Valenza, just an hour and a half south of Milan by train, has been the home of generations of jewellery makers, and Mr. Pino Manna is one of them. This is a peaceful town with streets lined with trees and condominiums. It might be difficult for one to realise that Mr. Manna has been running his business right here for over 30 years.
Mr. Manna discovered his passion for jewellery-making by chance, when his uncle invited him to Valenza one summer to see his jewellery workshop. The 15-year-old boy became so fascinated with the line of work that he moved there to start learning how to make jewellery.
"While I studied the theories of jewellery-making and gemmology. Every day I also had the opportunity to practise what I learnt," he explained. "I'd say three hours of study and five hours of hands-on work would be the right kind of balance for those who want to learn jewellery-making." Mr. Manna emphasized that the learning-and-working process was crucial because it kept motivating him, and his passion kept growing.
After years of working for renowned, international jewellery brands, Pino Manna launched his own brand in 1977, with himself and now, also his daughter Cinzia, at the helm of the family business.
The Pinomanna headquarters indeed feels like a family establishment. Design, administration and sales department are on the ground floor, and the workshop is in the basement where model-making, production, finishing and quality control take place. Besides having an in-house designer, Mr. Manna also designs, and is always answering questions from his team of craftsmen.
The brand comes up with new designs every three days, and produces around 150 jewellery pieces each month. The dazzling collections include Bonbon, Eterna, Ghirigori, Lune, Pois, Puzzle (which features intricate framework and pavé setting); Ricami (with a blossom-inspired design); Terra Bruciata (with a bolder, rounder silhouette); and Natural Chic (with an exuberant animal and insect design). There is also a classic collection called "Desideri" which consists of solitaire diamond rings and tennis bracelets.
While the design is creative, Pinomanna’s pieces are, above all, timeless. They can be passed down from mother to daughter, from generation to generation. “Whenever a woman admires her Pinomanna jewellery, she will remember how she has been given this treasure and recall fond memories.” The brand also creates one-off pieces for customers with special requests. All they have to do is sent Pinomanna an email.
While Pinomanna has one boutique in Modena's Piazza Grande, the brand has carefully-selected distributors and wholesalers in Italy and around the world. Its top markets are the U.A.E., Japan and the U.S.
With such a busy business, Mr. Manna said that his “typical” day begins in the evening, when he settles down from a busy day and plays with new ideas. He explained, "It is not always easy, of course, but when you make sacrifices for something you feel passionate about, it doesn't feel like a huge sacrifice. I just love what I do so much that I have fun. Everything starts up here [tapping his forehead] and the rest follows."
Piazza Grande 42, Modena
Tel. +39 059 217 982