On a recent trip to Europe, Mommy Dearest joined us for closing night at the opera and a little retail therapy, celebrating her 80th birthday.
News of her arrival reached our friend, Andrea Mazzocato, who manages The Merchant of Venice perfume store in Verona, Italy. Exhibiting quintessential Italian hospitality, he welcomed The Birthday Girl with a bottle of champagne (and an espresso for me) and spent the better part of an hour sharing the history of The Merchant of Venice brand.
Beyond salesmanship, he also detailed the history of his store’s serious collection of Murano glass and recommended off-the-beaten path sites and secrets of the Veneto. My mother was delighted, enchanted and inspired by Andrea’s passion for, and encyclopedic knowledge of, perfume, the Veneto, and Italy.
It was, to say the least, a memorable afternoon.
It reminded me of a few of the emails I receive in which readers inquire about how to make a lot of money. The Old Money Book isn’t about that, but this encounter with Andrea compels me to offer this one piece of advice: find something you’re incredibly passionate about and do it.
Andrea’s passion allows him to effortlessly and sincerely develop relationships with people, not just sell perfume to customers. And that makes a world of difference.
If you read this blog at all, you know that I rarely endorse products. But when you encounter a sterling example of a commitment to excellence in a retail setting, it simply has to be acknowledged.
Thank you, Andrea. And happy birthday again, Mother.