The road from “A-ha” to “I’m a designer” might feel like it went 75MPH, especially reading about it here, but in reality, most of those stretches of time were more like 25MPH! Two years had passed from the moment I knew the world needed quality cork accessories to the day I was laying out my brand on paper.
Two years of steady, thoughtful work. First, there was research - Ugh! such a boring word for learning how to bring a vision to life don’t you think? But my hard work paid off! If you have a question about cork, I have the answer! Try to stump me! That same zest for knowledge led me to take a sewing class. Crafting my own handsewn sample? Hot damn! Nothing has ever felt better than holding that beauty after snipping the final thread!
Meeting my first manufacturer led me to fall in love with the process of creating a design to watch it come to life at the hands of a skilled craftsman. I tested cork and tested it again. I wore my designs (always my favorite part! Who doesn’t love compliments for beautiful style!), taking each one through rigorous tests, and then, testing them some more. Two years of waiting, growing, maturing. My line was nearly fully bloomed and it was time to build a brand!
What’s in a name? Shakespeare may have had some poetic thoughts about names, but I knew this was huge. Names have weight in the fashion world and when you bring a design that is heavy on style, it needs a name to match. My personal styling brand, Dettamoda, was a name made up from two Italian words: dettaglia (details) and moda (style). Personal style is largely influenced by the details that you are attracted to...you know, the accessories, patterns, and textures (Heeelllo darling cork handbags!). Said with flair, Dettamoda, rolls off the tongue and feels luxurious…but outside the fashion world, the pronunciation fell flat. Dead-A-Moda. YUCK! It would never do for my line of cork accessories!
I had always shied away from using my name. Would people think I had an ego naming my line after myself? Phewy! The one thing you can always own in this world is your name, and I had a product I was ready to put my name behind. It isn’t like my name was Hildegard VonSmitterhouse (no offense to the Hildegards of the world!) Not only does Paula Parisotto give praise to my husband, Fausto, and the wonderful Italian family that I was lucky enough to marry into but it also gives a nod to my Swiss-Italian heritage, Giudici. (Some of the finest fashion houses are in Italy, designing must be in my blood!) It was easy to say, not to mention, my cork line was 100% ME, so why not let the world know it! I hit up several marketing gurus, and got a virtual high-five on the name, so PP it was!
Next stop on this journey was to create a brand image. I’m not talking a photo shoot here (that came later!), I’m talking about the logomark, the typography, branding colors, and patterns. Ooooo! Patterns! Basically, Heaven to this designer! I am all about creating a cohesive look! I knew I needed just the right person. Someone who could infuse my heart into the look of the brand. More research, and a handful of interviews later, I had found my girl. Before pulling the trigger, I took one more look through her portfolio (and I'm glad I did.) One of her clients caught my eye. A brand strategist. Ohhh...I liked her. I liked her a lot. Moments later I was sending Melinda an email….
Each kismet moment on this journey has taught me to trust my intuition. Choosing Marks and Maker's Melinda was more than I had hoped for. We met up in Malibu, California (it’s a rough life, I tell ya!) the midway point between our homes, for an intensive discovery process. And Melinda dug deep, like a whole day deep. I left our meeting in that strange space where exhaustion meets exhilaration. My body was tired, but my soul was alive with possibilities!Two weeks later, with shaking hands, and a racing heart, I opened the brand roadmap that Melinda had crafted. Tears began to gather behind my lashes as she walked me through each element of the brand. This was so much more than a logo and pretty colors. This was my dream, my heart, written down on paper and laid out in visual perfection. I was holding my future and she looked better than ever!