MILAN — During their first lockdown in Milan in the spring, friends Margherita Picardi and Gaia Venuti found the time to turn a dream into reality: establishing a jewelry brand with a distinctive attitude.
Picardi, a goldsmith and jewelry designer and owner of the Mapi Jewelry label, and Venuti, a well-known Milan-based creative entrepreneur, wanted to fill a gap in the market. “There are so many brands doing custom jewelry around, but there is not so much offering when it comes to fine jewelry with a twist,” said Venuti, who has founded a popular nail salon and who this summer will open a guest house on the remote island of Astypalea, Greece.
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Infusing irony and playfulness in their brand, Picardi and Venuti also conceived a summery, holiday variation of the “Brown Sugar” jewelry line, creating a necklace where an octagonal-cut citrine quartz or an amethyst are matched with a neon green sailing-inspired rope, while for a more minimal style, they developed the squared “Dude” gold earring crafted by combining traditional and innovative 3D techniques.
The Eroina999 “Love Boat” necklace. Courtesy of Eroina999
Spanning from 150 euros for a paper clip-inspired earring to 5,200 euros for an eye-catching ring combining white gold, amethyst and diamonds, Eroina999 is a direct-to-consumer business. “We sell the collections through our online store, but in this phase most of our clients are word-of-mouth and they get to know us through our personal and business connections,” said Venuti. As Picardi highlighted, the brand aims to develop a wholesale business, especially focused on luxury fashion stores.
While the brand doesn’t operate a bespoke service yet, at the same time Eroina999 enables the pieces to be personalized with initials or names. “We also give people the chance to have a specific style with a different stone, for example,” Picardi said. “However, since our pieces are all handmade and we use only high-end natural gems, we can say that each piece is sort of one-of-a-kind.”
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