Boating in a Portrait | Simona Sanguineti: “Since I was a child I went to my father’s shop. Now it is an industrial business creating custom solutions for demanding boat owners”
Simona Sanguineti manages the family business, Sanguineti Chiavari, which makes personalised accessories for yachts, super yachts, pleasure boats and working vessels
Simona Sanguineti was born in Chiavari, where she still lives today running the family company, Sanguineti Chiavari Produzione Articoli Nautici srl, founded in 1958 under the name Sanguineti & Chiappe by its founder, Virginio Sanguineti, Simona’s father.
From the beginning Sanguineti Chiavari has developed a wide range of boating products of its own design and production. On 19 July 1978, an industrial manufacturing business was created, Sanguineti Chiavari Srl, capable of fully responding to the new demands of pleasure boating, quickly becoming a leader in the industry in the manufacture of accessories for yachts, super yachts, pleasure boats and working vessels.
Simona Sanguineti began working in the company founded by her father in 1992, when she was 20 years old, working in sales, in particular sales abroad, until she became the manager, together with her father. In the meantime two children arrived and, once she returned to work after maternity leave, she managed the company together with her husband, Taito Sanchez: Simona Sanguineti coordinates the administration, while her husband manages manufacturing and sales.
Simona Sanguineti, your first encounter with boating happened when you were still a student and came to your father, Virginio’s shop, while he was still selling boating items along the Chiavari boardwalk. What are your memories of this time?
The shop in Chiavari, located along the boardwalk, has always been a part of my life. Various family members have worked in the shop, my grandfather, mother, aunt and, obviously, my father. Sanguineti took shape in there, until we built the warehouse in Via San Ruffino 31, where it is still located, to transform it into the industrial business it is today. I have always been there, first playing, then working during the summer break until I finally entered the company officially full time, once I had finished studying.
Then a more structured company developed, beginning to also work in manufacture. And even you had to change your way of working. What is it like working with clients who range from large shipyards to individual boat owners?
The individual owner was that client with a passion, who knew his boat well and wanted to love it even more personally. Today, this type of relationship is increasingly rare. Shipbuilders make their choices autonomously. Some of them still have knowledge of quality, of the brand and its value, for others, instead, it has just become a question of money and they have lost that personal relationship.
Your company is specialised in products of the highest quality, custom-made, targeted at a niche market of pleasure boaters. In the meantime the boating industry has had to face two crises. Even in light of these two periods, has this still been a good choice?
This choice was a consequence of the crises we have faced in the boating industry over the years. Focusing on quality and custom made products has helped us overcome the crises and cut ourselves a slice in the more exclusive and tailored market, because we can better meet the needs of our clients.
You and your family have always lived and worked by the sea. How do you spend your free time with the family? Are you always by the sea or do you go to other places?
After a brief experience with a small motor boat, my father decided to move his holidays to the countryside to truly “unplug.” Our holidays were also tied to Holland, the country where my mother, Hilda was born, and where we spent a lot of time. I still bring my family there often.
Your husband, Taito Sanchez, has a past in professional sailing. Has your husband’s job allowed you to come closer to the sea during your holidays? What is your relationship like with the sea now?
Living in Liguria, a relationship with the sea is almost a necessity, both in summer and winter. Even in the winter the sea is amazing. Just looking at it often makes you feel better and clears the mind. Thanks to my husband though, I have learned to better appreciate sail boats and we go on a cruise every year.
Photos by Claudio Colombo
BOATING IN A PORTRAIT A project by Liguria Nautica and Claudio Colombo showcasing a gallery of Ligurian people or those who have ties with our region, who have left their mark on Italian boating, or who have deep rooted connections with our sea. For each of them, we present a photographic portrait taken by Claudio Colombo and an interview with our journalist, Giuseppe Orrù, to better know each person, in their personal lives as well.