Happy Father’s Day

In the handcrafted community, so many artistic traditions are passed down to children by their parents. This way, the younger generation can ensure that their ancestors’ legacies live on, and that these rich practices are not lost to the seeming convenience of manufacturing and mass production.

Today, we focus on our fathers. So many of our artisans carry on patrilineal traditions, from Alessandra and Elisabetta, your favorite handbag artisans, to the Battista family, who handcrafts our delicate glass Christmas trees. All of these artisans have made it their lives’ work to carry on the artistic methods their fathers passed down to them. Every day, with every deft movement of their hands, they honor those who came before them.

Here at Uno Alla Volta, while we may not be artisans ourselves, we still make it a priority to celebrate our fathers. I hope you enjoyed the stories of love and gratitude from our team members as well!

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The Folklore of Mermaids

The folklore of mermaids dates as far back as the Paleolithic Era, 30,000 years ago, when paintings of these seafaring maidens were found on the walls of caves. These mythical creatures are present in the art and oral traditions of almost every culture worldwide. From Homer’s “Odyssey” to Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” mermaids have permeated literature for children and adults throughout most of written history. Even well-known historical figures such as John Smith, Henry Hudson, and Christopher Columbus noted mermaid sightings in their travel logs.

Whether you believe in the existence of these sunbathing sirens or simply love fairytales, we hope all of our handmade mermaid treasures will inspire a childlike sense of wonder within you.

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American Anniversaries

Patriotic holidays have always had additional significance in my family, because my parents’ wedding anniversary is on Flag Day and my grandparents’ wedding anniversary is on the Fourth of July. This sweet coincidence began by accident, because my grandmother and her sisters worked in a family-owned dry cleaner’s shop and could only have their weddings on days the business was closed, which infused these holidays with even more cause for celebration. Beyond barbeques and fireworks, so many of my summer memories are filled with celebrations of the love I was born from.

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This perfect pair is celebrating 27 years of marriage today.

Every summer, after the grill was lit and the sparklers were unboxed, we celebrated our love for each other and our country. These sweet, patriotic anniversaries usually featured celebratory red, white, and blue cakes decorated with whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries. For my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, my mother even made them a matching corsage and boutonniere featuring the same patriotic palette.

In my family, as well as many others, celebrating love and successful marriages is synonymous with the American dream. Watching these relationships deepen over the course of my life exemplified classic American values of hard work and commitment, as well as the freedom to choose partners and build families exactly how we see fit.

Today, we toast to this soil and to everything that has grown here.

-Anna, Associate Marketing Manager- Content

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Looking for your own red, white, and blue treasures? Shop our patriotic collection today!

Visions of the Coast

Ronald of Connecticut, a masterful woodworker, creates kaleidoscopes to bring a sense of childlike joy to his collectors. His work often memorializes famous lighthouses, honoring the coastal culture of his New England home. Lighthouses symbolize safety and homecoming, making any of his pieces a great gift for a loved one. We are so proud to welcome Ron and his mesmerizing kaleidoscopes back to our Uno Alla Volta family!

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Want to see all of Ron’s kaleidoscopes? You can visit his artisan page here.

Summer of Wonder

There is nothing like this sunny season of beach days and barbecues to bring us back to simpler times.

Growing up in coastal Connecticut, I spent many long and lazy days on the shore with my parents and sisters. When I had my own daughters, I held their hands as they walked on the same sand, warmed by the wonder in their eyes as they felt the motion of the waves and held seashells in their tiny palms.

The nostalgic magic of the sea resonates with so many of us because it returns us to these moments of awe for the natural world. From elegant seahorses to mythical mermaids, the treasures tucked within these pages are sure to awaken the childlike wonder within your own heart.

 

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Terri and her husband, Bruce, relaxing on the beach

Zodiac Sign Celebration: Cancer

Ruled by the ever-changing moon, those born under the sign of Cancer lead highly emotional lives. Born between June 22 and July 22, individuals of this water sign are very sensitive and perceptive. Their deep intuitions often lead them to pursue artistic passions, from painting to writing to music. These individuals are incredibly loyal and resilient as well.

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These Venetian glass pearls are exquisite recreations of June’s birthstone.

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Handcrafted of Capodimonte porcelain, this sweet sculpture depicts June’s birth flower.

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Complete with real gold foil, this yellow rose champagne flute will delight any Cancer.

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This hand-blown paperweight celebrates the moon, which rules the sign of Cancer.

 

Shopping for a Gemini instead? See our curated assortment here.

Father’s Day Gift Shop

Still looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? Uno Alla Volta caries a wide variety of unique, handmade gifts for men, including everything from hand-thrown mugs to sterling silver cufflinks. We all know handmade gifts are the most heartfelt, but who says you have to make them yourself? Whether you’re shopping for your father, stepfather, grandfather, the father of your children, or simply a special dad in your life, you’re sure to find the perfect gift here.

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Celebrating The Human Connection

We thought you would enjoy the letter below, which details the day our artisan Antonino’s daughter met Terri, our CEO, and began their mutually beneficial business partnership.

I remember very well the day I met Terri, Terri Alpert.

It was last year and a normal day of work started for me, very intense as usual.

At that time I worked as a sales clerk in a large shop in Anacapri, on the wonderful island of Capri, which has always been source of inspiration for artists and writers.

That morning, as usual, I was trying to figure out what the many tourists found more fascinating inside the shop: a mega store that still offers high-quality goods such as Capri linen clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories, fine ceramics of the Amalfi Coast, handmade perfumes, cashmere shawls, and finally, what would have connected me to Terri: the inlay of Sorrento.

It was for me the second year of work there and since the beginning I had noticed that the inlay pieces that the store used to propose didn’t have the brightness of colors and the refinement of style that my father’s pieces had. For this reason, I had proposed to the purchasing manager to introduce some pieces of inlay made by my father. He is an artisan, a bit shy and anchored to the tradition and hardly tries on his own initiative to find new dealers, but the shop customers liked his artworks and sales grew.

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I usually didn’t like to stay in the inlay department, because I didn’t want my colleagues and superiors to think that I could promote my father’s works instead of other artisans’ work. That morning, however, I noticed that a sunny, distinct woman with a direct gaze was looking with curiosity at the wall on which my father’s creations hung.

The lady who caught my attention was looking at one of the most tender creations by my father, which represents two kittens, perhaps in love, who, while twisting their tails, admire the panorama of the Gulf of Naples under a lemon tree branch.

I got closer to her, explaining the technique of the inlay, and with my surprise, she asked me who the author of that work was. I rarely said that it was my dad, because I did not want people to feel obliged to buy. Deciding to leave a product is simpler when the author or someone close to him is not present, and I did not want my father’s creations to be bought under forcing.

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But to that lady I said I knew the author. She asked me again who he or she was. I told her that the author was my dad. Her eyes smiled at me, and she said she would take that piece, introducing herself as Terri Alpert. She told me of her business in the United States called Uno Alla Volta, explaining the large number of customers it has and the large number of catalogs it regularly prints and mails. Smiling, she told me that she was in Capri on vacation and that her best “discoveries” had happened just when she was on holiday. This is how a normal morning turned into an extraordinary one that led to my father’s collaboration with Uno Alla Volta for more than a year now.

Kittens have become “Cats under the Lemons.” There was “In Love on the Bench,” “Sunflowers on the Bay,” and now “Sailing In Blue Waters.” The last three works were created exclusively for Uno Alla Volta, with themes requested directly by Terri and her extraordinary collaborators. Work has increased for my dad, and it is with great joy that I now see his skills and passion being appreciated so much overseas. I watch the videos where Terri presents my father’s works on TV, I see his picture on the front page of Uno Alla Volta’s catalog, there is a blog page written exclusively to him and his art and this makes me so proud and happy. I feel that my father and his business now have the visibility they deserve. There are so many people who call themselves an “artist” in this field, but my dad has never bragged about his skill, and that is precisely what makes him a great artist.

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But let’s go back to my meeting with Terri. I explained to her the realization process of the product and then I accompanied her to the cashier. We exchanged our contacts. She told me she was interested into a collaboration with my dad. I was immediately excited. There had been empathy among us, and that made our meeting even more special.

I also have my role in this collaboration. I am the linguistic and technological link between my father and Uno Alla Volta. I curate the contacts with the company via email, I make photos and videos, and I organize the shipments with my father. Also, I am often consulted by him for the new projects and new commissions requested by Terri. I try to give a touch of modernity to my father’s traditional taste. Together, we are able to create the right products for Uno Alla Volta’s customers. Once the design is done, Dad must decide the colors. His knowledge about the wood timbers is very deep thanks to years of experience. When I don’t like a color I tell him, but he always has the last word.

That morning, I would not have imagined that new opportunities would be presented to my father and also to me. It was a casual encounter between Terri and me which has certainly brought satisfaction and positivity to my father’s business. What more can I say? Fate has given us a nice gift, and we are happy to be a part of this big family called Uno Alla Volta.

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Our artisan Antonino and his daughter, Marianna

Shop all of Antonino’s intarsia artwork here!

Father’s Day Memories

We hope you will enjoy these memories from our team in celebration of Father’s Day!

Terri

Dad, thank you for believing in me.

Thank you for supporting me.

Thank you for being there for my husband and children, always.

Thank you for being a sounding board, and for biting your tongue when I know you really want to say “I told you so”.

Thank you for giving me life and never letting me take it for granted.

And thank you for teaching me the importance of family and keeping my family together!

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-Terri, Founder & CEO

Lorraine

Growing up as a little girl, there was never anyone bigger or stronger than my dad. I remember feeling so small in his presence, I always felt such a strong sense of protection from him, like nothing could ever hurt me as long as he was there, surely I loved being ‘daddy’s little girl’.

As I grew older, he supported me in different ways. He always encouraged me to try new things, instilled a strong work ethic through his own example, encouraged me to be independent, always told me I could achieve anything I set my mind to, and even as a young child, he never shielded me from the (sometimes cold) realities of the real world, something to this day I am so very grateful for.

It was his loving but realistic approach to being a father that so prepared me for the times he wasn’t there, like when I moved to NYC for college at the age of 18 (being in my 30’s, I now understand his concern), or traveled internationally for my first study abroad experience, I always carried with me the life lessons he had shared with me all of those years ago.

As much as I have always loved, cared for and appreciated my father, it is amazing how much this continues to grow with my age. I have had the luxury of seeing him be a grandfather to my nephew and two nieces, and it makes me so excited to know there are still so many things we will share. His example has allowed me to know the type of man I want in a husband and father to my future children, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be his daughter.

Wishing my dad Raymond, and all of the wonderful father’s out there a very Happy Father’s Day!

-Lorraine, Digital Marketing Manager

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Anna

At seventeen years old, I made the announcement that all hardworking, suburban parents dread hearing: I was going to move to New York to go to art school. While this may have seemed like a flighty pipe dream at face value, I was too young and starry-eyed to choose a sturdier, straighter path for myself. I was told throughout the years by everyone from strangers to family members that there was no money in the arts, and especially no money in my passion of memoir writing.

As it turned out, my college experience was the most enchanted period of my life. While my friends were stuck in classes like “Accounting 101” and “Nineteenth Century British Literature” at other schools, I was soaking up courses like “Riot Grrrls And Radical Women” and “The Art Of The Novella.” In such a small school, I had professors who took the time to know and mentor me personally, no doubt ensuring I would grow to be the writer I am today.

Although post-graduate life was an unsure and turbulent time filled with temp jobs and retail work, I finally found a career in writing at Uno two years after graduation. In this job, I have been given opportunities to travel the country and the world, writing about my experiences, the kindhearted artisans I’ve met, and all of our products, many of which I have watched come to life through every step of their creation. Through many missteps and happy accidents, I found a career doing what I love in a steady job.

This Father’s Day, I want to thank my dad for supporting all my dreams mentally, emotionally, and financially. It was the greatest kindness I have ever been extended.

-Anna, Associate Marketing Manager- Content

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Minetta

Growing up as the only daughter in a family with three brothers, I have always been Daddy’s Little Girl, even to this day! As a Vietnam veteran, my dad has always been a hero to me, and undoubtedly my favorite person. I have a newborn son, Kyler, and the fact that my parents are retired and can care for him every day while I’m at work means everything to me.

-Minetta, Merchandising Manager & Accessories Buyer

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Summer Packing List

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Are you packing up for a day trip or a weekend getaway? Uno Alla Volta has everything you need to make a striking statement while on vacation. These colorful new arrivals are sure to become instant favorites in your summer wardrobe. If you’re looking for a quality handbag, this colorblock crossbody and our white leather and bamboo handbag are both handmade in Florence. To carry inside your new leather purse, we have Florentine leather lipstick cases in both navy blue and light blue. To complete your ensemble, don’t forget to add the gorgeous Dupioni silk-trimmed sun hat!