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Explore Artisans Museums & Galleries Experience Itineraries About

Helen Nonini

  • Brand Consultant
  • Ambassador for Milan, Italy
Helen Nonini Ambassador for Milan, Italy
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Pioneering social change

Helen Nonini, also known as H., is founder & CEO of Schwa, a brand consultancy firm that supports companies’ strategic development leveraging on diversity, equity and inclusion. Schwa is the latest business evolution of H.edge, a brand strategy and experience advisory platform that Helen founded in 2015. Starting off in the fast-paced financial world, H. moved into fundraising and non-profit sectors, hence landing in the luxury world. She built her reputation as Head of Operations manager for Quintessentially, the most important luxury concierge service, and as the go-to PR for renowned companies worldwide. She published a book, Professione Problem Solver, in 2011, and worked with economist Robin Lent on the Italian edition of Selling Luxury.

What does craftsmanship signify to you?

Craftsmanship is synonymous with rarity and respect. Something rare is something beautiful, and to make something beautiful one must respect the timings of its manufacturing process, the raw materials and the expertise of the people who have worked in a specific field for years.

How does it feature in your work and life?

It is a fundamental aspect of my life. I have always been drawn to beauty, and I am always looking for new stories. Artisans are not necessarily an integral part of my work, but they are an incredible source of learning, wonder and inspiration.

What stories do you have about artisans you recommended for Homo Faber Guide?

Cappellificio Cervo based in Biella is the best hatmaker in Europe. Everything there is still handmade, the machinery is that of the 1800s, and the felt is entirely made by hand. I was moved to find such a special reality in today’s world.

What is your motto?

Always have an innate curiosity, learn to surprise yourself and surprise others.



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