This is the beginning of a new series of interviews with female entrepreneurs that are an inspiration to us! We are so psyched to start with our good friend, wonderful mother and art entrepreneur Ginevra Fiorentini! We spent a summer evening together in Siena and spoke to Gini about her experiences as a new freelance mother, continuing to grow a business while staying sane with all the typical first baby whirlwind, and much more! We hope this interview inspires and strengthens you, in a world where women, as well as men, are often torn between work, family and of course their personal desires.
Can you tell us a little bit about your work, Gini?
Of course! Since a couple of years, I run a company called Presenza. As the name suggests I aim to give contemporary emerging art the presence it deserves. We represent emerging artists by showing their work in unconventional commercial venues, like concept stores, boutique hotels, retail shops, particular restaurants with great character and so forth. This way you can go and do your leisure activities whilst seeing a great show and if you fall in love with an artwork, you can purchase it and bring it home.
Ginevra and her son Leopoldo in Siena wearing our Kikoi Reversible Jacket and our Sunglass Strap Rouge.
How did you go from Art PR to starting your own curatorial service for up & coming artists in public spaces?
Since my early studies in Berlin in 2006, I have been hanging out with young artists. That continued in London and after several years I wanted to contribute and use my skills to help them getting out there. Through my art PR experience, I have noticed that the art world is very much behind on how to publicise an artist properly. I decided to give it a try.
While being nine months pregnant you organised an auction at the renowned Saatchi Gallery. How did you handle the stress of such a huge project while being pregnant?
That’s a good question! I think several psychological factors played a role for me. You are waiting for this miracle to happen but this waiting time feels the longest time ever. Having my mind on something else certainly allowed me to not think about it too much. Moreover, your body changes drastically and you want to feel active. You are treated by most people as if you were a mythological goddess walking amongst human beings. You are creating life, so that’s not entirely wrong, however this sudden change of attitude towards you can feel at times slightly odd. Continuing with your daily work will keep you focused. More practically, a good warm bath at the end of the day and a massage by my boyfriend, who luckily happens to be an Osteopath, certainly helped! ;)
You had Leopoldo now almost 9 months ago, how was it to get back into work?
To be honest, harder than I thought. I started when Leo was 3 and a half months old, that was certainly too early. I was not quite used to sleep deprivation and concentrating for a long chunk of time was difficult. However, I was eager to start and get my mind off baby stuff. I cannot explain the immense joy I was overwhelmed by every second I looked at my baby and I still am, but I felt my brain had to be fuelled with other things I was also interested in. Talking about nappies, feedings, the ultimate milk pump, the top baby app, how many hours he/she sleeps, etc. was slightly driving me nuts. In a city like London where everything goes at full speed, I have pushed myself to slow down a lot and take the time to enjoy every moment of silence.
Did you feel pressure to start work quickly again so you would not fall out of the loop?
Yes, I did, but it also helped in a way to make it easier to get back into work. Ultimately, I had no choice really! That’s what happens when you run your own business.
Can you give our fellow mamma HIITU-birds some advice on how to handle being a fresh free-lance mommy?
Accept help from others, whether it’s your husband a nanny, family or friends. Don’t be shy asking for support and don’t isolate yourself thinking you can manage everything alone. The best thing you can have is a strong family, that will make a happy baby. Try to find some time for yourself and plan some breaks for yourself ahead. It will give you some peace of mind when you are going through rough times. Exhaustion can come frequently, learn to listen to your body. If your job allows it, travel and bring your baby to nature. In the current climate, the new generations must be connecting with nature to find a new way of coexisting without damaging it.
What are your favourite HIITU items?
Thank you for your time and inspiration, Gini!!
And don't forget to check out Ginevra's company at presenza.co.uk