"I guess what has been a constant passion in my life is being able to create with my hands and likewise, see something come to life through the hands of someone else."
"Hi, I'm Luigi and my story begins in San Fratello, in Sicily, Italy. I'm a post-war child and my mother was known for baking the best bread in town – no small feat when you consider that many women baked too.
"I studied typography and I worked in one of the best newspapers in Rome. It was a good job but I decided to leave it and learn how to work with leather. I apprenticed under a master tanner named Cesar and within six months I was in charge of production at his workshop.
"I also worked for Don Alfredo Gucci, who instilled in me a passion for quality. Backed then the 'Made in Italy' trend was forged, and it was the time when handbags were entirely crafted by hand and by commission, resulting in unique or highly exclusive designs.
"Some years later I entered a competition with some handbag designs for a big company in Colombia, and I won along with other Italians. We were offered a contract and not even knowing the language, we ventured into Columbia, where we developed several collections. I lived in Columbia for 15 years, and then I moved to Venezuela to oversee the opening of a new company, and while I was there I was asked to consult for a company in Guatemala who was having quality issues.
"And when I went to Guatemala I fell in love with the country, its vibrant colors and wonderful textiles, which continue to be my source of inspiration.
"To me, my bags are not just a product. They are a part of me. My work is my passion. My designs reveal the best of both continents. I am Italian by birth, but my cultural identity has been enriched by my experiences in Columbia, Venezuela and especially by Guatemala, where I have settled and have a beautiful family.
"I guess what has been a constant passion in my life is being able to create with my hands and likewise, see something come to life through the hands of someone else. Watching the transformation of materials and guiding them into something different, the product of thought and work, has always touched something in me. I think it might be in my genes although not through the path I have followed, but definitely from the culture I was raised in. I was taught to take pleasure in my work, have passion for quality and the value of creativity in any aspect. This comes from growing up during the post-war era, when someone becomes creative out of necessity because when there isn't much around, one most find ways to meet one's need. One must be creative to survive and get ahead.
"I work with a team of talented people, resulting in designs I would call as 'cultural' because they are imbued with the essence of Guatemalan textiles, such as rich textures, extraordinary colors that honor Guatemala's 'eternal spring' fame, and the fact that each region in the country has its distinct colors and textile styles. Our collections can be regarded as ambassadors of what Guatemala has to offer, what is uniquely ours.
"I would like to share with Novica customers the pride I feel when I see one of my designs finished – it's the same kind of pride I'd feel when I was a child and had a new toy. I would like to assure you that behind each of our bags there's not only professionalism and good technique, but also a love for the knowledge and passion that comes from our art and the dedication that goes into every stage of the crafting process from start to finish.
"When a client selects one of our designs and returns for more, we are truly privileged."