Luca’s passion is in handcrafted Italian purses. His dream is for every woman and man to have a piece of history and a piece of luxury that will complement their lifestyle.
His passions run deep and you can feel it as he speaks excitedly about the purses when you visit the store. What most people don’t know is that his love for purses started early in his childhood back in his native Italy.
He has been influenced by his surroundings while growing up in Italy — from the liveliness of the culture all the way to the ancient buildings still standing as a testament to the perseverance of all things Italian. One of his greatest influences is from his grandmother who worked for Dior as the head of brand development in Italy. She used to drive all over Italy with a sports car full of merchandise, trying to establish new products throughout the region.
Luca has instituted the motto of, “The right handbag can change your life.” He stands behind this belief and so do the hundreds of clients who now carry his genuine Italian purses.
My longtime friend and partner is Fabrizio Giusti, who plays a great part in this. He started designing purses in 1984, sending the designs to the artisans to make them. He has been in the business for the last 30 years and has a store in downtown Rome, Italy.
The artisans play a great part in this endeavor because without them, there is no product. The pieces of leather become a work of art in the hands of a master craftsman. Every piece that composes a purse is like a symphony that works together to create functionality and beauty as one.
Quality matters to us, that is why we carefully choose each piece. We purchase each roll of leather with the end goal of creating a product that will please you. The process of selecting, cutting, and putting it together is truly an art form on its own.
In the aftermath of World War II, much of Italy was left desolate. After years of rebuilding the Italian economy, the 70s were booming. My grandmother Rosanna Ridolfini Valentini started working for the French Brand Christian Dior; she traveled the Italian countryside in a sports car with a trunk full of products.
By spreading her love for Dior she hoped to lift the spirits of someone who felt worthless and undesired. She was pursuing her passion for making the world a better place and created a legacy of hard work and perseverance for her family. It takes guts and determination to not let things distract you from your path.
She was given a sports car to travel and a pile of cash to pay for her and her clients' needs because at that point in time there was no such thing as a credit card. She stacked the products in the back of her car and went on to the unknown. One of those trips she was almost run off the road by an unknown assailant, but luckily with her sports car and quick wit, she averted the danger. She has been an inspiration to me throughout my whole life. She is a wise and tough woman, full of courage and love. I’m so lucky to have my grandmother as my biggest inspiration. So as I embarked in this adventure of having my own business, I mirrored my grandmother as I first started selling purses out the trunk of my car. And the great thing is that I found people willing to trust me and my products.
“Thank you for giving up on finding anyone better than me.”
I saw this quote and it made me realize that it is the same way I feel about the products I offer at my store. They are made to last and once someone finds them, they’ll give up on looking someplace else.
I love everything that involves making the purses, from the conception of a drawing to the last stitching.
I remember when I first started selling purses from the trunk of a car, such a simple and humble beginning. I now own a store where people come, see, and feel what I tried to show them for so long. This an exciting time in my life, a time for growth and change.
The satisfaction I feel as I witness the fruits of my labor coming to pass makes me realize that I’m heading in the right direction. Come and join me on this journey.
This business has been such an adventure since the beginning. I started as a chef at The Market on 6th Street. Then an opportunity to start my own business opened up when a second-floor space at 8th and Railroad became available. I jumped at that chance! I met my first clients there and started to establish a small following.
So, I went on to pursue my dreams, making you smile with leather beauties of Italian craftsmanship. As months went by and the sky turned from blue to fall's grey, purple, and orange colors, another break came as a location opened up right on the boardwalk. Believe me when I say that I have put sweat and blood into this business, literally!
When space came available on the boardwalk, the windows were covered with a dark film that prevented light from coming into the room. So per my motto, I rolled up my sleeves and went to work by himself to move the store downstairs.
I was scraping the film from the windows when the sharp instrument I was using slipped out of my hand and cut my right leg shin. I picked up some of the film I was scraping (a little unsanitary, I know) and used it on to the cut to try to stop the bleeding. I then drove myself to the E.R. where I got 12 stitches! Then went back and finished what I started. All in a day's work! But that allowed me to open the store for the first Friday of 2016!
Ultimately what we do express who we are and our dignity. Building a business is like building a cathedral: every piece needs to be in the right place and do its work for us to able to enjoy its fruits of beauty and spirituality. I love and find satisfaction in this process of building and giving just because of the process.
I am Luca, the owner of Luca's Boutique. I was born in southern Tuscany, a land kissed by the sun and the sea. My family’s origin is spread all over Italy. Some of the traditions that I continually follow is the passion for high-end products and the beauty of the world.
My great grandfather was the Italian ambassador to Japan. I always admired his willingness to know the people and build friendships with them. My grandmother worked for Christian Dior in Italy in the 60s and the 70s. My uncle was a partner in one of the biggest Italian cashmere companies, and now he has his own cashmere production company. I have always been exposed to incredible people, places, and situations.
What strikes me the most is that the most beautiful creations require detachment and silence. What I mean by this is that inspiration comes to us when we pause and listen to what is around us from people to nature. This way we are able to transfer what we see and what we feel into what we do. Mindfulness is key in everything we do. The awareness of ourselves and what surrounds us is the key to understanding, to acting, and to love. Without inspiration there is no mission, without mission there is no belief, and without belief, there is no life.
Life has always been the core of everything I do. I have always been a seeker of life; of what makes life possible and beautiful and what happens when ideas are turned to reality and when people meet other interesting and vibrant people. There is a spark of magic in everything we do when love and life are the priorities. That is why our business was not born from a great idea but from a great friendship; the friendship between Fabrizio and me. He is the mastermind behind our product line, and he lives in Rome, Italy. His personality and passion caught my attention and interest. We both believe that art is the biggest expression by humans.
That is why our company and products are built around this challenge: to create an awareness of beauty, dignity, and mindfulness to the whole world. Embracing humans as the most precious beings and embracing their perspective and horizons with light and joy.