Behind every great woman is a great man.
Make that a few great men. Add two daughters and a Maltese named Ody, and you’ve just met the family behind Maglificio Tomas - one of Italy’s finest knitwear producers and the perfect example of how evolving gender roles have tossed idioms on their heads.
At its helm stands Maria Pia, who at a petite 12 years old launched what was to be a lifelong career knitting clothes while balanced precariously atop a fruit crate. What she initially lacked in stature she made up for with a passion so tenacious that first her father, then her uncle and finally her husband, Piero, invested in her vision, giving life to the Tomas knitwear brand in 1974 when Maria Pia was merely twenty.
“All the men came together and supported her right from the start,” notes her daughter, Mara. “My father was a woodcutter with a middle school education. He quit his job, enrolled in computer classes and learned all the technical aspects of operating knitting machinery.” Nor has he ever complained, she adds, on the contrary, he’s every bit as passionate about the business as his wife.
Fast forward to 2018. More than four decades have come and gone and Maglificio Tomas has remained exactly how Maria Pia intended: a family-run business with quality at its core, and women at the reins. Today she is joined by her two daughters, Mara and Simona, graduates of the Accademia di Alta Moda in Rome, as well as Mara’s husband, Ronny, who just like his father-in-law, quit his job to work in his wife’s company.
“It isn’t always easy,” admits Mara on keeping it all in the family, “we work together all day and then have meals together and talk about work.”
To keep the harmony each family member has a distinct role in the company: Mara and her father work side-by-side in programming and production, Simona focuses on design, Ronny takes care of sales and the business’s bottom line, and la mamma, well, she concentrates on what she loves best, assembly and packaging of the final product.
Despite the onslaught of mass-produced, cheap knitwear on the market, the Tomas brand has carved out a niche for itself by remaining focused on making the highest quality products available for a very discerning clientele. “The woman who wears our clothing is sure of herself and has a career that allows her to live well,” says Mara. “She’s extremely fashionable and appreciates the value of a luxury item.”
Tomas’ ethically sourced certified yarns, meticulously woven into cashmere tops and merino wool garments (check out our iconic Bomber jacket and full-length cardigan Duster) are proof enough. Exquisitely soft, casual yet elegant, they’re a wardrobe must-have that never goes out of style.
And the best part? Once you’ve picked out your favorite color, bespoke pockets and buttons, you’ll know that in the hilltop town of Fermo, Italy a literally tightknit family is making it just for you – and that the last person to lovingly tuck your purchase into its box is Maria Pia herself, now a mother and a grandmother, but with the soul of a 12-year-old-girl, her head full of dreams, weaving her future from a perch on a fruit crate.