Sign In

Profile: Pennelli Cinghiale’s Eleonora Calavalle

Eleonora Calavalle-Pennelli Cinghiale

Company: Pennelli Cinghiale

Location: Cicognara-Mantova-Italy

Title: Managing Director

When did you start working in this industry and how did you get started?

My career started in 2004, but I have practically lived and breathed Pennelli Cinghiale since I was born. Ours is a traditional Italian family-run business that was founded in 1945 with the bold and visionary undertaking of my grandfather.

What aspect of working in the paintbrush industry do you enjoy the most?

The perfect balance between technique and creativity, which has allowed us, through years of experience, to develop a global brand that designs all the products necessary for painting.

What aspect of Pennelli Cinghiale makes you the most proud?

We have been acknowledged as a historic brand of national interest for Italy, and we have created a company museum where our history intertwines with pop art.

What are the main challenges you have faced in recent years and how is Pennelli Cinghiale facing them?

The main and constant challenge is to keep up with the development of paints. Chemical formulas are constantly evolving and we have to design products that are always up-to-date in order to achieve the best performance for their application. A good paint is not enough; you need a suitable tool to achieve perfect results, especially for professionals, who represent our main target group.

Do you foresee any permanent changes for Pennelli Cinghiale and the paintbrush industry in general?

The world of paints is moving more and more towards water-based formulations, requiring increasingly detailed research into synthetic filaments, which are the best to use with this type of formulation, and high-tech materials for a quick and easy application. Another essential aspect is the choice of components: we are now heading towards the use of FSC wood, recyclable plastic and recycled plastic.

Are there any news or initiatives taking place at Pennelli Cinghiale that you would like to share with us?

Over the past few years, we have invested heavily in research into new synthetic filaments which can guarantee the excellent performance of our paintbrushes with new-generation paints. Each filament mixture is produced – and their application is tested – in our laboratories. We are very proud of the results we have obtained, which is why we are very keen to protect our “recipes,” as in the case of Boartex®: a high-performance filament mixture that guarantees extraordinary results with both water and solvent-based paints.

The recruitment of skilled labor in general and young workers has been said to be a concern for the industry. In your opinion, how should this problem be addressed?

We have such a strong connection with our area, which is the industrial paintbrush and brush district, that this problem has never arisen. We have staff from different generations of the same family who have chosen to continue working with us; this is very important as well as significant.

Do you have any key advice in terms of business/leadership for young people whose aim is to reach a leadership role in this industry?

Develop a deep technical knowledge by listening to experience, but be brave enough to dare and innovate. Invest in digital even for a seemingly simple product like a paintbrush. Today’s consumers live in the digital world and they collect information before making any purchase decisions. This is why it is important to create strong cross-selling within the painting industry so that nobody is disappointed by the wrong tool-paint combination.

Does Pennelli Cinghiale participate or attend international trade fairs?

This past year, Pennelli Cinghiale attended the EISENWARENMESSE International Hardware Fair in Cologne, one of the main events for our industry. On this occasion, we presented new products that we have designed according to international building trends and based on the technical requirements of different countries, with a special focus on environmental impact.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I am a contemporary art lover, perhaps because art is the most creative and lofty result originating from a paintbrush. I cannot help but try to imagine the brush stroke and the artist’s gesture lying behind each mark on the canvas.

Do you have any pop culture favorites?

I love attending live shows and I have missed them a lot over the past two years. I caught up with summer concerts: from Tears for Fears and Ben Harper to Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga. The energy you feel when listening to live music cannot be compared to streaming on Spotify.

Are there any sports or teams you like to follow?

My favorite team is our team of Cinghiale professionals. Joking aside, our brand has had strong connections with excellent sports teams, my grandfather being a super fan. Our museum still houses important memorabilia of Inter FC since my grandfather was a huge fan, as well as that of the great cycling champions.

Do you have any advice for business trips?

Yes! Never forget a piece of Parmesan cheese in your luggage for your customer, it is the best gift you can give! Everyone appreciates the real taste of Italy.

Can you tell us one thing about you that people might find surprising?

I am a young woman, isn’t that enough for this industry?

What have you learned in life or in the industry?

People are stronger than products. Creating excellent products designed and manufactured in Italy is what Pennelli Cinghiale has been doing in the factory every day since 1945; but above all, I have learned that being a partner to your customer and not just a supplier makes the real difference.

Is there any question or topic we have not covered that you would like to comment on?

Pennelli Cinghiale can count on a strong heritage thanks to TV advertising, which is still alive in the Italian culture. My grandfather started right after the Second World War and now we are the third generation of a family-run business based on ethics and reliability. Today our goal is to bring the company to the international market with high-quality Made-in-Italy products, 4.0 production technology and digital marketing.

Learn more about Pennelli Cinghiale at

Related Posts