UP2gether, an internationalization project, conceived and created by Barbara de Siena, an Italian consultant who speaks Italian and French, her adopted language, in the same way. She has always lived between two worlds.
Even today, physically it is difficult to travel, she has found a way to do it with new technologies and a new website that she wanted to be presented on her birthday, April 2, a sort of rebirth and revenge towards the adversity.
Today Barbara de Siena will be interviewed by a friend to present her career path. Yes, it’s true, in its program, the “UP2gether Export Lounge” she will be the one who will interview guests and participants in its Network, but we wanted to let you know as we know it, its collaborators, the professionals with whom it works and for whom has been solving all kinds of problems for years.
Why Paris? Why France …
Because it entered my heart that morning when I left Como, my hometown, to go to live in Paris, I was just 11 years old and I didn’t speak a single word of French, I think it was February and that night we slept on the Ile -Saint-Louis, at the Hotel de Lutèce https://www.paris-hotel-lutece.com/.
I already had a good base of Italian and English, my father had begun to study it when I was very young, I don’t remember exactly at what age. But the French was love at first sight, perhaps also because of the private lessons I had the advantage of being able to take due to the fact that we were IBM expats. We left Paris when I was 15 and as soon as I came of age I went back there to visit my friends.
Translations and interpreting in fairs and events were my first approach to the world of work, I was a hostess in international fairs and this allowed me to meet people who came to Milan – the world capital of business – from all over the world, an exciting experience.
I worked with a Milanese agency in the sponsorship sector, participating in the World Mountain Bike Championships at Il Ciocco and with the Italian Gymnastics National Team in various international events in the Italian House (Sponsors such as Grana Padano, Gatorade, Nestlé Concentrated Milk, and many others ).
Later I became a seller and it was an exciting adventure … I liked selling abroad and I started accompanying Italian graphic arts companies in France, I think it was 1995. In 1999, following a few years of experience, I opened a commercial office for the graphic arts in Paris. It was my first entrepreneurial experience and it was a great success.
From the beginning of my adventure in the graphic arts I discovered and fell in love with this strange world. Knowing how to analyze the needs of the customer to take him exactly where he wants to go is exciting.
Seeing projects born and participating in their realization and distribution is a real joy. When this work is done through different countries with the ability to analyze, understand and bring together different peoples, customs, and ways of working it becomes exciting.
B2B in Italy and abroad
But then communication has always been part of your life! Why didn’t you make a job of it?
In fact, yes, it has always been part of my life, and in some way it has also been my profession, to communicate is to find the right contacts and put them in relationship. We can call them B2B appointments in the “modern” language.
I have always followed companies in their internationalization path which still includes a part of communication, indeed it is absolutely essential to communicate in the right way in order to bring companies to sell abroad.
I remember LeMadenItalie, my first website, it was a small Amazon in miniature, but it was too early for the producers. I’m not even going to tell you the absurd questions that were asked of me! For example, do you come here to ship? Yes, it didn’t work, but it gave me a very interesting experience in “building” a website at a time when it was still like talking about aliens!
So you immediately believed in the internet?
Yes, of course, I had an address, it seems to me it was: firstname.lastname@example.org, even before people knew what e-mail was in Italy, I think it was1995… Then my first Apple! that after inserting an entire archive on Lotus it looked like a Ferrari compared to a tricycle.
Then from 2008 we created blogs that presented my work and we opened the first social pages. In 2014 the UP2gether project was born and we entered more massively on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, WhatsApp Business, and Telegram to communicate more widely.
Today, more than ever, the internet represents a gateway to the market for companies, and is this why we have expanded the digital services on the new site? portal? www.up2gether.com.
In which sectors are you specialized?
There are no particular sectors but let’s say that I have worked more often with prêt-à-porter, food, construction, and energy but I happened to work with super special products and particularly delicate professions in the export world.
In the coming weeks, I will retrace my professional history a bit with the most important moments and the skills and soft skills that have brought me as baggage that I use every day to understand, analyze and propose new challenges to my Clients.
So are you ready to launch the new UP2gether?
If you listened to me I would never be ready, but I promised myself that for my birthday, April 2, it would be out and although it is not yet completed as I would like, we will go out and complete the various pages a little at a time, perhaps with suggestions and help. from everybody.
I would like to thank the friends who supported me even when I was hysterical (eh eh), the enemies who, saying that I wouldn’t have made it, gave me the energy to continue and all the experiences that have ensured that I have the right baggage for this new adventure.
So good wind Barbara from all of us!