Nicola Zago is an expert in the right way to communicate handmade products and their stories. He is co-founder of Sharazad, an agency that specializes in creative communication for the creative industry. We asked him for five tips to help our community of makers and designers become successful.

Nicola is also on the jury of the first edition of our DesignWinMake contest which ends April 30, 2013. If you miss this one dedicated to laser cutting, don't worry, there will soon be another edition and another technique to challenge you!

Nicola in un 500 - foto Francesco Gozzo

The first thing a maker or artisan should do is... Create a network with other people. Not a network of people in the same field, like two welders to make a bigger welding company, but a network that gives added value, with useful competencies in order to sell niche products in a global market: video, management, ecommerce, logistics, customer care. It is absolutely essential that young people are part of this network as they inject energy into places that at this point are often a little demoralized.

In order to develop a competitve edge, the maker ought to concentrate on... What he knows how to do well, drawing from the network that he has created to use other skills that he could never do properly on his own.

The path, not just the final product, is important because... we don't need more products, we need stories!

At Thefab - photo Stefano Schiavo

Physical locations that create contact between people are essential because... areas for production and showrooms should be one and the same. People want to participate in the objects they buy. Historical centers are emptying but industrial areas are also dying out because of lack of energy. Things happen in cities. People, objects and ideas meet and create short circuits. Thefab is a physical location we opened in Verona and is the prototype of a place of work in which thinkers meet makers. Beautiful things have happened and will continue to do so.

The perfect 'maker' object for ecommerce is... sustainable for the person who makes it, for the person who buys it and for the environment. It should be a vehicle for connections between people, not between companies and consumers.


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