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The bassist who gets things done
Elena Zuccolo - Braida Srl - Italy
Elena Zuccolo - Export Manager
Elena is a creative jack of all trades. She studied the double bass in Prague and is also a trained translator. With such a breadth of skills, she is clearly a great asset to a small, creative studio. Though her job title suggests she only handles exports, the reality is really rather different. She is a key player in all sorts of projects, often those relating to product development.
Braida Srl works primarily with bespoke products. It is a young, family-run company that has accumulated considerable expertise in production, design and materials. It has experience of project work in over 40 countries, where Elena’s linguistic skills are extremely useful. In its Concepts department, the focus is on creating attractive, practical and comfortable products specifically designed for restaurants, hotels and public spaces. This involves finding technical and design solutions that take into account the properties and look of each different material.
“Product development is very important to our company. We work primarily with bespoke products, based on our customers’ drawings and specifications. As such, we are constantly developing new products and looking for the right solutions.”
Elena on plastics
In Italy, there is a budding interest in sustainability and the environment. In addition, Braida works with partners in many countries, some of which have more stringent demands in these matters than others. Braida does a lot of work on sustainability and the environment. It has an international FSC certificate, among other things, but also works to meet regional requirements.
"For example, for a Swedish client we have certified our products in compliance with Möbelfakta guidelines, a Swedish labelling system based on quality, environmental and social requirements."
However, Elena views the use of traditional plastics as a growing problem that must be addressed with better options.
Elena on Ackurat
We at Ackurat regularly visit Braida in Manzano (north-eastern Italy). A number of people in the product development department also have a log-in on Ackurat’s website where, in addition to all standard products, they can view Ackurat’s prices and stock status as well as Braida’s custom products and order history.
"What we really appreciate about Ackurat are their quick responses and how quickly they send samples. We need these time and time again, for different tests.
On one occasion Ackurat was even so fast as to be problematic: a client changed their mind only a few hours after we had sent our order to Ackurat. But Ackurat had been so quick that the samples were already on their way to Italy. It was all fine in the end, but at the time a few hours’ grace period to think things through would have been good. On the whole, though, Ackurat’s speed is a big plus.”
A client introduced Ackurat
“We started working with Ackurat in 2014. This was because one of our Swedish clients asked us to use Ackurat’s feet on the chairs we were going to manufacture for them. Since then we have used more and more of their products on a number of other items.”