Salon furniture company Gamma & Bross said goodbye to its founder Guido Stuani this spring. At almost 86, Stuani was still at his desk at the helm of the company until Italy imposed a lockdown for COVID-19, to which he had to surrender.
At the age of 14, Stuani begin to work in his father’s carpentry shop. Despite being a brilliant student, Stuani regretted he could not further his education because he needed to help his family. That didn’t stop him from making his way in life. Like many entrepreneurs, Stuani started with nothing and managed to build a company.
In the 1960s, Wella established its Italian factory in the town of Castiglione delle Stiviere, and the cabinet shop started to supply furniture for Wella’s clients. After a few years, the company decided to quit sub supplying and start to produce its own line of salon furniture—thanks to the extraordinary skills of the company’s current CEO Mario Marchi, who was 14 when he was hired as the first employee at the office, and those of other partners and designers such as Daniele Gilardi, and Paride Maltini. The firm first first produced products for the Italian market, then eventually worldwide.
Guido Stuani was a great protagonist of the political, social and cultural life of his community. He was a member of Red Cross, he presided over the International Museum, and he served as Assessor, then Deputy Mayor of the city. While serving as mayor, he welcomed Pope John Paul II to the city, a meeting that was a source of pride and a strong motivation for his whole life.
Marchi remembers Stuani with these words, "We spent our working lives together, more than 50 years without disagreements or contrasts. For me, he was like a father, a brother and a friend. He had a reflective temper compared to mine, he was more impulsive, and his attitude was often important to solve problems and for my professional growth. His most important qualities were the moral energy and humanitarian richness that led many of our employees to stay with our company until their retirement."
Stani’s son Giampiero Stuani, is committed to keep his father’s legacy going strong and will continue his inspiring approach in the company.
He remembers him with these words: "Dad was a man of common sense, he was intelligent, honest, generous and a hard worker. He was always available to listen, to give an advice, to instill courage. He had a natural gift in making other people feel comfortable, he worked to avoid divisions and find common solutions, and he was always putting the company interest first. He always faced difficulties and diseases with a joke and a smile. He considered himself blessed. Having known what poverty and sacrifice meant when he was young, he tried to help others whenever he could. He believed in providence. Even in the very last moments, his major concern was how to give birth to his Charity Foundation, which was formed to help less fortunate people in our area. Instead, it will be created by myself, my brother and sister."
“We will be always grateful to him for having shown us that the only thing that really matters, is striving to change things for the better, working for the community and for the common good. His example and legacy will be an infinite source of courage and motivation for all of us,” says Giampiero Stuani.
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Originally posted on Salon Today