Cats and Dogs

After visiting Mero & More and understanding their structure, we finally got to visit their head organization, Consorzio Della Moda. The consortium was founded in 2000 by young entrepreneurs and their small companies after they realized in order to compete internationally, they “need to get together.” The success of the organization is due to the structure of being built from the bottom-up. There is a total of 48 companies that paid for membership of this consortium. In their membership, small companies gain access to a large, international network, training and education, and managerial organization. All 48 members are technically competitors, and their “cats and dogs” relationships make it hard to be friends. However, smart entrepreneurs recognize that they need a large reach through a large network, thus joining the consortium. They also recognize that competing with each other allows them to be stronger in international competition. Consorzio Della Moda holds 20% of the fashion market in their region, which has 9500 companies in the clothing and textiles sectors but only 100,000 workers so roughly 10 workers per company. The companies are very small because most of them are families. When they join together in the consortium, they find strength in numbers. Within the consortium, the leaders emphasize all “Made in Italy” products. All the production is focused in their region, which allows easier access to supplies; with everything made locally, the process of production is faster and companies can react more quickly to trends. Apart of supporting local smaller companies, Consorzio Della Moda also promotes the Italian regions. With their branch, Verona Vale, they aim to share the worth of Verona and spread its name for everyone to hear. Up until recently, the average stay in Verona was only 2 hours, but now it’s 1 day. The value of the region increasing is indirectly tied to the value of the consortium increasing. They want everyone to know Verona and appreciate the beautiful city that it is. Consorzio Della Moda is an inspiring organization that I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about. After the visit, the group had free afternoons to spend in the city. We spent our time taking it all in once more because walking through the streets never gets old in Verona. To finish off the last full day in Verona, we spent the night watching the sunset at the small beach area on the river by the Verona castle. With the pink, orange, purple-ish skies above the reflective river, the setting was a perfect way to gather the entire group, all 24 students, and say “Arrivederci!” to Verona, an underrated beautiful city.

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