Ca’ Pietra | “It’s really important for us to inspire”

How design inspiration, collaboration and diversification is driving the Ca’ Pietra brand. But at the heart of it all is passion, says head of marketing and PR Grazziella Wilson

25 Jul, 23

How design inspiration, collaboration and diversification is driving the Ca’ Pietra brand. But at the heart of it all is passion, says head of marketing and PR Grazziella Wilson

Ca’ Pietra | “It’s really important for us to inspire”

“I don’t want Ca’ Pietra to be known for just selling tiles”, says head of marketing and PR Grazziella Wilson.

“It’s about our brand and, for me, success is somebody going to a friend’s house for a dinner party and saying ‘I love the tiles in your bathroom’ and them replying ‘Oh, they’re Ca’ Pietra’.

Sponsored Video

“It’s that level of association I want our customers to have with our brand and that feel good factor.”

It’s a bold ambition, but one that through design inspiration, collaboration and more recently diversification is seeing the Ca’ Pietra brand making waves in interior magazines and social media.

Providing inspiration

In fact, Grazziella Wilson says providing design inspiration is increasingly important as tiles can often be the focal point in kitchens and bathrooms.

Ca’ Pietra | “It’s really important for us to inspire” 2

Ca’Pietra moodboard to inspire designers and their customers


“You’ve only got to look at Pinterest and Instagram and magazines and the tiles are the first thing you see”, she says, adding: “I think the expectation for brands nowadays is that you have to be at the forefront of design trends.”

In fact, she has noticed consumers are no longer settling for playing it safe, with mass-market design, but are happy to inject personality into their home.

“What we’ve seen since Covid is much more consumer confidence. I think our consumers are braver and bolder than ever before.

“But what I think they want, more than anything, is guidance and to be inspired. What sets us apart as a brand is that it’s really important for us to inspire.”

The inspiration is both through its product design and the way the company markets its products to consumers.

“We often put together in our marketing photo shoots, unexpected pairings of products just to really spark somebody’s imagination.

“What we see coming through in sales orders are those specific wall and floor tiles specified for projects. So we see the inspiration working first hand”, says Grazziella Wilson.

She adds: “We’ve just completed the Summer Edit and for us that was our Moments of Mine campaign.

What I wanted to do was think about the moments that we all have at home, such as Sunday Brunch with friends or sat in a courtyard in the golden hour, and how tiles form part of it.”

Creating tile designs

This family-owned business is run by the second generation, managing director Hamish Smith.

Ca’ Pietra | “It’s really important for us to inspire” 3

Ca’ Pietra at Ripples Designer Day informing franchisees about latest stone and tile trends


He also leads the creative team of Ca’ Pietra which includes product manager Lorenzo Smith and Grazziella Wilson.

She explains: “We decide between the three of us every single product that we sell. And it means that we can be really agile, because it’s not like there’s 100s of us that are making a decision and a huge committee of people that have  to decide.

“We work with statistics, such as figures on what sells, and the creativity we have between us – as a trio.”

But where does the design inspiration come from?

“Hamish has the most fantastic eye for design. He literally draws inspiration from everywhere.

“I worked in fashion before I worked in bathrooms and tiles, so I look a lot at what is going on in fashion and I often see colours, textures, trends and patterns on a catwalk pushed through into interiors.

“Plus, you’ve only got to look at social media to see some of the world’s coolest interior designers, what they’re doing, and you can dilute that look and feel for someone in their home”, explains Wilson.

Collaborative thinking

Most recently, this inspiration has come though collaborations with establishments like the National Trust and artist Clarissa Hulse.

Sarsen Stone | National Trust tile collection

Part of the National Trust Tile Collection is Woodland Glade, which boasts a design inspired by the Winkworth Arboretum near Godalming in Surrey.


In fact the Woodland Glade tile from the National Trust Collection has been a sales succcess story for the brand.

Grazziella Wilson comments: “We hadn’t seen an organic, irregular floral design, in the market before.

“We estimated the level of stock we would need to have for 13 weeks, but we sold out within about 13 days. Nobody anticipated the success of it.

“But I think what that shows you is a growth in consumer confidence, with them pushing the boundaries and willing to go for something out of the ordinary.”

Ca’ Pietra | Ca’ Pietra x Clarissa Hulse tiles

Design collaboration with Clarissa Hulse


And soon to be launched is a collection with artist Sasha Compton. “I found her on Instagram and just adored what she did, and I thought we don’t have something like that in our collection.

“She’s just sent us through some designs that we’re going to apply to some tiles, and we’ll have a beautiful collection for launch in September”, explains Grazziella Wilson.

However, collaborative thinking can also come from its retail network. Grazziella Wilson explains: “We went to the Ripples Designer Day and one of my key questions to them was what don’t you get from us?

“Designers might think, why would I tell you because it’s never going to happen. I think the difference with us is that it can, and it does happen.”

She continues: “A couple of weeks ago, one of our retailers said you’re missing a certain tile in your collection. I can’t find it anywhere else.

“In September, we’re launching it. That’s how agile we can be and how receptive we are to retailer feedback.

“Because it’s important we don’t just create products we love, but which our customers love and also the end consumer.”

Diversifying portfolio

Working with manufacturing partners across Europe, Ca’ Pietra started life supplying traditional terracotta. Its name – a shortened version of Casa Pietra, which means ‘house of stone’ belies its origins.

Ca’ Pietra | “It’s really important for us to inspire” 4

Summer edit tile collection


The company still supplies terracotta, alongside modern porcelain and highly decorative, patchwork patterned ceramics.

And it reports 97% of its portfolio is held stock, with delivery times for its tiles typically three to five working days.

Most recently, it has delved into eco-conscious solutions with Reform made of 60% recycled materials, plus the company is set to launch a new terrazzo range. “It is a whole new sector for us”, explains Grazziella Wilson.

Interestingly, however, the company is also diversifying its offer with environmentally-friendly Proper Good Paint, made in the UK, and available in 44 shades.

So, is Ca’ Pietra going to become the next Farrow & Ball?

“We’re a tile brand first and foremost”, replies Grazziella Wilson.

“But when designers are designing the kitchen or bathroom, they want to pick paints that complement the tone of the tiles and stone.

“It just makes sense for a bathroom or kitchen designer, when they put a moodboard together, to specify our paint, which they can also sell.”

And that’s not all, Ca’ Pietra is also venturing into the luxury vinyl tile market (LVT), with the Minerale collection of marble, stone and wood effects.

“It’s not what people would expect from us. It’s just adding another string to our bow, so to speak.

“I think if somebody wants that affordable luxury, lightweight and easy to fit tiling, then this is what we’re tackling with our new Minerale launch.”

Retailer support

Whether retailers are interested in selling tiles, paint or LVT, what is important is the retail support provided by the company.

Ca’ Pietra | “It’s really important for us to inspire” 5

Shop-in-shop display support for Tiles At Source


Ca’ Pietra provides all its lifestyle photography assets for retailers to use, creates videos to guide consumers and train retailers, plus this year it has introduced Masterclass webinars.

“We’ve had two webinars so far this year. One of them was about the do’s and don’ts of natural stone and one was how to drive footfall to your showroom with digital marketing.

“It’s just thinking of topics that we thought would be really beneficial for our retail partners and creating workshops for them”, says Grazziella Wilson.

Ca’ Pietra has also redesigned its website, which has taken over 18 months to two years to complete, to not only provide online product and merchandising ordering for retailers, but also the ability to check stock.

It has been revamped to make the buying journey seamless for the consumer – from finding a tile to buying instore – and now includes a Where To Buy page, as well as a call to action on each page.

“It’s really important we drive consumers to our retailers to be able to buy”, explains Grazziella Wilson.

With a network of 500-600 retailers, Wilson states the brand is interested in working with quality retailers but will ensure there is no overlapping of business, adding: “We want to work with people who will be committed to us as we will be to them.

“Whether it’s a kitchen, bathroom or tile showroom, it needs to be somebody as excited by our products as we are, and that we can partner with to bring our brand to life in their showroom.”

She concludes: “We really love design, fashion and interiors. You’ve got to be passionate about it.”