My name is Ornella Auzino

I was born in Naples in 1980 and I grew up amidst handbags and tradition.

I love telling people how my brother and I used to pass the time after school at our parents' factory. I have always seen the factory as a magical workshop full of new things to learn.

That's where I grew up, amidst intense smells, rolls of lining waiting to be processed, trolleys parked near workbenches, waiting to be pushed by the hands of hard-working expert seamstresses.

Still today, in the background, I can hear the voices of the youngsters who worked for my parents back then.

My mother was there, her dirty hands and extraordinary talent creating those precious things we call HANDBAGS.

The years went by; after middle school I graduated from the Vincenzo Cuoco State Scientific High School in Naples.

I started university, but that's when my parents' financial troubles began...

I know I probably shouldn't talk about the setbacks I faced, but if you've stayed with me so far reading this, I'll let you into some more secrets.

My father had an accident that confined him to bed for some time, and then the company started falling apart.

The new millennium was underway and designer brands were starting to move their production to China to cut costs.

"Made-in-Italy" began to acquire a different meaning... and it's only today that we're seeing the damage that's been done!

I was overwhelmed by a storm of events and had to quit school, but bags, production issues, the pursuit of quality or running the family business were not my thing. When I occasionally visited the factory (or what remained of it) to say hello to my parents and the old-timers working there, I saw my mother exhausting herself over badly paid contracts and unrewarding work.

Despite her great technical skill, she was being humiliated by the mercenaries of the business, who took forever to pay their dues.

In the meantime, I taught myself marketing, attended online courses and tried various jobs: shop assistant, travel agent, call centre worker...

I loved all those jobs because they let me interact with so many people, each with different problems to solve.

At this point in my life, I was at a crossroads: stay in Naples, or leave as my brother had done a few years earlier.

The thought of staying in Naples was fraught with negative bias:

"Without friends in the right places you'll never build a career!"

"If your parents aren't high up, you'll never get work!"

"If you denounce the system, you're doomed to stay outside it!"

But in autumn 2009, during a family lunch, they asked me to RETURN to the company and take over the running of the business since my parents wanted to leave and do something else.

I didn't reply right away.

I wasn't ready to decide yet, partly because I was about to become the mother of a beautiful baby girl.

My decision came in late 2010.

I agreed to join the company and produce private label bags in Naples, with no crony backing whatsoever!

And if you're on this page reading this, it's precisely because years ago I didn't give up and I didn't listen to all those telling me IT COULDN'T BE DONE!

RICA was founded in 2011, a company created to develop private label manufacturing of luxury products.


Later, alongside RICA, I founded LE MIE BORSE srls, a project aimed at supporting emerging startups in the world of leather goods, through targeted strategies and tailored production techniques.


I started fostering the initiative of a Leatherworking School; I wanted to help restore that centuries-old splendour which saw Neapolitan craftsmanship among the most renowned in the world.

This is my dream: to restore Neapolitan leather goods to the forefront!

To assert that the real Made-in-Italy is rooted here, and our workforce is not only world-class but the future of a major renaissance.

Now you know a bit about me and I can't wait to learn about your project, your story and the bags you want made!

Do you want to know how to make this magic happen?


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