk and gold-threaded bracelet that looked like a friendship bracelet and could be tied in the same way. Patricia Field who was the stylist for ‘Sex and the City’ saw that prototype and Sarah Jessica Parker wore one throughout the last series… after that, things just exploded.

How does inspiration come about for your creations?

All different ways – normally linked to some memory or emotion. Typically I have a sudden need to make a piece for myself and that design just appears fully formed in my head. It’s hard to explain what the process is because when I try to make it happen it normally doesn’t. If you sit me at a desk and say “design” I freeze. It’s why I could never work full time designing for anybody else.

Can you tell us an example of early life that has shaped you?

Sitting with my father at the jewellery bench and asking question after question. When it came time for me to start designing he was my fiercest critic, (and when I wasn’t in earshot, my biggest supporter), and that taught me how to articulate and defend what I wanted to make. He didn’t make things easy for me, and that has stood me in good stead for all the challenges that followed.

Can you tell us a key lesson you have learned along the way

That 10% of your efforts and output will make up 90% of your success. Accepting that allows you to move on when things are not clicking, and over the years you gain a sort of early radar for when you are moving in the right direction.

Today we talk more about sustainability, in what can Carolina Bucci be defined sustainable?

I think at its simplest fine jewellery is an endlessly recyclable category.  If you don’t like your piece then you can melt it and start again. In all the talk of the luxury world, fine jewellery is a little different. It is at least thousands of years old and has carried value and prestige throughout. We have started to take serious steps towards certifying all of our gold purchasing as completely ethical. It is not a simple or quick process, but it is important to me that we are on the right path and improving year by year. We have also made huge changes over recent years to move our packaging production as close as possible to our point of use. There is no need today to be shipping boxes around the world chasing marginal cost improvements.

1885 -links- and-sprezzatura-lucky-braceletsA heart pendant in Rainbow Pave
1885 Links Sprezzatura Lucky braceletA heart pendant in Rainbow Pave

Tell us about a socially responsible project Carolina Bucci  got involved

Recently it has been difficult to work out what, if anything, we should be doing as a business in the midst of this global health emergency. I have wondered, and still do some days, if it is not best to just hibernate and wait for the storm to pass? But, fundamentally, that doesn’t suit my nature. Like many, I have tried to stay creative and positive and to use the strengths of what we do to bring help in some way to those affected. Since March 15th we have been donating 25% of all sales from our online business to the Coronavirus Emergency Fund at Careggi Hospital in Florence, my hometown. And, at the same time, to help soothe tired minds and keep little fingers busy we launched a set of pages on our website to be printed off at home and coloured in or folded into origami shapes.

Can luxury and sustainability coexist?

Absolutely. In fact, I think true luxury is more likely to be sustainable than anything else. Luxury is handmade, by craftspeople that are skilled and well-paid. It considers its environmental footprint and chooses its materials and components carefully. I think the problem lies in the overuse of the word “luxury”- it has become somewhat meaningless.

How do you see the Carolina Bucci in 5 years?

To continue to grow the brand patiently and authentically building upon the firm foundations we have in Florence and the artisans that work for us there. We are looking now at opening a new store in the United States, and perhaps one in Italy. That and building out our online universe are the key areas for us in the next few years.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

The one place that I am able to really forget about work is at our house in Upstate NY. It is in the middle of the woods, with terrible Internet and cell reception – I love the chance to switch off, practice yoga, and pick fruit from our trees. Simple pleasures but two weeks there leaves me energised and ready for any new challenges.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

When I was starting my brand in 2002…. I should have bought a lot of gold when it was trading at around $300/oz.

Finally, what is the piece of jewellery all women should own?

Something that reminds them of an amazing time or person. That is what jewellery does best. It can capture that emotion in something beautiful and lasting.

 

You can follow Carolina Bucci at @carolina_bucci

 

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. 

We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. If you want to optimize your Cause Marketing check out how we can help.

 

I’m Angelo from Angelo Galasso and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Angelo Galasso, founder and designer of Angelo Galasso, an elegant and inventive luxury menswear brand.

Angelo Galasso Luxury Menswear
Angelo Galasso Luxury Menswear

Location:  London

Current job: Founder & Creative Director of Angelo Galasso

One word that best describes how you work: Dreaming

My biggest success: The Watch Cuff Shirt

My greatest fear:  Not being fearless anymore

My secret dream: Leave a strong impact in the fashion world

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how your love for fashion began

Growing up in a typical large middle-class family in Puglia, Southern Italy, my father did not want me to play in the streets for fear that I would fall in with the wrong crowd. Instead, he encouraged me to make friends with the local artisans’ workshops along the main street. The tailor, the shirtmaker, the trouser maker and the cobbler, all welcomed me into their shops, where I started to become familiar with fabrics and cloths, colours and proportions. I came to understand the immense value of those trades that are carried out by men who have been passing on their knowledge through generations, making extraordinary products.

Was there a moment that gave the breakthrough to the Angelo Galasso?

There were many moments, but they all followed the same path – creating unique menswear products against the current. Some of most recognised items are: the unique high collar shirt, the denim jeans with leather patchworks, and my famous Watch Cuff shirt. Also being represented by amazing ambassadors such as Al Pacino, and our flagship store at The Plaza in New York contributed to building the Angelo Galasso brand success.

How does inspiration come about for your creations?

My inspiration is born from people’s need. People want clothing that solves problems and that makes a man look unique. That’s the approach I follow when designing unique products, such as The Watch Cuff Shirt, and it is still the same to this day. I am very curious and aware of everything that surrounds me, inspiration can hit at any moment when you are always looking.

Spring Summer 2020 Collection Angelo Galasso
Spring Summer 2020 Collection Angelo Galasso

Is there a person who has been instrumental in making you who you are today?

I was very fortunate to have met many amazing people along my path, who in one way or another positively contributed to my life. I have lived in so many and diverse places, I have travelled to many worldwide destinations that I feel a citizen of the world. This definitely made me stronger and more creative. Fortunately,  I could always rely on my internal drive throughout the many encounters and changes in my life. That strength and determination that fuels you in the achievement of your goals. That drive that makes you fearless and determined that you are, in fact, doing the right thing.  I think the key is inside us.

Do you remember a particular moment in your career when you thought, ‘I’ve worked so hard but it’s worth it?’

Everything I’ve done in my career has been the product of hard work and passion so I could never regret it.

Today we talk more about sustainability, in what can Angelo Galasso be defined sustainable?

Angelo Galasso is a sustainable brand because we don’t use any kind of mass production. All our garments are made exclusively in Italy and in small artisanal workshops. We do extensive background checks to ensure these workshops respect health and safety standards. We also operate a ‘zero-waste’ policy, we only buy fabrics based on the actual meters we need to maximize efficient production and minimize waste.

Tell us about a socially responsible project Angelo Galasso got involved

We are always happy to give back and recently we entered into a very exciting partnership with Bervann Capital, a NY investment company leading a global ecosystem of investors. In March 2020, Bervann Foundation, the non-profit arm of  Bervann Capital, launched the Corona Opportunity Fund, to support local and foreign governments in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

To support this worthy cause Angelo Galasso is producing a short film about the brand and is gifting a very special Gold Sequin Blazer to be auctioned off at the Black Tie Online on 30th April. Funds raised at the gala will go towards Corona Opportunity Fund.

Can luxury and sustainability coexist?

Yes, as long as all ecosystem players abide by the same ethical and sustainability rules. All companies should care about their employees, the materials they use, the manufacturing processes and the impact each part of the process has on the environment.

How do you see the Angelo Galasso in 5 years?

I imagine having between 8 and 12 boutiques/houses around the world. We have a vision of defeating the globalization of fashion brands. We want every store to be unique in architecture, design and collections. The only common elements will be the logo the brand philosophy and exceptional customer experience, but we want every store to feel like it belongs to the culture of the place where it is.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I don’t really have to switch off from work because for me what I do is my passion and my version of ‘having fun’ — I’m always working, even if I’m walking down the street or I’m at an elegant dinner, I always look for inspiration.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Nothing. Perhaps one thing, I would have made more mistakes because in those times I’ve grown the most, both personally and business-wise.

Last but not least, what should never be missing in a man’s wardrobe?

The classic shoe. Gassman used to say that we can tell how elegant and stylish a man is just by looking at his shoes. They are the first thing someone notices when looking at a stranger.

Loafer by Angelo Galasso Luxury Menswear
Loafer by Angelo Galasso

On 30 of April from 7 pm to 8.30 pm EDT, you can come to the Virtual Gala Event organised by Bervann Capital and Angelo Galasso, click here for your ticket

You can follow Angelo Galasso at @angelogalassoofficial

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more.

We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. We can help businesses to optimize their Cause Marketing and their Brand Strategy.

I’m Angela from Angela Wickstead Home and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to New Zeland-born Angela Wickstead, founder Angela Wickstead Home. a luxury sustainable brand that produces elegant bespoke homeware linens.

Angela Wickstead, founder of Angela Wickstead Home
Angela Wickstead, founder of Angela Wickstead Home

Location: South Kensington, London

Current job: Owner of Angela Wickstead Home

One word that best describes how you work: Passionately

Current mobile device: Iphone

Favourite website: MatchesFashion.com

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today

I originally trained as an interior designer and then moved into fashion starting my own bespoke design company and stores. Then I moved to Italy from New Zealand in 1998.   When my daughter Emilia started her clothing company years later I came on board to assist in a number of areas.  After five years together I wanted to do something away from clothing and began working on building my new business from my home in Northern Italy.  I always loved beautiful linen and found very little quality product available on the market. For this reason I started to design and produce embroidered homeware linens with monograms and fully bespoke.

How can you define your business ethical/sustainable?

I wanted my business to be 100% sustainable, all  Italian made and from the best fabrics available, using only local artisan.  After two and a half years I am proud to say that the brand is successful and growing at a steady pace.

I work with Italian family run and artisan based companies who are also passionate about their work. I believe in the authenticity and quality of the product and therefore I am more interested in the way the product is made than the volumes produced. Attention to details is very important and key to my products.

Angela Wickstead - Set of four embroidered-border linen napkins
Angela Wickstead – Set of four embroidered-border linen napkins

I’m Paola Zancanaro from NamuStore and I’m a #WORLDCHANGERS


The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. 

This month on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, WeGiveIt speaks to Paola Zancanaro, founder of NAMU, a wonderful sustainable brand of clothing and accessories for women.

Paola Zancanaro from NamuStore

Location: Bali, Indonesia and online

Current job: founder and creative director of NAMU

One word that best describes how you work: sustainable

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

First, I have been working in fashion for the past 20 years organizing events and fashion shows across the globe. I started my career in London working for Vivienne Westwood , where I immersed myself in the world of fashion from marketing to sales. VW is one of the most creative designer in this industry and I truly treasure my experience there. After 3 years at Giorgio Armani working on events I moved back to Italy, my own country and started my career with Prada, which lasted almost 15 years.

During one of my many trips to Asia I decided to relocate to Bali in 2007.

Bali is a creative hub, where you can explore and make your dreams come true working along skilled and passionate artisans

How can you define your business ethical?

My company NAMU  was founded in 2009 and since then it showcases our shagreen accessories collection and our Resortwear Collection along with other brands all made in Indonesia.

At NAMU  we like to support local artisans and to keep alive traditional artisanal techniques.

Because we are sustainable, we handpick all the brands available at NAMU STORE, which shares the same values that we have.

We do not follow trends but like to offer transeasonal pieces that last forever and can be pass from generation to the next one.

Our philosophy is handmade is luxury, – each handmade piece differs from each other making each item unique and one-of-a-kind.

What motivates you?

Keeping alive traditional artisanal techniques and keep learning from local artisans motivates us every day.

We like to support small businesses and to work with them; they are not our suppliers, they are part of the NAMU family

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

Sitting in my office and hearing our staff talking to clients about the brand and our philosophy!

They are ever so proud of NAMU and they never stop learning about new techniques we work with.

They support the brand as if it is theirs and they are the best Ambassadors of NAMU!

How did your company get involved with a cause or charity partner?

Since I arrived in Indonesia I have been wanting to work closely with an NGO that supports children and education; children are the future and they all deserve to receive an education.

I was thrilled to meet Kartika Soekarno through a dear friend and support her Foundation. The KS Foundation  not only supports kids and their education but also mothers with pre-natal care through birth, infancy and early years up to secondary school.

We designed a pouch for the KS Foundation and all sales are donated to the Foundation and its activities.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Yoga and traveling!

Work is always at the back of my mind but I try to combine my passion for traveling with work finding new suppliers and artisans to work with in countries that I love the most.

What book are you currently reading?

Autobiography of a Yogini

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Definitely using less plastic, I am trying to embrace a life plastic-free.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Kartika of KS Foundationn answer these same questions.

You can buy pieces from NAMU collections in Bali, NAMU STORE or on line NAMU.

We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. We can help you to optimize your Cause Marketing and your Brand Strategy to reach your profitable and ethical goals.

Have someone you want to see featured or questions you think we should ask? Email Sara

I’m Laila Charlton-Meyrick and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. It’s published regularly at www.wegiveit.co.uk/blog

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Laila Charlton-Meyrick, experienced strategic advisor to UHNW clients and now Impact investment consultant.

Location: London

Current job: working on a new project to provide “purposeful” wealth management

One word that best describes how you work: collaboratively

Current mobile device: iPhone and MacBook Pro

Favourite website: https://theconduit.com

First of all, tell us a little about your background and your work experience

I am originally from Iran and came to the UK with my parents and brother over 30 years ago, in order to escape the war back in my country. I arrived with almost no knowledge of English. I left my home, my school friends and more importantly my extended family, who play a huge role in my culture and in particular in my family. I went on to finish my secondary education in the UK at Francis Holland in London and got my degree in Finance and French at Santa Clara University in the USA. I went on to build an international professional career in Finance, which over the last 20 years has had me working in a research role at Cross Border Capital, in management consultancy at McKinsey & Co and as an advisor to several HNW/UHNW individuals at UBS AG  and Credit Suisse more recently. I am a mother of 2 beautiful daughters and married to a loving husband who is English by blood but has lived almost all his life outside the UK.

What are your plan for your future?

I have recently left my career in banking, with a mission in mind: “shift the mindset” of private asset owners towards investments and initiatives that make a positive impact on our world. Impact investment is the future. In the face of social and environmental challenges that directly or indirectly will affect us all, wealth holders around the world are increasingly drawn towards investments that generate not only financial returns but also benefit people and the planet.

Why did you decide to move from conventional to impact investment?

Having spent almost two decades advising clients to invest in the conventional way to achieve the financially optimal portfolio, I have learnt that this type of investment is not always the best solution for a “real person”. Humans have emotions and they are influenced by context and environment, and their best portfolio isn’t just financially efficient, it also needs to be one that feels emotionally comfortable.

What motivates you?

The endless possibilities of life, people connections’ and my desire to make a change creating an impact on the world around me. Last but not least being a role model to my daughters it’s a constant motivation.

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

Although stepping outside of the large organisations where I have been working for the last 20 years it wasn’t an easy decision, it has given me the opportunity to be more creative and focused on my agenda and although unnerving at times, I strongly believe that I owe it to myself, my family and the planet. I live on to play my part and use my skill set to mobilise funds towards investments and initiatives that make a positive impact on our world.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I LOVE being outdoors and particularly being by the water. My family and I live in West London and lucky enough to be by the river. We get to enjoy lots of walks, cycle rides and runs. Given the pace of life these days, I am a strong believer in creating peaceful time for oneself that promotes creativity, which I thrive on.

What book are you currently reading?

Factfulness by Hans Rosling. My sister in law told me about this book. I was instantly gripped as it is an incredibly written book. It’s about our world and it provides factual information to help understand what we have achieved so far and what more we need to do on the urgent issues we face today such as poverty and climate change

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I would most certainly have lived a more mindful life and by that I mean I would have taken a more active and conscious approach to manage my personal and professional life. I feel I could have begun this journey that I am embarking on now a decade ago at least. Having said that it is not too late and I believe we can always reinvent ourselves and redefine our goals: that is life.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Diana Verde Nieto of Positive Luxury answer these same questions.

Laila Charlton-Meyrick

www.linkedin.com/in/laila-charlton-meyrick

We love to interview people who believe in brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. If you want to optimize your Cause Marketing check out how we can help.

I’m Francesca Griffiths from Casa-Londra and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. It’s published monthly at www.wegiveit.co.uk/blog

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Francesca Griffiths, founder Casa-Londra, Trustee and President of NPH UK charity

Location: London

Current job: Property Lawyer, Founder Casa Londra Limited, Trustee/President NPH UK

One word that best describes how you work:
Multitasking

Current mobile device:
iphone 7

Favourite website:
www.casa-londra.com

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I am Italian, grew up in Genoa and moved to London in 1995 with an Italian law degree and the ambition of working in one of the big legal firms in the City. My parents were not keen to have me in London long term, I am an only child and they wanted me to take the traditional Italian bar exam and settle down in Genoa. They were very surprised when I announced them that I got a law firm sponsored position at the College of Law, wanted to live in London and qualify as an English solicitor!

London gave me great opportunities, as a solicitor I practised in what was one of the leading international law firms called Coudert Brothers, spent a year in their beautiful offices in Paris and specialised in corporate finance. In the meantime I met my husband Dominic, also a finance lawyer, we married in 2001 and started a family. With young children working in a big firm as a corporate lawyer was too challenging though, the hours were crazy…

As I have always loved the London property market I decided to abandon the finance world, specialise in property law and work as a solicitor in a smaller law firm in the West End with more reasonable working hours. I created an Italian desk and started assisting Italian clients who wanted to invest in the London property market. Property law is a very complex subject in the UK and my Italian clients feel reassured with me dealing with their transactions and explaining what a leasehold and a freehold are all about!

Whilst assisting my Italian clients in purchasing their London pied-a-terre I realised that they needed more services, not only the legal support but also assistance with their property search, with the management and letting of their flats after the purchase and sometimes even with the refurbishment and interior design. An Italian real estate agency in London was certainly needed and in 2009, with a few girlfriends,  I started Casa Londra in the sitting room of my house in West London.

Casa Londra now manages over 200 properties in Chelsea and Kensington, all owned by Italian clients. I have two business partners, six employees and a chic little shop on The Old Brompton Road. I feel very lucky as I still practice as a solicitor in Child and Child, a great law firm specialised in property, but I also supervise the various activities of Casa Londra and I consequently have a very exciting and diverse workload everyday.

So with two jobs already under my sleeve, I was not planning to take more on board but NPH UK was a beautiful and unexpected surprise…

Why did you get involved with NPH?

Two years ago a friend of mine introduced me to Mariavittoria Rava, an amazing person who is President of Fondazione Francesca Rava NPH Italy. Mariavittoria was looking for an English law firm to create the UK fundraising office for her charity and I offered to help her on a pro bono basis.

Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) is an international charity assisting orphans and abandoned children in Haiti and nine countries in Central and South America since 1954. I was immediately taken by this incredible organisation which has saved the lives of thousands of children, giving them a family upbringing and great life opportunities. The work carried out by Fondazione Francesca Rava, the Italian fundraising office of NPH in the last 18 years under the direction of Mariavittoria Rava touched me deeply. Mariavittoria’s passion and determination to give a better future to disadvantaged children were incredibly contagious and I realised that it was time to give back and find some time in my life to help others.

NPH UK is now a registered English charity of which I am President and Trustee, together with Mariavittoria and Stefan Grafe. Since the incorporation we have set up an office and organised three successful events in London: the official launch of the charity at the Italian Embassy last November, a winter ball at Bulgari Hotel in January, followed by a ‘Flower Power’ themed dinner at Sumosan Twiga in May. We raised about £160,000 through these three events and I am already working on the next occasion, a Christmas Family Ball in a cool Chelsea location… watch this space!

What motivates you?
I am a people person, I love making connections and putting people together though my network of friends.

What is the process to finding your cause or charity partner?

People can access the charity directly through me or the website:

Every child needs a family

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

Preparing the grants for the NPH Homes and the various NPH projects following the London events was certainly the most exciting part of the job. These funds make a huge difference in the lives of the NPH kids. Through a very efficient system of scholarships, many of them are able to attend secondary schools or universities and end up having successful careers,  frequently returning to their home countries to contribute back to the community. There is nothing more rewarding than that.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I love spending time with my family. I have three gorgeous children aged 9, 12 and 16 and I always try to have quality time with each of them. London is a very hectic place and we often escape to our holiday home in Santa Margherita Ligure, the place where I grew up and where my roots still are.

What book are you currently reading?
Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini by Giorgio Bassani. A few days ago I gave it to my daughter as I loved reading it when I was her age. She hasn’t opened it but I am glued to it like thirty years ago!

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I would have got involved in charity work earlier on in life. For many years I worked so hard on my career, the company, … I should have been less selfish! There is always a bit of time in everyday life to help others.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Mariavittoria Rava President of Fondazione Francesca Rava NPH Italy (a real world-changer!) answer these same questions.

Francesca Griffiths
Managing Director Casa-Londra

We love to interview people who work hard but find some time to giving back to society. We can help you to optimize your Cause Marketing and your Brand Strategy to reach your profitable and ethical goals