Old St. Nick
The Gravely sisters grew up in the South, where porches wrap around the houses, lightning bugs illuminate the night sky, entertaining is a way of life, and visitors are always welcome, especially around the dinner table. Susan and Frances remember well the careful preparation behind a special evening, and they were often asked, as most children are, to help set the table.
Little did they know that very chore would turn into their life's passion.
Their story starts with a magical trip to Italy in 1983. Susan, Frances, and their mother, Lee, headed first to the Amalfi Coast where they checked into the San Pietro Hotel in Positano. During lunch at the hotel, the three women found themselves captivated by the hotel's colorful, handcrafted dinnerware. They immediately arranged to meet the artisans at a nearby factory in the town of Vietri sul Mare.
Their time at the small, bustling factory left them enchanted.
Susan, Frances, and Lee were so taken by the Italian artisans' craftsmanship that they ended up spending three days with them, watching as they painted, glazed and fired each piece by hand. A special friendship developed between the talented Italians and the charming southern women. Soon, the Gravelys returned home with an array of "mix-and-match" pieces featuring whimsical cows, horses, rams, and fish- the collection that would become known as Campagna, VIETRI's flagship dinnerware.
It did not take long for the ladies' friends and family to express interest in owning these unique pieces. Thrilled that others recognized what a treasure they had found, the women decided they wanted to import the Italian dinnerware and become wholesalers, selling to stores across the US. They worked long hours, day and night, carefully researching all aspects of the new business that would quickly unfold before their eyes.
The trio named their company VIETRI, a tribute to the town where it all began and a play on the phrase "tre vite," Italian for "three lives."
That was thirty years ago, and in the time since, VIETRI has become the largest American importer of handcrafted Italian tableware and home decor products, working with multiple family owned and operated factories throughout Italy. A leader in design, craftsmanship, and customer service, the VIETRI brand both complements the American lifestyle and celebrates all that is irresistibly Italian: a love of life, people, nature, and good living.