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.”
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