OUR VALUES, OUR PEOPLE
Tucked between the foothills of the dramatic Apuan Alps — the same majestic peaks where exquisite marbles like Bianco Carrara are quarried — and the endless stretches of white sand beaches that border the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea is Pietrasanta, an ancient town famous as a pilgrimage site for Renaissance sculptors. Known for its sculpture-filled streets, Pietrasanta has revolved around the extraction of natural stone for centuries. This is where the headquarters of Salvatori has been since the company was founded in 1946.
“Salvatori has a strong company culture,” posits CEO Gabriele Salvatori from his first-floor office in the company’s headquarters, “I think because it started as a family.” Gabriele inherited Salvatori from his father, who in turn had inherited it from his father. Because of this, the company still operates as a close-knit team. “Building a business with your family, you spend so much time together,” he continues thoughtfully, “you work alongside one another, you each lunch together and then you go home and eat dinner together.” Generations later, this unique familiarity still pervades.
“Our goal was always to grow the company while not compromising the people inside,” he explains, discussing the unique make-up of his family business. “The key is finding people who share the same values.” From the office to the workshop, to the network of international salespeople, Salvatori boasts a team of dedicated collaborators. “More than anything we want people to have a sense of belonging. We have employees who began working with us right out of high school, at 18 or 19 years old, and who remain with the company until their retirement. To me, this is the mark of a successful venture,” he explains.
“How we treat people is how we want to be treated as well,” Gabriele says of the company culture at Salvatori. “The human aspect is very relevant when you are talking about craftsmanship because it is not only skills that you are gaining, but also a culture. This is the kind of work that becomes your life, so for someone to dedicate their professional life to doing this, it has to be a passion. Sometimes I come here on Sundays because I need to make a photocopy or I need to do something and I find people working. The sense of belonging is huge.”
Contributing to that longevity is the amount of training and skill that goes into working with natural stone. Starting as an apprentice and working up to be a master takes many years and a significant commitment from all sides. The delicate knowledge of cutting, shaping, and hand-finishing stones is an ancient process that takes patience and time. But despite the company’s achievements in the art of designing with natural stone, Gabriele’s vision for the company looks beyond
“Our DNA, our values and our culture are rooted in natural stone but the company has evolved into something else” Gabriele explains of how the company has grown from just working with natural stone, to creating a holistic design brand that champions sustainable practices, like reducing packaging waste and working only with materials that do not have a negative impact on the environment. “If I have to look at companies that I love, they are always clear and consistent in their values. A company’s mission should not be about growing a business just for the sake of making more dividends, it should be about fostering a positive culture and changing the world for the better. In the future, I believe that people won’t just support brands because they make wonderful products, but because they share their values.”
- Gabriele Salvatori, CEO