• Michelle Fix

Chapter 2 - Guilia

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

“Mama! Dove sei?” Nothing. Where was everyone? There are several orders to ship today and tomorrow. Gloria should be managing the seamstresses. Where is she? And Mama was always at the atelier. Always.

Alba quickly raced down the circular stairs from the entrance. As she approached the last two steps, she stopped and looked about the well-lit room. Nothing but sewing machines, cutting tables with half-finished patterns, and a few bottles of water. She’d have to remind everyone that there is no food or drinking on the tables. She made a mental note - this was something her new assistant could start to manage.

Racing back up the stairs, she heard voices coming from the garden towards the back of the first floor hallway. She recognized her mother’s voice and heard that of a stranger.

“Si, si, si. Alba Bianchi Alta Moda….

“Mama!”, interrupted Alba. “Mama e Gloria! Cosa fai?”

“We’re just speaking with Giulia, Alba” replied Gloria. “She arrived early and Francesca thought we could show her around the atelier.”

“Grazie, grazie! That was very thoughtful of you.”

Francesca looked at Alba as if she were a misbehaving child. “Alba. Sono tua madre et socio in affari. Io posse…..”

Alba put her hand on her mother’s arm. “Of course, you are my mother and business partner, Mama. But you have so many responsibilities. You don’t need to concern yourself with the administration of the house. I will continue with Guilia and I thank you both for showing her around and making a good introduction.”

Giulia was observing the entire interaction, which was clearly a highly tense exchange. Since she was a stranger, though, everyone was keeping their anger pushed down under the surface. Giulia had worked for family-owned businesses before so she was ready for some unpleasantness and the need to be extremely diplomatic and strategic. Mother and daughter relationships could be very difficult to navigate - especially in business.

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