If there’s a woman behind every great man, behind every great woman there’s undoubtedly a good mother. This is true of Chiara Ferragni, world-famous fashion blogger, who declared from the pages of “The Blond Salad” that her first source of inspiration was her mother, Marina Di Guardo.
So with our uncontrollable curiosity we decided to meet Marina.
With a career in the world of fashion, a photographer and impassioned traveler, author of blogs and novels and mother of three daughters, how have you managed to reconcile work, interests and family?
I had my daughters at quite a young age and it was an excellent choice, because this way we grew up together. Still, it penalized me professionally. I was working in the Blue Marine showroom in Milan and, considering that my home was in Cremona and I often had to be away to travel abroad, it was very hard going to look after Chiara, Francesca and Valentina. At a certain point I had to make a choice and I opted for the family. It was also then that I rediscovered my hobbies: photography and writing.
How important to you is writing?
Writing is something that is born inside you. I used to tell stories when I was very small. My passion came to the fore when my essay for the junior high school exam was picked out by the teacher and read in public. The approval that I got convinced me that I had something to express and that it was very important to do it. So when the girls became older I overcame my insecurity and my first novel came into being. Today my job is writing, but I don’t feel it as a commitment. Writing leaves me the chance to choose the moments when I can dedicate myself to my family without anxiety and obstacles.
You’re already the author of two novels, you’ve just published your third book, can you tell us something about it?
I’ve written three books with very different subjects, the first two are set in Italy, while the latest, “Bambole Gemelle” (Twin Dolls) is a detective story published in the “Filtri” series by Feltrinelli Zoom and is set in the United States.
How do you think you’ve contributed to the attainments of your daughters?
I think that for a woman the mother is the female model par excellence. I’ve tried to give them all my love and to show it by supporting them even in their hardest choices. For Valentina and Chiara, my work in fashion was a source of inspiration; they admired me when I used to go to the office looking perfect! I think Chiara has inherited my love of photography. She loved to look through the albums I made, as a kind of diary of our family life. I’m sure it was a stimulus to talking about ourselves through the blog and the social networks.
What advice would you give a mother for bringing up her children?
It’s difficult to give advice about such a delicate and decisive subject. What could I say? First of all, I would advise her to show the love that she feels for her children, not to take it for granted. Children have a great need for physical contact, cuddles, caresses and kisses. Then always try to understand their moods, their little and big tensions, interpret their needs. For example, I never filled my girls’ time with too many activities, too many courses, sports etc. You risk suffocating them and repressing the most beautiful and genuine part that is present in every child: imagination. Remembering one of the principles that have always inspired me: parents can’t be friends but must be guides, examples and points of reference. A beacon to guide them throughout their lives.
Have you any anecdotes to tell us about Chiara as a little girl?
When Chiara was small, whenever she managed to create something – a game, a drawing or something else – she used to do a kind of dance, rocking to and fro. It was a kind of ritual to reward herself. I notice that she still does it now, although imperceptibly.
Now that your daughters have grown up, what are your moments of intimacy?
At Christmas the four of us met up in Los Angeles. It was a really lovely occasion. We lived through new, beautiful experiences and thought back at those distant times of their childhood.
As well as being a writer and also a blogger, in “The Travel Passion” you gather together a large number of travel experiences. Which countries have you loved the most?
I’ve visited many beautiful countries. India made a big impression on me. If I had to choose another place to live today I’d think of the United States because it’s a country that gives you the chance to express your talents to the best.
I really love Sardinia, where we used to go when the girls were small. Up to now I haven’t had the chance to be acquainted with the Forte Village, but I’ve heard it spoken of so well and I’d like to write about in my blog.
So we say goodbye with the promise of a family appointment in the near future on the crystal-clear seashores of Sardinia, cuddled by all the comforts of the Forte Village.