To celebrate Women’s History Month, every Friday in March we’ll be featuring women in the design world in our Friday Five column.
Being surrounded by the water of Lake Orta in Pella, Italy, brothers Giovanni and Ersilio Fantini were inspired to launch their family run bathroom and kitchen fixture business, Fantini, in 1947. It seemed only natural for the second generation to take over and that they did, with Daniela Fantini, daughter of Giovanni, now at the helm as CEO. With Daniela running the show, the company has stayed true to the dreams of the founders with quality and functionality being at the forefront, while also concentrating on social responsibility and design-focused products for the modern age. Take a look at what this forward-thinking CEO has chosen as her favorite things, in this week’s Friday Five.
Everything in my life orbits around my family. We are mainly women in the family: my mother, my sister and my cousins, who are my world. I love spending time with them talking, laughing, thinking about new projects and cooking. When we have the time, we enjoy leisurely sitting around a table in a jolly mood.
#2 MY LAKE
My roots are here in the Lake Orta region, a small romantic lake in Northern Italy, where my family lives and my company has established its headquarters. The lake scenery is serene and quiet, time seems to stand still sometimes. On peaceful Sunday mornings, I love having breakfast facing the marvelous view of San Giulio Island, feeling the chilly morning breeze biting my skin while I listen to the chime of distant bells in nearby villages announcing the start of a festive day. I think I could never live anywhere else!
#3 DESIGN AND ITALIAN TASTE
Design runs in my company DNA and in my Italian identity. I find it very interesting to integrate history and tradition into modernity the way we did with architect Piero Lissoni for Casa Fantini Lake Time, a hotel project which just opened on the lake front in Pella, Italy.
Both the outside architecture, which assimilates a pre-existing villa with a new building in total harmony, and the interior are rich in sophisticated contemporary design elements. The result is a rather amazing mix of design, architecture and beautiful scenery.
Friends have a special place in my life. Friends of the heart are the wonderful people I met in my trips to Burundi in Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world. Here, some Italian friends and I came together to make a dream come true. We built an aqueduct to bring clean drinking water to a large community in the Masango area.
#5 LOVE FOR COOKING
Food is my way of taking care of the people I love. I pour all my love and passion in cooking for other people. I am very much Italian in this way! Behind my apple pie, for instance, there is a great story. The recipe was passed on to me by an old friend, Carlo, who used to bake it for his family. So, this is not just a pie in my eyes, but a sign of affection and care.