When soulmates cross paths, something beautiful is created
“I enjoyed my time working in the hospitality sector,” Martin explains. “Over the years, my responsibilities shifted more towards construction management. This is how I discovered that I get a kick out of advising people on interior design. When I met Chiara again after all those years, I was in the midst of developing a new hotel. Our conversations soon turned to the topics of stoneware, plaster, toilet bowls and taps. We discovered that our paths which had diverged before, had found a way to cross again.”
In the years in between their encounters, Chiara had specialised in interior design sales and had held an executive position at an Italian design company in New York. In addition to selling interiors, Chiara discovered she had a talent for designing interiors, a passion that proved unstoppable. However, circumstances forced her to go back to Italy.
Chiara explains: “I returned to Italy from New York to handle sales management for a large contracting company. However, the economic crisis put the construction company I worked for under such pressure that it eventually went under. In that I saw an excellent chance to follow my heart.”
“I realised that as an employee, I always worked as if I was working for my own company, but without my team and I getting credits for that. That’s where the ambition originates to do things different. Together with two talented and experienced collegues I managed to get hold of the company and start all over, under the name of Maribo Srl, situated in Padova, near Venice. A construction company with a strong focus on people, regarding our employees as well as our customers.”
Chiara is a real a people’s manager; her staff is everything to her. For the first year, she turned down her salary to make sure the company would survive. And it did. “My passion for interiors and design was still as important to me as the company. When I spoke to Martin again in September 2019, we both came to the same conclusion: sadly, a lot of fake products are sold in today’s interior design industry.”
“In practice, what starts out as a beautiful design often ends as a poor imitation of the original idea. You can blame mass production for that, along with companies that think it’s okay to introduce such soulless products into a high-end interior. Martin and I decided to show the world that things can really be done differently, starting in the Netherlands.”