My paternal great-grandfather, Anthony Benevenia (1903-1979), emigrated from a small village on the southern coast of Italy to industrial Newark, New Jersey in the early 1920's. He was an artisan by trade, and found work as a tailor at the exclusive men's clothier, American Shops, on Broad Street during the city's Gilded Age of Shopping.
My favorite part of the story, second to hearing about how Anthony always presented himself in "La Bella Figura", is hearing about the true pride Anthony had in his work, despite the pennies it paid.
Growing up in the traditional Italian-American household ingrained in me a deep desire to celebrate my family's heritage. My pride in being an Italian-American from New Jersey with Artisan roots has inspired the entirety of the Cara Benevenia Brand and Mission; a celebration of the values of integrity, passion, and purpose while sustaining life, jobs, and the beautiful craft of leather-making in one of New Jersey's inner cities.