Giovanna Russo, the art-lover who keeps love alive in our Customer Care

Poets and troubadours make our tribe, we dream the book world and spread it around. We remain artists in an industry built on a cultural and literary object.

We feed the business with love and passion. This sounds incredibly cheesy but I’m convinced StreetLib team members are all romantics at heart (myself included). Even more so now that I’m preparing a new portrait for our “Meet the Tribe” gallery. Who inspired this poetic gush? Giovanna Russo, our Italian Customer Care manager.

Contrary to what she wrote to me, Giovanna isn’t a “common person” with “nothing particular about [her]”. She has made her day job about her passion. This is not something common persons do. It takes creativity and it takes guts. If you ask me, this is the one trait of entrepre-dreamers and future-makers. But again, I’m a romantic.

Giovanna is an art lover and, even though she put down her paint brushes long ago…

“As I finished school, and even during university years, I spent a lot of time painting and drawing; but I understood quite quickly this would not be “my way” :P”

…she never misses an opportunity to go check exhibitions, particularly of modern and contemporary paintings. You might find her for instance in the hallways of the Palazzo Albergati in Bologna for an exposition featuring Duchamp, Magritte, Dalì, Ernst, Tanguy, Man Ray, Picabia, Pollock and many more. (You might see me there too, this exhibition sounds amazing!).

André Masson — Goethe and the metamorphosis of Plants, to discover at the Palazzo Albergati

Traveler at heart (which, as you know, goes perfectly with our nomad ways), she never goes anywhere without checking the museums, exhibits or galleries to visit, as well as digging for a concert or music show to get to.

“I love hard and alternative rock, post punk and similar genders. (…) For me, the perfect trip combines discovering new places + visiting some galleries + a great live music concert.”

Into books as well (duh!), in 2013, she let her studies bring her closer to StreetLib as she left her home region of Calabria and her job as editor for an online newspaper to enter a Master’s programme in Content Management and Digital Publishing in the Marche region. (Reminder: that’s where our headquarters are.) Right into her Master’s topic and in the same region, knocking on StreetLib’s door for an internship was only natural. Her fitting spirits and vision made her a perfect applicant and it wasn’t long before she was fully a member of the tribe.

After an internship focused on Antonio Tombolini Editore’s project, Giovanna started with StreetLib pretty much at the same time I did. At the time Giovanna took the community manager’s post for Italian authors and I opened the same position for French ones. Contrary to me — who pretty much stumbled upon StreetLib one day and didn’t let go since — Giovanna had her eye on the company long before she jumped in.

“I actually first got to know StreetLib in 2011 (Simplicissimus Book Farm as it was called then) while working on my Master Degree theses on the new era of digital books. It was 6 years ago and the ebook concept was a great (and full of questions) innovation in publishing possibilities. SBF was one of the biggest ebook distributor in Italy at that time (still is now), but I was mostly impressed by the vision behind the technology.”

She now manages the Customer Care team in Italy, as well as dealing with web content and other tasks. This means every thankful message we receive from our Italian StreetLibers is somehow a result of her work. When asked what’s next, she answers: “I am working on a training project about publishing professionals: more on it soon! ;)” So be sure to follow us on social media and here on the blog to learn all about it!

Giovanna’s life is also filled with love in her personal life and she had a special note for her 12 years old sister, living about 1,000Km away (that’s about 625 miles) but always close to her heart. Closer in distance and right next to her heart as well is Giovanna’s dog, Ginger.

“A little black fox who smothers me with kisses and helps me stay healthy (walking, or better yet, running with her every day)”