24 March 2014

The Italian Job.... A Mini Adventure....

I am not known for being very adventurous, not one for taking risks etc. but this weekends 'adventure' started with a phone call back in early February, which left me a little lost for words....again!

Mella called me and asked if I would like to see where the Gillio organisers are made? Where? In Italy of course... You me and Tom. The only answer was yes.

So early on Friday morning Alison dropped me off at Poitiers station to catch a TGV train to Paris Charles De Gaul airport north of Paris. After some lunch, I did a little window shopping in the duty free shops spotting a Mont Blanc organiser! I then boarded an Air France BAe 146-200 aircraft bound for Florence.

This was a mini adventure... I have never been through this airport, never been to Italy before, I speak little or no Italian, remember I am an Englishman living in France, confused...yes me too!

Why did I worry? On arriving in Florence about two hours later, after collecting my suitcase, I emerged through the doors at arrivals to be greeted by Mella and Tom, they had flown in from Brussels that morning ahead of me.


I am glad Tom was driving, because rush hour traffic in Florence was chaotic to say the least. After about 45 minutes of dodging our way through the narrow streets of Firenze to give Florence its proper name, we arrived at our hotel. Tom and Mella had checked in earlier. So they gave me enough time to unpack and sort out my things before we went to a local restaurant for some food.

Naturally the topic of conversation was never far away from organisers and planners of all kinds, I felt at ease. I slept well that night and we met at the agreed time the next morning for breakfast.

Oh I forgot to say.... I did get to secretly finish off the Saturday Web Finds, so you wouldn't start to ask too many questions about where I was!!!!

Our first appointment after breakfast was to meet the man who makes the Gillio Mia Caras at his office/workshop, it was fascinating to meet him and chat with him about these very special organisers.  Naturally I left him with some Philofaxy cards, which bought a smile to his face!

Heating up the logo stamp

Expertly applying it to this pen case. 
Tom and Mella had already collected a box of samples the previous afternoon, so before lunch it was time to do any 'unboxing' video to end all unboxing videos.... Picture the scene a smallish hotel room, a large box of Mia Caras containing about 30 of them in total... Yes quite a few thousand Euros worth! As we unpacked them for photographing you can imagine the intoxicating scent of so much leather in one place!

We took a break for a lunch and then carried on the work of photographing each of the planners.



We quickly devised a way to photograph all of the organisers as quickly as possible. It was quite a team effort with Tom un-packing the boxes, Mella passing them to me in the right order, a quick photograph, check the shot, then back to Tom to be put back in their dust bag.

Whilst the new colours have been available for pre-order in Pocket, Medium and A5 sizes for a few weeks, this is the first time we had seen these new colours ourselves.... the design hasn't changed, but the new colours in Epoca leather and the detailed stitching really stands out to emphasise the high quality of this organiser.

For 2014, there is now a bigger range of colours to choose from.  We think you will like them....

Epoca Green Pocket, Medium

Epoca Green A5

Epoca Green

Epoca Grey

Epoca Grey

Epoca Grey

Epoca Red

Epoca Red
Epoca Purple
Epoca Purple

Epoca Purple

Epoca Black/Orange

Epoca Black/Orange

Epoca Black Orange

Epoca Dark Brown/Cream

Epoca Dark Brown/Cream

Epoca Dark Brown/Cream

Epoca Green/Cream

Epoca Green/Cream

Epoca Green/Cream

Epoca Purple/Cream

Epoca Purple/Cream

Epoca Purple/Cream

Epoca Purple/Cream

Epoca Orange

Epoca Orange

Epoca Orange

L-R Green, Orange, Red, Grey, Purple, Black/Orange, Brown/Cream, Purple/Cream, Green/Cream

Purple/Cream, Brown/Cream, Green/Cream

How much?
Ok so some in-door photos, but my job didn't end there.... Firenze is renowned for the numerous leather goods producers, I have never seen so many shops or market stalls selling leather goods and bags in any place I have been to. So it seemed to make sense to photograph these new planners in their 'natural' surrounding.

Now if you have ever been to a meet up and noticed the odd looks the group can get if we create a stack of organisers.... Believe me we did gets some odd looks creating the stack of Medium Mia Caras on the streets of Firenze at some of the well known landmarks and tourist attractions!




Posing in front of the Ponte Vecchio
Gillio Jump!
We were very fortunate with the weather, rain was forecast and it only started raining as we walked back to the hotel for a shower before heading out again for some dinner. Over dinner I learnt of some exciting plans coming soon from Gillio, that you will hear about hopefully in the next few weeks...



'Smile Mella, it is that bloke with the camera again' 

'Anyone seen my sun glasses?'
On Sunday we said our good byes and caught our flights back home again.... It had been a very full but enjoyable weekend. I would like to thank Tom and Mella for an excellent weekend... Normally I just receive a press release by email, but this weekend I was there to help create one!

With the customary "Cabin crew: Doors to automatic and cross check", the aircraft engines increased in note, the captain released the brakes and he accelerated the aircraft down the runway and we left the tarmac in under 25 seconds. I was on my way home again via Paris and TGV south west to Poitiers.

So if I did not reply to an email from you over the weekend you now know why!!

If you would like to see the full range of Gillio organisers, then please visit their website.

Look out for a detailed review of a Gillio Mia Cara coming soon on Philofaxy....

27 comments:

  1. I'm fascinated by the design of these - they're a binder within a binder? Want!

    Fantastic photos, thank you!

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  2. The dark brown/cream is stunning!

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  3. I like the GIllo Jump Mella made! :D

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  4. Beautiful.... The Mia Cara's and Italy...

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  5. Be still my heart. The purple and orange are divine

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  6. Ohh I just adore Italy!! Looks fabulous. xx

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  7. Is the purple really that light? Looks more like a dark pink/raspberry in the pictures. Confusing, because the leather sample was as dark as the purple Malden ....?

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  8. I'm so glad you had such a great time, Steve! Great post!

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  9. Steve Morton, International Man of ... Organizers!

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  10. The organisers are beautiful... ma quanto mi manca Firenze! È stato troppo tempo. Una città più bella del mondo!

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  11. Mmmmm, the dark brown and cream one looks so nice and sophisticated and yummy.

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  12. Oh my, the purple! Great post and loved all the photos!

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  13. I love these colors! This is tempting me even more! But I'm very curious to know what the exciting news is...

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  14. Wow - what a fabulous time, and what beautiful new Mias!!!

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  15. That purple is GORGEOUS! Are these colors available in the Compagnas as well? And by "exciting plans from Gillio" are we talking the possibility of 30 mm rings in a medium size Gillio? ;)

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  16. Formidable ce reportage! je ne connaissais pas cette marque, je vais m'y interresser de plus près.
    vive la philofaxy !!!

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  17. They beat Filofax for quality of material, rings and design.

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  18. superbes photos... Merci... I like the Gillio epoca purple.. !

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  19. Do all three sizes have a zippered compartment?

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  20. "Jealous!" (he says in Napoleon dynamites voice)

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  21. The quality of the leather on the Epoca Green and the Grey, especially in A5, looks superb. And a really interesting design to put the binder inside another outer folder. These look fantastic.

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  22. How exciting! The black/orange one is gorgeous.

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  23. Great post! I haven't been to Italy in many years. Glad you had a great trip and it was obvious from all of your smiling faces you were in planner heaven!

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  24. Wow!........That's all....Wow!

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