Last week, the Business in Europe and Int’l Marketing students ventured outside of Perugia to Gualdo Tadino and Città di Castello. These two charming Umbrian towns are known for their skillfully crafted artisan products including traditionally-made ceramics and furniture. Students interviewed the artisans in their workshops and learned everything from how paints are mixed using the same techniques from the 1500’s, how kiln secrets are passed down from generation to generation, to the sustainability efforts being made to preserve the wood supply in Italy.
After visiting several workshops and a furniture exposition, students now have the task of assisting the regional Umbrian government in uniting Umbrian artisans under a new brand called ‘Umbria Artigianato’. With this brand, the local government hopes to strengthen and promote their high-quality artisan industries both in Italy and abroad. Equipped with the knowledge of how Umbrian artisan workshops operate and the history and passion behind them, students will design group presentations for the regional government. For these formal presentations, students will research and discuss different strategies, obstacles, and opportunities that exist to successfully market this brand to the United States.
This collaboration brings to life a real case study- helping preserve Umbrian artisan industries in a time of economic difficulty where quality over quantity continues to be the golden rule. This service learning project, which integrates community work with classroom theory, will continue in the coming semesters at Umbra. Stay tuned!