Andrea Di Giuseppe, international CEO and co-founder, Trend Group
Andrea Di Giuseppe grew up in his family business, a tile store located in Rome, Italy. In 2000, he and wife Federica, along with her father launched Trend, their own brand of Italian mosaic tile. Andrea oversees operations and production, and Federica heads up artistic development. Launching Trend was a fitting endeavor. “I came from glass and gold mosaic production and she is very artistic,” Di Giuseppe says. The company has experienced almost meteoric growth. In 2001, the couple moved to California and launched Trend Group USA. Then just two years later, they moved the business to South Florida. “We relocated to South Florida because it is a natural door to the South American market,” he says.
In 2003, Trend Group purchased the historic Angelo Orsoni Furnace located in the heart of Vincenza, Italy. Founded in 1879, it is the oldest glass factory in the world and is a UNESCO protected historic monument that now serves as Trend Group's global headquarters. There, more than 6,000 colors and shades of glass and gold mosaic are produced by four generations of craftsmen using the same Old World techniques. Master classes in mosaic work are also taught there.
“In 2005, we built the largest glass factory in the world, in Sebring, Florida to serve the U.S. market and be closer to the South American market,” he says. “Trend branded products, which include glass mosaic and terrazzo tiles, are designed in Italy and made here,” he adds. The company's website states it is now one of the world's leading producers of color glass mosaic, Venetian enamel, gold leaf tesserae and engineered stone surfaces.
“Our rapid growth came from the decision to open franchises,” he says. “It was really new for our industry.” Focused on kitchen and bath remodeling, the group's Granite Transformations franchise network provides resurfacing of counters, cabinets, walls and floors—primarily using products manufactured at the Sebring plant. It currently has 75 franchisees in North America, 45 in the UK and 50 in Australia. “At least 40 percent of our franchisees are former clients,” he says.
Today, Trend Group has offices and manufacturing on four continents, and has more than 1,000 employees including 100 internal designers who work with independent interior designers and architects. The Trend brand is also sold through high-end tile showrooms, including Ann Sacks and Walker Zanger, among others.
Although managing aggressive growth, Di Giuseppe hasn't lost sight of the art. “We shipped an elaborate elephant sculpture in 14K gold tile to be placed at the entrance of the University of Phoenix Stadium for the national finals college bowl game, because one of the sales reps is a big Alabama fan,” he says. (The elephant is Alabama's mascot.) The sculpture will be donated to the Miami zoo to be a focal point at the park entrance. How cool is that?
Trend Group’s Gold Mosaic Elephant designed for University of Alabama fans attending the College Football National Championship Finals will be permanently showcased at Zoo Miami.