I always like to discover the person behind a family business. Who are the people running it? What makes it tick? What sustained the family business to continue on? I had the opportunity to chat with the charming and amiable Cristiano Barbazza the global president of Rudy Project and son of Rudy, the founder over dinner at the Podium. The little I know of Rudy project is that my darling husband wears this famous Italian Technically Cool Eyewear whenever he drives out on a sunny day. Another tidbit is that it’s also expensive but definitley high quality eyewear. Lastly, Rudy Project rings a bell because they often sponsor athletes. Not much is written behind the people of the Rudy Project.
Munching his pizza (strange to order pizza outside Italy), I was fascinated that as a 17 year old boy he started helping out with his dad’s business even after school days. More than money itself, he is passionate over developing technological advances in eyewear and sports gear every year. Money just follows. I believe it’s good business policy to develop the best product and the income will just come along with it.
Cristiano explains to me in detail the process involved in each eyewear especially the one on ImpactX as it is guaranteed unbreakable for life. I hammer the lens to prove his point while taking a video from my camera phone.
The ““Pottery Barn Rule” says: You break it, you buy it. But at Rudy Project if you break an ImpactX lens, they would probably pay you to do it again. Using a hammer to pound on the lens, I gave up fearing I’d destroy the table instead. Each one of us took turns to break this lens. But to no avail. We ended up goofing around with the eyewear instead.
These days, Rudy is retired from the business but often visits their global branches. Rudy Project is managed by Cristiano who is the Managing Director, and Simone ( who is 10 years younger) is in charge of Marketing and Communication. The company is one of the last eyewear brands to remain totally independent, free and faithful to their original mission: that of creating technical glasses with attention to the smallest of details and subjected to the most meticulous quality control, which succeed in fulfilling the requirements of the most demanding of users.
Cristiano Barbazza, Gabriele Boschi, President Rudy Project Philippines and Claudio Fantin, Global Export Manager seem to enjoy each other’s company as we took photos of them. Their laughter and camaderie show that friends can work in harmony. Cristiano teases “do you think I will become famous after you post my photo?”
I said “At the very least, your customers will get to see the persons who run Rudy Project.”
Then I added, ““People make the business, right?”
And all three of them nodded in agreement.