CEO and Creative Director of Pellicano Group, Marie-Louise Scio talks to Emirates Woman about fearlessly elevating the family firm with fire, passion and an acute attention to detail.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

I kickstart my day with a 25-minute meditation session. Itʼs like a mental reset button, helping me to stay centred and focused as I step into the day ahead.

How do you combine legacy with modernity now that you are at the helm of the family firm?

Balancing our rich legacy with the demands of the modern world feels like second nature to me. Itʼs all about honouring the values and traditions that have been the bedrock of our family business while infusing it with fresh ideas and contemporary approaches to meet our guestsʼ ever-evolving needs.

How do you define the different DNA of the properties and is there a common thread that connects them all?

Each of our hotels has its unique DNA, shaped by the captivating stories and settings of their locales. My approach involves infusing every aspect of our hotels, from design to cuisine and ambiance, with the very essence of these remarkable places. Itʼs all about creating a truly immersive and sensorial experience. And what ties them together? Itʼs an unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch quality across all our properties, ensuring our guests experience the utmost in comfort, service, and overall excellence.

You launched ISSIMO – tell us how this brave move into ecommerce came about and what was the final catalyst to launch?

The idea for ISSIMO blossomed from my desire to extend the magic of our hotels beyond their physical boundaries. I wanted to encapsulate the entire sensory experience in one digital space. So, I broke it down into various categories, and it naturally led to the creation of a dedicated website. Yes, ISSIMO is wonderfully diverse, but thatʼs precisely the point. Itʼs the online embodiment of the Pellicano world, reflecting our philosophy of quality and excellence. The name itself, ISSIMO, signifies ‘the bestʼ, and thatʼs precisely what we aim to offer. ISSIMO isnʼt just e-commerce; itʼs also a treasure trove of editorial content. Itʼs a place where you can shop and explore Italyʼs regions through the eyes of knowledgeable locals, guiding you to the best of everything.

What has been the biggest success since the launch and. are there any pieces which drive sales season after season?

Our most celebrated achievement since the launch has been the Monopoly ISSIMO. Itʼs a unique collectible edition, “The Italian Road Trip,” that adds an irresistible Italian twist to the classic board game. Players roll the dice and embark on a journey through the beautiful Italian landscape, discovering iconic locations, hidden gems, delicious cuisine, and storied artisans along the way. And yes, itʼs been a hit season after season. In addition, our hotel merchandising, from signature ‘stripesʼ towels to cosy bathrobes, has been adored by individuals and businesses alike. Itʼs a testament to the love for our brand.

When have you had to be fearless in life and how did this materialize?

Fearlessness has been a constant companion in both my personal and professional life. In my career, it often means trusting my instincts when doubt tries to creep in. Iʼve found that my most significant accomplishments occurred when I followed my gut and persevered through challenges.

What is your biggest strength?

Iʼd say resilience. Itʼs the ability to adapt, bounce back, and stay committed, even in the face of adversity,
that has been a cornerstone of my journey.

What has been the biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?

Iʼve faced personal and professional challenges. My approach? Dive in and be fully present. By immersing myself in these challenges, Iʼve found solutions and worked through them.

Have you had any mentors in life, and if so, what knowledge did they impart?

Iʼve been fortunate to have many mentors whoʼve influenced my perspective and taught me a lot. My parents, in particular, have been pivotal. They taught me to think big, to never limit myself, and to push boundaries.

What is a kindness you’ve received or a lesson you’ve learned that you’d like to pay forward?

The importance of open listening is a lesson close to my heart. I strive to maintain this openness in my interactions, fostering meaningful connections and mutual growth.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Iʼd tell my younger self not to rush and always to believe in myself. Trust your journey, and have confidence in
your abilities.

How do you approach scaling without compromising on quality?

I canʼt reveal all our secrets, but I can assure you that quality is at the heart of our approach. It’s non-negotiable. Quality permeates everything we do, from our team members to our products and services.

What is the key to client retention in the luxury space?

Client retention in luxury hinges on offering a unique perspective and delivering outstanding service and experiences consistently.

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