Wednesday, January 4, 2012
My name is Giovanna and I was born in Italy and I have been living in Los Angeles – on and off – for about 35 years. I had the good fortune of living in some of the most beautiful and visually exciting cities in the world, staring in Florence, then London, Paris, Strasbourg, New York, and finally Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. I studied medicine in Pisa, and I also have bachelor degree in French from the University of Strasbourg. Due to family circumstances, I ended running a family business, which eventually lead to a 40 year career. We had inherited a prestigious store that sold very high quality porcelain and silverware and other objects of Italian design. Running the store went from being a source of income to a true passion for interior decorating, with a special emphasis on table top.
When my family and I moved to Beverly Hills, I opened a similar store, called Richard-Ginori , Italy’s premier brand in porcelain, dating back to 1735. The store became a platform for widening my circle of friends and colleagues to include very famous interior designers and decorators and their famous and very well informed clients. My store became a living room in which clients expected me to present to them new ideas and clever suggestions and I learned as much from as I hopefully was able to teach them.
I have always considered the table, not merely a place to consume meals, but also the chance to reunite with family, friends, and relatives. In my house, the dinner table represented the moment of the day where parents and children would share their problems, their joys, their successes and their failures. My mother was a vital element of this banquet, she was a marvelous cook, and she gave food an enormous importance, as a primary element of family traditions, celebrations of anniversaries and welcome to the guests. For many years, I had been the youngest in the family, and since I was not allowed to speak I developed a great talent for observing and taking in details of the table. There were every day dishes, those for Sundays and big occasions, and those reserved for special guests. We had a very large credenza in the dining room that housed these objects religiously conserved, cleaned, protected and reserved. You can imagine my excitement when many years later because of my work I was able to come in contact with the most beautiful porcelain and silver in the worlds. The table is an art, and it requires different ways of presenting food, of respecting an occasion, and of honoring someone or something. I have tried for more than 40 years to develop and refine that art.
My store in Beverly Hills was my biggest success and so many knowledgeable people and famous decorators applauded the arrival of Richard Ginori to Beverly Hills, and that was always a source of great pride for me. I have not worked for many years, but my passion for creating beautiful tables has stayed with me and I would like to share what I have learned over the years with you so that you can discover the joy of this daily art form. I thank you for your attention.