A company’s success depends on the nature of its products. Filippo Uecher: a company that has made a business out of natural fibres.
Filippo Uecher began working in textiles in the seventies and eighties drawing on the experience of his two grandmothers, after whom he went on to name his company: MariaFlora. After thirty years as a subcontractor, in 2015 he decided to create a new brand that bears his own name, focusing on natural fibres. Today the company turns over 3 and a half million euros, has a staff of ten, and exports 80% of its products. The raw material arrives in Ponderano (Biella) and all processing is carried out locally by specialised craftspeople. In addition to natural fibres, the company is recognised for technical fabrics for indoor and outdoor upholstery.
“Measurement is the key: never keep too much or too little in stock.”
Filippo Uecher, CEO of Filippo Uecher
“Probability can be deduced from the principles, but the truth or a certainty is obtained only from the facts.”
The textile tradition in Biella has deep roots dating back to the pre-Romanesque period. Filippo Uecher carries on this millennial experience working only with local suppliers. Identity is therefore the I Factor of Filippo Uecher, combining fashion, travel and culture without ever forgetting the identity of the area of Biella. Identity also means working with family: his son Francesco is continuing the business together with his father and mother. It is an example of a small company capable of turning a good profit without forsaking its roots and local heritage.
The turnover is 3.5 million (2018 data), with an average annual growth of 74% in the last 2 years; it has ten employees and exports account for 80% and are mainly to Russia, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Spain and France. In the United States, the products are sold in what the entrepreneur calls “textile hypermarkets”: an entire floor of a skyscraper (for example in New York) where designers get to see firsthand and choose the fabrics of different companies. In Europe, however, agent-customer or distributor-customer relations remain the norm. Filippo Uecher works in the B2B sector, where the customer is often a designer looking for quality fabrics to furnish a yacht, a luxury hotel or a home.
The textile sector is still not very sensitive to its environmental impact. Filippo Uecher is aware of this and has taken some measures in the interest of sustainability. The company uses low-polluting ink and buys “safe” wool, obtained with shearing that is kinder to the sheep.
To innovate the style, the entrepreneur relies on the observation of current trends and on adaptation of the product to new needs in the furnishings sector. Developments occur in the fashion sector and reach the furnishings sector about two years later. Furthermore, to keep up to date, Filippo Uecher periodically participates in seminars on the study of colour.