STEFANO SELETTI - SELETTI

Life Instyle sat down with Stefano Seletti, owner of SELETTI to discuss how he inherited the family business from his father Romano, and evolved it into the radical design and homewares store we know and love.

 

What was the spark that inspired you to start your own business?

Seletti is a family company, so the spark was surely my father Romano, who founded the company in 1964. It was a different brand back then and my goal was to work on its evolution; but the lessons I have learned from my father are the guidelines of what I do.

 

What were those first steps you took to launch? And what would you say was the scariest part/your biggest fear?

Following the advice of my dear friend Maurizio Cattelan, I have always tried to do things differently than what others did, always trying to see everything from another side. At the beginning I used to be inspired by others, now I find that others are inspired by Seletti and even copy it! My biggest fear is running out of ideas. Luckily, it has not yet happened!

 

Tell us a bit about how you design/make your product. Who/where/how/why etc.

Hard question! Mainly because Seletti is no ordinary design company, so even the design process is extraordinary. Seletti is a mix of materials that lead to a balanced chaos and it feels magic… but I find it hard to understand how it happens!

        

Describe your customers and the community you have built/embraced.

Seletti inspires radical feelings: either you hate it, or you love it; there is no halfway. I have to admit that even in my own family I see that every day: my mother, for example, has no Seletti pieces in her home; she finds it hard to like what we do, and she criticizes me all the time! And that’s why I have the utmost respect for those who do not like how creativity. On the other hand, people who like Seletti, really love it. 

The difference between our competitors and us is that our customers have become our FANS.

 

 

Describe your customers and the community you have built/embraced.
Our customers want to share our dream. They are interested in interior but also in fashion, food, travel (when possible). They’re basically interested in all lifestyle-oriented subjects. They appreciate sustainable, high-quality lifestyle products inspired by New England design and our Scandinavian heritage. We have many loyal customers who live all over the world and who stay in touch with us through social media. I get very happy when they share with us stories about the products, they bought many years ago, or when they tell me those products are still beautiful and nice to use. Brand awareness is usually passed on through generations. Younger customers have a strong brand recognition from their homes which makes it important to create sustainable and long-lasting products.    

Why is it that you think your customers love about your brand/product?

 It is still a mistery to me! You should ask them.

 

How do you/your team stay inspired and authentic?

Our products reach the four corners of the world (Australia is the perfect example! It is the furthest place from Italy I can think of), but our headquarters are located in the Italian countryside. We are surrounded by an authentic environment, far from big cities, and our product represent what we are: our products are beautiful, positive, clever and they stimulate conversations…I am not sure if we always succeed in making products with all these characteristics but my team and I always work on this!

 

Who would be your dream collaborator?

This interview will surely be read by my collaborators, so I have to say THAT IT IS SURELY TEM!

 

What path led you to Life Instyle and what is it about the show that makes it a great fit for you?

I have always tried to be content for what I had, but starting from that, I have always done everything to improve it.  

 

Can you share any spoilers on what we can expect from your new collection at Life Instyle Sydney?

 I hope I’ll find many FANS to build a good relationship with and also to help each other. If we grow, we have to do it with them.

 

Who are some of the other brands at Life Instyle who you love/admire?

All of them! Just participating to a fair in this historical period is a huge challenge.

 

Can you share one of your proudest moments in business so far?

 I have no memory, and this helps me always build the next proudest moment.

 

 What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?

The one my father used to give me: NEVER BE AFRAID

 

And what advice would you give someone else thinking of starting out?

The same

 

What exciting things are on the horizon for 2021 and beyond?

You should have understood Seletti is too dynamic! It would take me too long to tell you all the things we are working on. But you will see many surprises.

 

When you’re not busy with the business, what’s your ideal way to unwind and give yourself a little bit of self-care?

I do not have much time for myself. I live in a country house with Adriana, my  wife, and my “used-to-be-baby-daughters” Petra and Marià. They never let me get bored, every moment they invent something new. When they get on their phones and disappear, my jackrussell Rio takes care of me. 

 

 

JUST FOR FUN

Karaoke song of choice?
“I ma ruba la bicicleta”  (They stole my bike). The author is an old and nice folk songwriter from my small city. Today my favorite is this one, tomorrow it will definitely be another one.

Favourite Podcast?
I do not really know what a podcast is…

Guilty pleasure?
Red wine

Next holiday location?
The island of Pantelleria, off the coast of Sicily.

 

 

 

Meet the wonderful SELETTI team at Life Instyle Sydney 
17-20 April 2021