Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mexican Glass

Exciting news! Our Spring 2008 collection is now available on the Web! I am very proud of the ingenuity and hard work our designers put into these lines, and I encourage you to visit our website and explore all of the new items we have to offer.

There are five lines in particular I want to tell you about, all made from raw recycled glass. These pieces are mouth-blown out of recycled Coke bottles in a Spanish colonial town in central Mexico. We recently visited the factory where the owner took us on a tour, showing us how the artist's make these pieces. The process is extensive and involved! All of the designs are hand-etched on to each piece after it's blown. Seeing the process in action, I have such great respect for the artistry and painstaking attention to detail that goes into each new piece. I also love our Mexican glass because it is a sustainable, beautiful product with soul and integrity. Already, the lines have sold enormously well in Europe and America. We hope the glass will continue on this trajectory because already our commerce has created 25 new positions at the factory in Mexico. We would love to employ as many people as we can through the production of these lines.

Now, without further ado, here is our beautiful new glass!

Madre Terra is the purest of the organic genre. These pieces maintain the original color of the coke bottles they're made from. They feature lovely renderings of birds and butterflies that gracefully swoop and flutter across the clean surface of the glass.

Mondo Glass is currently our number one seller. The designs for this line were inspired by traditional motifs from six countries around the world-- India, Spain, Africa, Greece, Bali, and Morocco. They compliment our Mondo dinnerwarebeautifully.

The Beach Cottage Glass tumblers and votive holders were also designed to be paired with another line. Match them with our Beach Cottage dinnerware for a beautiful table setting perfect for enjoying meals in the midst of burgeoning nature.

Cin Cin! (which means "cheers" in Italian) is a versatile line that can to be paired with a range of collections from our classic green Dinner Party Place Settings to our more festive Pasta Italiana lines.

Lastly, we have our whimsical Darjeeling Glass in a gorgeous turquoise jewel tone that provides a striking contrast to simple white dinnerware, and makes an already opulent table setting even richer.

I certainly hope you enjoy our new Spring Collection as much as we do. We also love to hear back from you about lines you feel especially love, and, of course, about the traditions you create through our tableware.


Cross Continental Connection

As many of you who have been following the blog already know, we were in Europe for two weeks earlier this month, including February 14th. On Valentine's I was sitting in our hotel lobby in Milan with my daughter Francesca having tea and exchanging small gifts. The German couple next to us exclaimed that what we were doing looked more like Christmas than Valentine's day (how American of us!), and we struck up a conversation.

As it turned out, the couple has come to Milan to celebrate their anniversary. Because she was an opera lover, her husband had brought his wife to Milan to see a show at the famed La Scala opera house. At this point, I asked which piece they were seeing. "Placido Domingo is playing the title role in "Cyrano de Bergerac," the woman explained. I immediately became very excited at the prospect of seeing this amazing performer in one of the most eloquent classical love stories. So, I inquired at the hotel's concierge desk about tickets. As luck would have it, there were still seats available-- THREE ROWS FROM THE STAGE.

The opera was breathtaking. It was the performance of a lifetime. It was not only Placido Domingo's voice that made his portrayal remarkable. He is also a virtuosic actor. When the show ended, the audience sprang from their seats. The cast received 15 curtain calls.

Placido Domingo as Cyrano.

This post is not just about the profound emotional effect of beautiful art, which is of course a very worthwhile topic on its own. This post is also about a story. It is about connecting across cultures. By engaging with two people whom I did not share a country, a language or a culture, I was able to learn about an incredible opportunity. I took this encounter as a lesson. If we keep ourselves open, and we are unafraid of reaching out, we can learn so much about how to live a better life.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Welcome to the World

The month of February finds us on another rapid-fire tour through Europe for three different gift and trade shows. Thus far, we've stopped in Birmingham, England and Frankfurt, Germany. We are now at the last stop on our circuit in Milan.

Our appearances at each of the shows have been fantastic successes, in large part due to a diverse array of new international customers. It has been an amazing experience to meet and work with people from around the world. After this trip, Rosanna product will be appearing in a host of new locales. Here is a sampling of places you will be able to find our products internationally:

South Korea
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Dublin, Ireland
The Black Forest in Germany
New Delhi
Berne and Zurich, Switzerland

It has been a pleasure to learn more about these countries through our customers, and I'm thrilled that the Rosanna message is appreciated by a community so rich with cultural diversity. I love the fact that so many people are excited by the lifestyle and philosophy we encourage through our product design. We are delighted to be a part of the global community.

Regards from abroad,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dare To Dream

On a particularly frigid weekend in the middle of January, I was freezing in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a part of the country I had little reason to visit until now. My oldest daughter Alessandra is a sophomore in college, and just transferred from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. to Brown University in Providence.

Of course, I am SO proud of her accomplishment of acceptance to such a phenomenal institution. I was also glad I could help her settle in and see this new and exciting world in which she'll be living in for the next few years. Providence and Brown are both incredibly storied sites. They have histories that are infinitely more far-reaching than anything we have in the Pacific Northwest. The knowledge that so many people from so long ago had lived and learned in this one small place was exciting and amazing.

As a proud mother, I wanted to write this post to share Alessandra's achievement, but also to talk in a wider way about dreams, self exploration, and self actualization.

From the beginning of her time at George Washington, Alessandra wasn't happy. The school didn't ignite her passion, and the atmosphere didn't feel right. Very early on in her freshman year, she decided she wanted to change schools. No sooner than we said yes, she set to work and put the wheels in motion. After a long process of soul searching, applying, and waiting (both before and after her acceptance) we finally arrived at Brown on a snowy January day. Throughout the weekend orientation, Alessandra kept saying how happy and fulfilled she felt. I could certainly see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice. As a parent, you wish the world for your child. But, seeing your child go out and take the world for herself is another level of happiness I was fortunate enough to witness.

This is a photo of the new transfer students as they walk through Brown's main gate to begin their career as Brown students (it's only opened twice a year for new students to walk in and graduating seniors to walk out).

There's Alessandra on her way through the gates.

The second semester transfer students accompanied by the Brown Marching Band.

The lesson is this: regardless of whether you are a young adult with a horizon full of new possibilities or a mother with two school aged children, it is never too soon to to change your life for the better. As Brown is fond of reminding its students, you are the architect of your own future. You already have all the tools you need to realize yourself and your bliss. All you must do is be willing to explore and to take risks that unlock them.