A chat with the "frontman"
Today we had a pleasant chat with Silvano Quercia, Visconti’s Showroom manager in Florence. He is a valued member of the Visconti team. Many people from all over the world have fond memories of their time and interaction with this distinguished and knowledgeable gentleman.
How did you start your experience in the fountain pen market?
I have been in the field for long time now, but with Visconti I had the chance to represent the “Made in Italy” concept, which I am very proud of. Visconti definitely is an Italian symbol in the world. This is both a great responsibility and a great honor.What does mean for you to sell a Visconti pen? Is it different from selling other pens?
For me, to sell a Visconti can be very easy and very difficult at the same time. Our pens have a standard of high quality, and connoisseurs can easily feel it. The technological aspect as well as the artistic and symbolic references, though, are sometimes so deep that the pen needs to be “told.” I mean, there’s a lot going on “behind the scenes” at Visconti when developing a new writing instrument: there might be a new patented filling system, a particular material, a unique technique. Again, there can be different and deep artistic and symbolic inspirations. This means that a Visconti pens requires a 360 degrees perspective to be fully explained. It’s challenging, but also a way for me to keep learning.
How did the world economic crisis impact your activity?
Less than I’d have expected. Of course the global market was damaged, but we were struck in a lesser way. I have a personal explanation of it: When it comes to cultural needs, such as arts and writing, people will always show enthusiasm and unexpected energies, even under the worst circumstances. For instance, last December when we opened our new Concept Store in Via Porta Rossa there were many hundreds of people who showed up as well as local administration authorities. These are unmistakeable signs that Visconti is an answer to such human necessities, a peaceful refugee where problems are forgotten and the soul is properly fed.
How does working with the Visconti team feel?
It’s important and comforting to be aware that behind my back I have a great organization that ensures the quality and reliability of the products I sell. They’re always available for anything, as I am to them. Actually I’m what I sometimes jokingly refer to as “the frontman.” Many people from all around the world spend some time in the Showroom and to them, I’m Visconti’s face. Selling excellent writing instrument to me is a matter of personal pride and self-realization. So the work “behind the scene” has a greater impact on my person than one would expect.
Is there something you’re particularly fond of in your role as “frontman?”
I have a habit: I keep a journal here, like a guest-book, but of the more personal kind. Also, not just a generic booklet, as its cover and pages are made of our traditional Florence handcrafted paper. I ask my visitors to leave a message, just few words. It mostly contains thanks and colorful greetings, but sometimes people write very intimate and deep thoughts. I admit that some of these thoughts, in their concise depth, strike me and inspire me. I keep them close to my heart, as they are a fragment of the person who interacted with me and which will somehow always be mine. People who visit this place don’t just come and then go away holding their new pen. They leave a trace of their passage, a sign of their own person, here with me, for which I am thankful.
I’m not a young man anymore, you know, but I’ll choose “Passion” over anything.