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Diamonds, Italian Expertise, and Time-Honoured Tradition: An Interview with Leo Pizzo

The jewellery brand Leo Pizzo is one of the most popular brands among customers in the whole world. Its ability to innovate by respecting tradition, anticipate trends, and introduce new pieces into the market, a result of fruitful creativity and artisanal craftsmanship, has made Leo Pizzo an international luxury brand. The conversation with the representative of the Leo Pizzo brand began on a delightful note. Just a few hours prior to the interview, Signor Pizzo and his wife, Signora Rosaria, became grandparents for the first time. As the factory in Valenza, their family business was adorned with flags to celebrate Anna-Lisa's birth, we delved into discussions about the brand's philosophy, Italian craftsmanship, and traditions.

Could you describe the creative process – from concept to realisation?
Even though it might appear simple at first, it's quite a complex process. The main thing here is not only the idea but its realisation. The process encompasses seven to eight stages, commencing with an initial spark of inspiration, which can be drawn from various sources, such as nature or art. That's why we often attend exhibitions and admire various architectural designs. We're lucky to reside in a country where art surrounds us at every corner. However, it's the implementation phase that consumes most of our time and resources. Our products are artisanal, requiring constant development and improvement.

Are you involved at all stages of the process?
We have a team of 70 employees, some of them have been working exclusively with us for over 20 years. We also have younger team members who will eventually replace those who retire. Being at the factory allows me to be in close contact with my children, who also work there. My wife, my children, and I spend our days together in our company – it's extremely important for us. This kind of bond is truly irreplaceable. The company has grown alongside me, and I consider myself fortunate to continue working with many of the same people I started with. I find it highly rewarding and hope that it remains this way in the future.

It must be a significant factor in your success when the entire family works together, wouldn't you say?
It is paramount to me that my family works together. Moreover, from a commercial perspective, it holds great significance. When customers observe that the company continues to operate as a family, it builds faith in us. The vision our children bring also complements the traditions embedded in the brand's foundation.

Could you please tell us more about the company's initiative 'training young jewellers'? How does it work
There is always something new to learn in the art of jewellery making. We are dedicated craftsmen, and preserving our craftsmanship is our priority. Our uniqueness lies in our abilities and the artistry of handcrafting. The ability and skill to work by hand come with time, and it cannot be learned in a short period. Our town, Valenza, is renowned for its tradition of goldsmithing – it's a jewellery town. Here it is possible to learn to work with gold, but you have to be trained before you can work with gemstones. My wife, daughter, and I are involved in teaching this craft. In Valenza, there's a saying: "You can't learn how to work; you can only steal it," which means that practical experience is the most valuable teacher.

Can anyone come to train, or are there any selection criteria?
Anyone can come and ask to be trained. If we notice that they have a talent for it, why not? Those who demonstrate skill and perform well can earn a substantial income.

Do you have a preference for certain gemstones in your work, or are there specific pieces that hold a special place in your heart among all your creations?
Our top priority is quality. While the market is vast with many options, we exclusively work with authentic gemstones such as sapphire, emerald, ruby, and, mostly, diamonds, which make up about 90 percent of our creations. The diamond market is well-established in India. Many years ago, we connected with key figures who are currently at the forefront of the industry, and we buy directly from them. It's important to eliminate intermediaries and distributors and collaborate directly with trusted manufacturers. As an entrepreneur, establishing trust with the right company is paramount because diamonds and jewellery represent a significant investment. And even if you keep up with the times and follow fashion, you have to realise that many values remain as family heirlooms. What other product can ensure your wealth? For example, an expensive car can depreciate, but not jewellery. Everything my wife possesses, she intends to pass down to our granddaughter, Anna Lisa.

What should an ordinary customer, not well-versed in the intricacies, pay attention to when purchasing jewellery? Are there any tips to help unmistakably recognise the work of a master?
It's a challenging task. While experts like us can discern specific details, it can be quite daunting for those without in-depth knowledge. For them, it's better to invest a little more in a high-quality product from a trusted jeweller, rather than risk buying an unknown piece. The most important aspect is to visit someone you trust, a competent jeweller. Regardless, always prioritise quality. Quality products often come with a higher price tag. For example, if I were living in Baku, I'd choose Italdizain, as they represent reputable companies that can be trusted. Becoming a skilled jeweller takes time and experience.

Becoming a skilled jeweller takes time and experience

What did you manage to see in Baku, and what particularly caught your attention?
Baku stands apart from other cities with its unique blend of modernity and a slower, more picturesque pace. You can observe all these modern buildings, which are beautiful and prestigious. However, despite all the contemporary development, the old city has been preserved. We appreciate how our products are presented, and our saleswomen share this enthusiasm. The sincerity between buyers and sellers plays a vital role in the sales process.