Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Florentine: 'How did you come up with that idea?'

We moved to Florence in September 2004. It was election year in the U.S. and so we were reading the International Herald Tribune every day. Given that we were in Florence, we wanted more than international news in English we wanted our 'local' news, too. Unable to find a newspaper that had local Florence and Italian news in English, my husband commented, "Florence should have a newspaper like the one we used to read in San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), like they have in Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, Barcelona, and most other major international cities." My response was that perhaps Tony should start such a paper, I thought it would be a great project for him. Being a serious and professional business man, Tony knew it would be necessary to do market analysis, research, due diligence, etc. Being a professional management consultant, I realized that you couldn't study a project that had never been done before, so I applied the 'just do it' approach.

The first person I talked with about the project was my Italian teacher's husband, Leonardo Cardini. I knew that he was a graphic artist and had a small communications' firm that produced websites, brochures and other printed material. I asked Leo where I could get something printed in Florence. He wanted to know what I wanted printed. I explained that I wanted local, Florentine news, in English. I was thinking that maybe we would print a newsletter. Leo called me back and said he and his partners wanted to do it with us.
In November, we decided to start The Florentine, none of us had ever worked as journalists or publishers before. None of us had any experience of making a newspaper. I knew about 2 months of beginning Italian, I knew even less about my partners, I didn't have a clue about how to start or run a business in Italy. But 4 months later, on April 21, 2005, the first issue of The Florentine was issued.
How we got it started in that amount of time, with no money, no knowlege, no experience....just love, passion and a lot of guts.... was a miracle.

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