With all the publicity that all-things-Acro gets on YouTube, Facebook and here on Tari Television, you may not know about my other business specialty business that has been tastefully bridging the gab between Italy and the US for over thirteen years. It’s a boutique Italian leather import company named Epica. From the very beginning I knew Epica had to be elegant, timeless, luxurious, uncommon and beautiful. Epica means Epic in Italian and these products, these leather bound books and albums, wine logs and guest books, are nothing short of that.
In 2001, I lived in Rome for a year and spent my days teaching English and Hip-Hop while I scoured the country for something special to have custom made and exported back to the US . After traveling through countless ancient cities, I discovered that among Italy’s known artisanal talents such as gold, food, clothes, cars and women, that Old-World bookbinding was also an area they possessed expert knowledge in. I knew wanted to create something that was captivating and rare but also useful, fun, and special. So after endless travel via train, metro and bus across hairpin turns on the Amalfi coast, I was finally able to discover s tiny handful of artisans in Florence who would create some of the more beautiful handmade leather photo albums and leather journals I had ever seen. Items that when you touch them, smell them and use them just cue you in to something different. We created leather guest books, diaries, travel journals, wine logs… it was endless. Combining different size covers, with different paper styles like handmade Amalfi paper or deckled edge writing pages yielded endless possibilities. The leather bound books that I have now been importing since 2001 were and are, much like you see in the photo above, stunning to behold and awe inspiring. Couple that with a penchant for journaling that I had during that period of my life and fashioning an import/export business based on fine Italian leather goods just felt like the right thing to do. It felt in alignment with purpose.
It wasn’t long before I shipped an assorted box of handmade Italian leather journals and albums in different shapes, styles and colors back home, whereupon I also shipped myself back to US soil and began the unique process of starting a business. This was right around Sept, 2001 and incidentally right at the time of 9/11. Over the years Epica has evolved through many tramnsitions, but what has always remained is the timelessness and classiness of these leather books. Though somewhat niche in nature, Epica has always been had something for everyone: a fine hotel needs a guest book, a wine collector, a wine log or wine journal, a chef, a place to store loose leaf recipes, an artist, a leather sketch book for drawings, and of course a newlywed couple needs a handmade Italian leather photo album. Even in the city of angels, celebrities, directors, studios and production companies have all ordered Epica to enhance their surroundings or to keep their thoughts safe.
During the first few years of Epica’s growth, someone asked if we offered personalized embossing; that is, if we could personalize the journals and photo albums with peoples names on it. At that moment, I couldn’t even imagine how to go about doing such a thing but I had trained myself to follow through on anything that someone asks me about more than once. But total customization? Personalized Italian leather journals and photo albums? It was a stretch but after some research and collaboration with different hot stamping companies I was able to make something happen and Epica took the rather huge but now obvious leap into hot foil stamping and leather debossing.
And so, it wasn’t long before we also began to offer not just customization of your Italian journal, album or guest book but also the words upon it as well. Letter by letter, word by word, we’d setup lines metal type in old world hot stamping machines, heat the letters to 250 degrees and emboss, or more accurately “deboss” these exquisite products with peoples names, sentiments, dates and quotes. Not long after came images, crests and company logos like Porsche, BMW and Chanel. Over time, Epica grew to become one of the only global online sites where you could personalize a photo album or journal with words, images and even a title page on the inside to share even more personal sentiments.
Now in 2013 we offer one of the more unique selections of Italian leather books and albums available today. We can even custom create a book to your exact specifications right down to the ridges on the spine, quantity of pages, and color of the leather. If you need a mens gift, a woman’s gift, a birthday gift or a holiday gift, Epica is the place to shop.