On Summer, Travelling, and Cosmopolitan Hippos

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Do you love summer? Most people do. They see summer as a season of sun and fun, of relaxation and outdoor activities. They enjoy hot sun and cloudless skies and look forward to going away on holiday.

And yes, summer is a season of vacations.

Although there are people who prefer taking a vacation in winter, because skiing and snowboarding are definitely no less fun than bathing and hanging out on a beach. But nevertheless, the great majority of working people consider holidays in summer to be the best possible option.

But in most businesses, the company’s holiday list doesn’t make all employees equally happy. There are four seasons in a year, and summer is just one of them. It’s impossible to place all employees on the leave when they want without hindering the overall performance of the particular enterprise. In such a case the staff has to take turns. Going on holiday in summer becomes a privilege or kind of a treat. All employees can’t have it every year. Or… can they?

Well, it’s pretty possible if a company applies the same approach as Bellavista Collection, a well-known manufacturer of Italian luxury furniture.

In this company, according to a long-standing tradition, all the employees go on holiday at the same time, usually in August. For example, this year this collective leave will last from August 9 to 26. All the company’s employees go on holiday at the same time, which is a perfect solution to a row of vacation-related problems, which other companies regularly face.

Along with the majority of the employees being happy with going on holiday in summer, Bellavista avoids solving one more serious problem: how to temporarily replace irreplaceable specialists when they go on holiday.

Although there is a popular opinion that nobody is irreplaceable (a couple of such quotes are attributed to Willy Brandt and Joseph Stalin), every business owner or top manager will agree that some professionals are extremely difficult to replace. Bellavista Collection can boast of a number of such unique specialists, so placing the entire staff on the leave eliminates this problem altogether.

Every year, all the Bellavista’s employees leave their workplaces on the same day and come back in about three weeks, refreshed, suntanned, and full of vivid impressions.

In Search of Inspiration

People work a lot nowadays, and their lives are full of stress. No wonder that each of us from time to time becomes tired of work and bored with daily routine. One fine day you may realize that your greatest wish is to get away from it all, at least for some time. That is why travelling is so popular.

A change of scenery is a perfect medicine for boredom and stress. When you travel to exotic places, see beautiful and unusual things, meet new people, experience something exciting, you are getting rid of the strain of modern life and opening your mind to new ideas.

For Attilio Zanni, Bellavista Collection’s extremely talented and prolific all-round designer, new ideas and impressions serve as fuel for creativity. He travels a lot, both for his own pleasure and for work. For example, one of his business trips last October was to Mexico, where he was working on a big residential project. He has already visited lots of countries all over the world, each time returning with plenty of bright ideas and new impressions.

By the way, even when Attilio Zanni travels seemingly alone, he often does have a companion. This companion is made of brass and is small enough to reside in a suitcase. It’s a cast statuette of a hippopotamus – Bellavista Collection’s mascot.

For about a decade Bellavista’s brand exists, this hippo has been to dozens of cities all over the world.

Small brass eyes of this hippo have seen Europe and the USA, Central America and Asia. This miniature statuette (just 18 x 8 x 8 centimeters, or 7.1 x 3.1 inches) have stood on tabletops in numerous rooms, reminding Attilio Zanni about his home, family, relatives and co-workers waiting for him in Italy.

During years of travelling together with Attilio Zanni, the hippo mascot has become a real cosmopolitan. Look at the photo: doesn’t the hippo look nice together with that exotic colorful mask? There are dozens of this hippo’s photos similar to this one, which was shot in diverse settings all over the world. If this hippo could use the Internet, it would already have had an Instagram account with lots of followers.

You can meet this cute animal while browsing the company’s website. There is a number of pieces depicting it. For example, one of cast brass handles for furniture (in the company’s catalog it is named MAN-05) has an outline of a hippo on it. One more piece is brass tray for candles called IPPO. Decorated with lifelike brass sculptures of hippopotamuses, this tray turned heads at the last edition of Salone Internazionale del Mobile. If you pour some water to the bottom of the tray, it seems that hippos are wallowing in a pond and walking alongshore.

And, of course, the hippo statuette itself. In the company’s catalog this item is called IPPO E RINO (there are two statuettes of the same size, depicting a hippopotamus and a rhinoceros respectively). These charming rhino and hippo can be either of four colors, depending on the finish, i.e. the special protective and decorative coating applied to metal. Brownish ‘antique bronze’, light and shining ‘antique silver leaf’, golden ‘antique gold leaf’, and dark ‘black patina’ – all these finishes look so gorgeous that it is pretty difficult to choose just one.

Cast metal sculptures of hippos and rhinos, horses and greyhounds from Bellavista Collection are extremely popular with the company’s customers. Although Bellavista Collection has been making different cast brass animals for years, it is the hippo that has become a company’s mascot and an inseparable part of corporate identity. Or should we call this nice lifelike statuette the brand ambassador?