Raising Strong Daughters.

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Nothing could have prepared me for how differently Italians view age and women, compared to the progressive and modern Canadian society I had grown up in.  I would be lying if I said that I didn’t note a sense of discrimination against women in general, and especially young woman in the workforce here.  When I moved here, the fact that I was already a Manager in my mid-20s was UNHEARD OF.

In your mid-20s in Italy you are still considered a “kid” for the most part and if you are a woman you would be hard pressed to be managing anything.

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Every time I was met with another comment like “You were a Manager in Canada, but your so young, you can’t have much experience” I felt so down. I felt as if I had taken ten steps back and my ideas would never be taken seriously again.  But it is very difficult to fight a society that is old, slow and set in their ways.  So imagine my surprise when I met Sofia Malagoli (pictured above).  Sofia is in her mid-20s, so by Italian standards she would never be capable of managing a business, let alone for completely transforming a historic company, spearheading it into a new era of growth, distribution and renewal.  And yet, that’s what she’s doing!

 

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This week I will be posting an interview with Sofia who will speak about her family’s “Acetaia”, the Acetaia Malagoli Daniele.  The word Acetaia, in Italian refers to a place producing “aceto” – vinegar.  Before Sofia was born, her father started a hobby project of creating Balsamic Vinegar.  He later had his Balsamic Vinegar certified as “Traditional Balsamic Vinegar”  which is protected under Italian law and certified, it must follow a set of rigorously antique production methods and testing.

 

 

As it turned out they have one of the largest collections of Balsamic Vinegar Barrels in the WORLD, and Sofia is transforming her father’s hobby into an award winning, international producer of Balsamic Vinegar D.O.P.

 

Every time I speak with her it is a pleasure.  She is so professional, motivated and entrepreneurial that she inspires me to be courageous.  Yes, we are women and “young” and in Italy, but if we have a vision we can attain our goals.

 

 

Between reviving her Acetaia’s brand, managing International distribution and studying for her degree in Engineering, she also manages to host incredible Fashion Events in her family’s restored antique farm house! Later this month I’ll be attending a brand launch at one of her events!

 

 

Strong Women Raise Strong Women

 

I’ve always been inspired by my own mom,  who raised her three daughters and one son to believe in ourselves and our self worth and not be afraid of investing, taking risks and making bold decisions.  It takes a strong woman to raise strong children, especially daughters, who risk being called negative labels the bolder and more self assured we are.

 

It is no wonder that Sofia’s mother, Barbara Piccinnini is a entrepreneur herself, with a “do all” mentality and a fearless spirit.  She once owned and operated a hotel, which the family also lived in, and Sofia grew up watching her mom manage the family’s business!  With the arrival of Sofia’s younger sister they bought an antique farm house, and completely renovated it, with Barbara doing all of the decorating.  Later this week I’ll take you on a tour of their incredible space (hello spa washroom with a lounge couch!)

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A lover of good taste, Barbara has always loved luxury Italian bags and belts, the more particular or special it was the more she had to have it!

Sofia’s Style

 

Sofia is a beautiful woman.  Her style is sexy without being overly so.  She love skirts with interesting details and infuses her everyday look with a lot of femininity.  I love her glasses and the fact that she can go from leather riding boots to wellingtons and still look fabulous. I’ve mentioned last week that fur in Italy is viewed in a completely different manner than it is in North America.  There is much less “waste” here, with many fur coats being handed down from generation to generation.  And YES there are fur repair shops EVERYWHERE here, in fact, in Modena alone there are 7!!   The humid, wet cold of the “pianura” (this area of Italy which is a long, flat, damp plane) has historically made fur a comfortable option to stay warm, and the tradition remains.

 

 The Balsamic Giveaway

This month’s giveaway is inspired by Modena, Italy’s “Oro Nero” – “Black Gold” with a chance to win a certified bottle of aged traditional Balsamic Vinegar from The Acetaia Malagoli Daniele and a 3 piece jewellery set created in Murano Glass, inspired by the slow and long decent of a drop of balsamic vinegar.  From the “Mutina” collection created by Susanna Martini, Murano glass jewellery artisan and owner of the boutique La Gioja in the centre of Modena.  Read an interview with Susanna, part of HAND MADE – The Artisan Series on Reasons to Dress here.

 

Balsamic Giveaway vert

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And The Winner Is….

 

And the winner of the Vacchetta Grassa hand made leather rucksack is …..SARA TROJANIELLO!!!  You have been emailed, congratulations and thank you for entering!

 

To everyone else who entered the giveaway, thank you so much for showing your support for this series, there will be a monthly giveaway for an artisan hand made prize.  

I know that not everyone celebrates International Women’s Day, but I do.  I think of it as a time to reflect on the importance of women in every aspect of Society, and although we should appreciate women 365 days a year this isn’t always the case.  A day to refelct on how we can and do contribute to this World is a fine day in my books. So….. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY to you ALL !     Now onto YOUR style…

#REASONSTODRESS Real Mom Street Style Linkup

 

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week! If you would like to co-host the #reasonstodress linkup I would love to have you, please feel free to email me at reasonstodress@gmail.com !

 

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  • I love bein the first to comment! why are mother daughter pairs so cute?! And I’m dying for her fur…

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  • Thanks for hosting Angie. Strong women are vital role models in our lives and our children’s – my mother is my ultimate role model and the older I get the more I understand how her strength was coated in softness. A rare skill that I need a lot of work on! Do come join the #AllAboutYou linkup at mama-andMore.com, always lovely to have you xx

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    • Ugh Zaz, I haven’t always had time to comment on your blog, but when you write about your mom they are always some of the most moving posts. I thought about you all evening while writing this because the way you raise your daughter is so inspirational to me and not a day goes by when I don’t think back to the magician….remember. totally just teared up.

      I need to get my act together and join some linkups this week, I’m so behind on commenting and creating community ;( Oh well its best just to move forward and focus on what I can do instead of what I didn’t!! (at least that’s what I tell myself!)

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  • Thanks for the mention, Angie! It is so sweet of you! Shame on my husband, I’ve never been to Modena! But I know one thing, that it is the land of aceto! The best! Sofia has a big role, but I am sure she is set. I am glad that you mentioned about the repair shops for fur. I have in my possession a beautiful shearling coat, passed down to me from my mother in law. It was from the 60s or 70s but it is way too big for my frame. Hopefully, these shops might be able to help me.

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    • YES there are repair shops in every city in Italy. Actually Italians are the Kings of reparations and alterations. A friend of mine had a very old style fur of her moms reworked into something so absolutely chic I thought it was a $45,000 designer version!

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  • Sydney Fashion Hunter

    Very inspiriting. Keep on challenging assumptions. Women can do anything ANYWHERE!

    http://www.sydneyfashionhunter.com/

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  • ADA

    Another lovely mom in a chic-styled LBD. Love the 3 middle looks of the 5 you featured. Those 3 outfits are all so different yet all so chic, put-together and stylish. Hope you’ll like my outfit, today.

    Happy Tuesday Angie!

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  • As always, I enjoyed reading your post and learning more about Italian culture. What an amazing product and giveaway! Thank you so much for featuring my look this week, Angie! It is nice to be in the company of other such stylish women.

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  • RedTagChicLA

    I totally love this article – I am all for raising strong women via my daughter which I can see is becoming one!

    Best!
    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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    • I love when you write about your daughter I think its fantastic that you already see her as a strong individual.

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  • Wait a minute….students? Are you teaching? I JUST started teaching in an English preschool last month….I bring Zeno with me!!

    AND YES YES YES…THAT IS THE POINT, her family has trusted her enough to let her step into the role and make it her own, and she does EVERYTHING.

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  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom

    You always put so much thought and information in all of your blog posts. I always look forward to reading them. Strong women can do anything! I love her fur coat!!

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  • Imenka Doe

    No, unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to try it. But I’d love to, thank you for a fantastic opportunity 🙂

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  • There are a million and one things I love about this post! I love her style (especially those glasses), that she’s as a young woman changing ideas on how young women should be (this idea of women and young women is common in Spain as well) and the whole part about the family business! Awesome post.
    It’s also the same case for fur here in Spain. It’s commonly worn and is handed down through generations.

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  • As a mother of three girls, I so wish my daughters to grow up to be strong and confident women who embrace all that they are. Sofia is a beautiful young lady and so accomplished already. Thanks for sharing! ~Cynthia

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  • I wore a borrowed vintage fur to a conference last weekend. Now I’m dying for one of my own!
    I think strong women are those that lead despite opposition, and succeed despite their circumstances. Thank you for sharing Sofia
    s story!

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

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  • Stephanie @ The Modern Day Mom

    Hi! I am visiting from The Pleated Poppy and just discovered your blog. It is wonderful and I will definitely be following it! http://www.themoderndaymom.com

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  • Seychellesmama

    Oh you have no idea this giveaway makes me SO happy!!! My pregnancy craving is balsamic vinegar so to have this amazing top draw real deal stuff would be incredible!!!!!
    Sophia is definitely an amazing woman with lots going on, and still to be so stylish and fabulous too is inspiring!!!
    Loved reading this!! Thanks for linking it win #myexpatfamily

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  • Nicole Webb

    Fabulous blog! Great to find you thanks to Seychelles Mama! Love this post….yes raising a 4 year old daughter, my life is all about raising a strong woman! Cheers, Nicole

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  • There’s an interesting ‘strong woman’ dichotomy here in Costa Rica. While Latin culture is inherently (and some would say incurably) chauvinist, the last president was a woman and I do see many women in positions of power. Thanks for making me think about this issue today. AND I think I would put balsamic vinegar on everything if I could! Hard to get a really great one here.

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  • jess

    Thank you for this interesting article, and I do agree with strong women raising strong daughter. Love the interview with Sofia and learning about the company. I need to sit down and read as I really like that you have turned the blog into fashion and learning about Italian culture. Your pictures are wonderful as well. I really want to visit. The vinegar sounds amazing. I am enjoying reading.

    from the link up, please stop by, jess xx

    http://www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com/

    would love for you to come to my first link up next Tues at 7AM est March 17 called Turning Heads Tues. :-))

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  • What an amazing post! I can really relate to what you say about women in Italy – even after 4 years in Milan I am still shocked at how openly sexist many people are. As a self-employed person I think I’ve escaped a lot of that in the workplace, but I see it elsewhere every day. I’m actually quite worried about it from a mother-to-a-son point of view too – goodness knows I don’t want my toddler to grow up to be as chauvenist as many of the men here are! It is really great to read about Sofia – what an inspirational woman indeed. Don’t think I’ve met anyone quite like her in the four years I’ve been here!

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  • Ersatz Expat

    Thank you for highlighting this inspirational young woman.

    Re the fur – having recently come from 3 years on the Central Asian Steppes I am a fur convert. Nothing else comes close to working to keep intense cold out. My coats are now in cold storage ready for another cold posting or my daughters in due course.

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  • saratrojaniello

    Oh my God!!!! Thank you so much!!! 😀 I’ve sent you an email! 🙂

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  • saratrojaniello

    Thank you so much!!! 😀 I’m so happy! I didn’t get your email, I’ve checked the spam too. I’ve sent you an email :*

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