With a new postcard we go to Iran, magical ancient Persia, an incredibly large and multifaceted country, with artistic and artisanal origin. Ala Azadkia accompanies us in this fantastic discovery, talking to us from Trento about her professional adventure that is strictly intertwined with the human one.
Ala is Iranian: a mechanical engineer there while here in Italy she is a managerial engineer. In Italy not only she meets the love of her life (with her husband Davide she shares a love for nature and a passion for climbing) but she also succeeds, starting from a thesis,to develop a strategic project that will turn into “Shirin Persia”. What does “Shirin” mean? It means “Dolce” in Italian: Ala is very sweet but she is also very determined to take the best of a resource from her country and to convert it into handicrafts, made by local cooperatives and promoted and distributed from Trento. We are talking about saffron, known as “Red gold”, the second Iranian product after oil. 95% of saffron in the world comes from Iran. Ala’s winning idea, supported by a vision of the fair and supportive market, not only aimed by profit, was to use the petals of an extraordinary color and to covert them into objects.
That is how the project “Shirin Persia” was born years ago: “I thought I’d give substance to my thesis with an accurate business plan. I have contacted local cooperatives and started with them the production of decorative candles. Later we continued with bijoux made with dried flowers that we put inside handmade bags dyed with petals, beautiful scarves thanks to women from the cooperative of Khorashad. When you buy our products through the website, it means you enter the life of those who made these products”. When it was possible, Ala was promoting responsible trips to Iran with Travel and Mirage Agency.
“I choose the best quality of saffron from the province of Qa’en, in the southern Khorasan region. I have created a short supply chain to make consumers aware of the knowledge and culture of saffron and those who produce it. Davide and I are the consortium of Shirin Persia, companions in life, united in a dream made up of projects and values. The name of our community, the first one of Slow food, is “community of producers and co-producers of Qu’en saffron”. I am very happy because in this way I am able to enhance eyerone’s commitment and the success of the group. From here I am able to motivate this group mostly made of women”.
We know that also in Italy she is able to join local producers of another kind.
“It is the same idea: collaboration and integration for quality products that use our saffron, sharing work ethic and solidarity with us. For example, with Lucia Delvecchio, owner of the 5+ craft brewery, the saffron wheat beer with American hops, dry and refreshing; with Angelo Pezzarossa of the Nuova Lady Paricceria in San Secondo Parmense, a very good colomba based on saffron and cedar (soon also savory biscuits). In our online bazaar everything is available”. We ask her about the plans for the future: “We have big plans for the future” she tells us enthusiastically “We are expecting to have accessories made with fabrics with beautiful embroideries, bags, extraordinary and unique bijoux, natural prints with saffron flowers on handmade fabrics with which you can make clothes where the fabric is the protagonist”. The list would be long, we wish Ala all the best: she deserves it for the ethical values she persues and that we support. With her a real handmade, truly zero kilometers in sharing.