Make Up in New York: interview to Sara Zanafredi, Pennelli Faro CEO


The press room of Make Up in New York fairs, interview Sara Zanafredi - Pennelli Faro's CEO since 1991.
Make Up in New York: interview to Sara Zanafredi, Pennelli Faro CEO
The Italian company specialized in manufacturing brushes for the make-up industry  has managed to develop a genuine reputation in terms of innovation. But don’t be mistaken, "innovation, certainly, but remaining always focused on the company philosophy," explained its owner and CEO since 1991, Sara Zanafredi, "namely through a constant premium given to quality and efficiency." Located sixty kilometers south of Milan, in Casalmaggiore, the firm currently employs 30 people and has a turnover of about 4 million euros. More than 2 million "made in Italy" brushes come out every year from its workshops. Explanations....

PremiumBeautynews : You took over the company in 1991.... but what was the situation like, before that?

Sara Zanafredi: The story is indeed worth telling. In 1971, my father Luigi Zanafredi and my mother Renata are in their company's lab when they have a brainwave: to convert their experience in manufacturing industrial brushes, a sector already saturated, into a company that still produce brushes, but for artists. Pennelli Faro is born. Ten years later, driven by passion and creativity, confident in their ever growing experience and technical know-how in the fine arts field, they launch a second private label production line, which soon becomes the heart of their business: brushes for cosmetics.

PB: You do not hesitate to talk about a "vision" !

SZ : A restored work, good makeup, fragments of life that enrich us and make the world more refined. Pennelli Faro knows that applying a product with a suitable quality brush makes all the difference between creating beauty or not. Our vision is to make customized brushes with the same craftsmanship and spirit of a tailor who sews a dress according to the taste and characteristics of the person who will wear it, by listening to his requirements in terms product, fabric, technique and image. Our customers are in many different countries, and although we are based in Italy, our minds travel around the world every day. Our customers appreciate us for that too, for our proactivity, our fast answers and deliveries. Our Customer Care and Marketing department are multi-lingual, to service our customers worldwide and to ensure a clear and effective communication.

PB: Innovation clearly requires a strong R&D department!

SZ: Research and Development at Pennelli Faro is expressed on five main levels:
  • creating brush shapes to facilitate the application of the product and get new, professional-grade effects.
  • selecting advanced fibers suitable for new textures and products - finding new formulations, blends of bristles and fibers aimed at enhancing the results. This study has led us to patenting the first dermatologically tested synthetic fiber, Dermocura®, with amazing characteristics: professional performance, durability, gentleness, simplicity and extremely enjoyable application.
  • offering the option of appealing and durable finishes for the handles, high-definition long lasting multicolor prints and environmentally friendly packaging.
  • offering graphic design and marketing support in the project definition phase, to ensure speed of development, originality and creative quality.
  • conception, visualization, creation. The drive for challenges, and the attitude or never saying no: propelled by a trend of increasing demand, we started to create applications and accessories for high fashion major brands.

PB: You put a lot of emphasis on the "Made in Italy”, the "handmade" and on the many certifications you obtained. It is so important?

SZ: The soul of Pennelli Faro is imbued with the “Made in Italy” values, built on a recognized cultural heritage: art, history, tradition, cuisine, fashion, design.
For over 40 years we have produced in Italy many lines of handmade custom brushes for cosmetics: brushes for face makeup, treatments, nails, body painting, sets for schools, makeup artists, accessories, promotional brushes, one shots, limited editions. A complete customization of lines and items for cosmetics derives from knowing that every cosmetic product needs the right tool in order to provide the desired result. An application with a poor quality cosmetic brush can affect the successful outcome of a treatment or makeup and, as a consequence, debase the product itself.
The customization applies to the whole cosmetic brush, from the head to the handle. We carefully select the finest natural hair and top quality synthetic fibers, patented Dermocura® dermatologically tested, which can be produced in many appealing shades of colors.
Our brushes are handmade in Italy using handcrafted techniques that still have a traditional workshop flair, ensuring a quality that the most prestigious brands are still looking for. There are shapes of brushes now indispensable in the beauty cases of our clients, but we also manufacture made-to-order and custom project items, studying side by side with the cosmetic manufacturer to create exclusive lines of brushes that are consistent with the target market, effective and beautiful.
Like tailors, we can personalize the brushes completely. The ferrule is a critical part of the brush, where the shape is given to the head and natural bristles or synthetic fibers are fastened. After a thorough qualitative selection process, we offer the option of customizing the brush head to create a unique tool, distinguished, expressing the quality of the image and the products to be applied.
An internal graphic design and marketing studio  is available to study the line, colors and finishes of the handle, consistent with the brands. Plastic or wood handles, composed of recyclable and luxurious materials, with professional or retail cuts, with an eccentric or ecological appeal. The handle of a cosmetic brush is thin, elongated, tapered... with little space, we make it a strong communication tool, by studying the best graphics to convey essential and distinctive brand information. Prints produced on request with the latest techniques, single- or multi-color, embossed, indelible, photo realistic.
We have also a team dedicated to the creation of the marketing tools provided along the lines of custom brushes: unique or eco-friendly packaging, multilingual texts to support the accessories, training tools, showcase signs, p.o.s. displays, clutch bags, etc.

PB:  Tell us more about your projects?

SZ: Continue to innovate, of course. Developments in materials, particularly synthetic materials, make it constantly possible. In this regard, we have launched four inspiring luxury lines of brushes with Murano glass handles, silver handles and details, wood and precious stones. We are also committing our time in designing and developing innovative head shapes studying in depth customers’ daily habits in applying the different makeup formulas. Partial automation  obviously remains one of our goals, even though we will never replace "handmade" processes that make our reputation and that we retain as the most precious treasure.

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