Shirin Persia: a dream that has become an artisan company

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.

  • Pho­to Ali­re­za Azadkia

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.