The bags of Gabriella, A 2.0 artisan


A sewing machi­ne and a lap­top. The­se two objec­ts besi­de one each other in her studio/workshop tell us a lot about Gabriel­la Gai’s acti­vi­ty: a fabric bag crea­tor and a 2.0 arti­san, as she likes to defi­ne her­self. After atten­ding the “Pas­so­ni” Arts School, she would have cho­sen to con­ti­nue her stu­dies in England, but she tells us: “My mother wouldn’t let me go, the­re­fo­re I enrol­led at the Archi­tec­tu­re Facul­ty”.

Once she had ear­ned her Degree, she began what she calls her “fir­st life”: a job in an Engi­nee­ring Firm main­ly devo­ted to urban deve­lo­p­ment, then a posi­tion with one of the most impor­tant real esta­te ope­ra­tors in the busi­ness sec­tor, and final­ly the post of Human Resour­ces Mana­ger with an Infor­ma­tion Tech­no­lo­gy Com­pa­ny, which was one of the fir­st in Ita­ly to be laun­ching web­si­tes. “In the mea­n­whi­le – she remem­bers – I’ve never given up either doing my need­lework or crea­ting; I nee­ded that to take a break and free my mind”.

Then a series of pri­va­te and pro­fes­sio­nal ups and downs gave Gabriel­la the chan­ce to ful­ly revert to her ori­gi­nal pas­sion: crea­ti­vi­ty. “I bought a sewing machi­ne and began making dog coa­ts, espe­cial­ly for Artu­ro”, her Cava­lier King and inse­pa­ra­ble com­pa­nion of many years.

She not only crea­ted them but she also wro­te the “How to sew a dog coat” hand­book. Hen­ce the deci­sion to enga­ge in a fur­ther endea­vor: the research about recy­cling denim. She makes the fir­st bags, fol­lo­wed lit­tle by lit­tle by new crea­tions, always in que­st of new fabrics and ori­gi­nal sha­pes. “All the­se arti­san expe­rien­ces are stric­tly cor­re­la­ted to what I’ve done during my life – Gabriel­la says. I’ve chan­ged sub­jec­ts and sha­pes, in order to crea­te pecu­liar pie­ces for the Han­di­craft enthu­siasts. I am a fashion acces­so­ries sty­li­st; I make them by my hands and try to always pro­po­se some­thing inno­va­ti­ve.

Besi­de this han­d­craft acti­vi­ty, Gabriel­la has set off on a major spi­ri­tual jour­ney “almo­st an ini­tia­tion for the redi­sco­ve­ry of the true myself”. “A path that helps me also in my job, orien­ting me to the crea­tion of beau­ti­ful, use­ful and func­tio­nal objects.” 

Thus, the hand-quil­ted ruck­sacks with shoul­der straps in lea­ther, or the “tank top” bags, and even the “espa­dril­les”. Gabriel­la has sel­fles­sly deci­ded to share her skills, in fact for some time she has been orga­ni­zing and con­duc­ting clas­ses in her work­shop. “Now, due to the pan­de­mic all has come to a for­ced, tem­po­ra­ry stop, but I keep on crea­ting, I’m not short of ideas and the pas­sion for my han­di­work is still strong. Even if it’s not easy in times like the­se, I move for­ward, becau­se I real­ly belie­ve it.” 

Gabriel­la Gai
Cor­so Mon­te­vec­chio 50
10129 Tori­no
gabriella@gabriellagai.com