Hello, dear Fiat. I have a story to tell.
Living and working in Los Angeles, I spend a lot of time in my car. I never fully grasped the meaning of the Missing Persons song, "Walking in LA" until I moved here and stopped walking. We hike, we window shop, we run, jog, cycle, downward dog. We stand in line for Pinkberry and Starbucks, but for the most part nobody walks in LA.
My morning commute can run anywhere from 1 hour to a grueling 2 hours if there's a traffic jam, construction, a SIG alert or freeway street cleaning (yes, during rush hour) on my route. So there's plenty of time to think. And that's what I did most mornings, driving to work, envisioning what would become the gloss wallet, my first Victor Simoni accessory.
I'm never distracted by the make or model of a car. To me a car is the metal box on wheels that is either cutting me off or poking around in front of me, pissing me off and slowing down the whole Fastrak lane (insert curse words here).
Then I met the Fiat 500. I don't remember the particular moment, the color, or how that first Fiat greeted me on the road. But it left an impression and at some point, I started noticing them all the time.
I saw in the Fiat a personality on the road in a city overwhelmed with cars. A confidence in their bold, bright colors, clean and simple lines. A touch of the quirky with a definitive style. I developed a friendship with those Fiats on my commute and every time I saw one I thought about my gloss wallets. It's an odd connection to make, a car and a wallet, but I imagined my gloss wallets to be like my little hip Fiat buddies: friendly and playful, stylish and well crafted and of course, shiny.
We went through a lot of samples to get to our final gloss wallet. I wanted something with some weight, actual weight in your hand, not flimsy and light. And a zipper that not only looked cool, but worked exceptionally well. Not the type that stalls or snags midway through a pull, but the kind that glides effortlessly and says: open me, close me, open me, close me - do it again! I found those in Switzerland. I found my materials in Italy after much searching and was lucky enough to find a company (really a person at this company) that worked with me in setting small "scraps" aside of the colors I wanted from larger companies' orders since the minimum was 300 yards, an unaffordable option. In the end, I got there, but it was a bumpy ride.
So on certain mornings, traffic at a slow crawl and my thoughts taking an unwanted detour, it was the Fiat 500 I'd see on the road, like a little Post-it Note on wheels, reminding me of what I was doing and why. So thanks guys.
I had no idea when I put this post together that I would find such similar color matches between the Fiats and my gloss wallets. (Weird, I think the Fiats are copying me.) Nor did I notice until recently - again while writing this post - that the photo on my contact page had a vintage Fiat 500 in the background. This photo art was created for me by one of my best friends, Claudia Wick, pictured with her Mumu Classic Cow wallet in St. Moritz, Switzerland. I loved it so much, it went immediately to my contact page. Obviously, it was meant to be there.