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Over 100 Years of Family Tradition, and It All Started with a Love Letter

The Bella Rosa Collection represents the legacy of my grandparents' love story passed down four generations. In 1915 they fell in love as teenagers in a small town in the hills of southern Italy. From there, their life was an adventure with only one constant — love letters. Love letters were how they circumvented their family's approval while they secretly courted. It was how my grandpa continued to reassure Grandma Rosa of his deep love for her when called into the Italian army. It's where he penned his first of many proposals that led to the wedding that was just the beginning of their epic love story. 

Enduring Love

Enduring Love

Letters were how they endured being an ocean apart when my grandpa left Italy to make their American dream a reality. Every Friday for 18 years, he sent Rosa his paycheck with a love letter to buoy her hope of reuniting in America. After long years of war and separation, in 1949, their dream came true, and they settled down in New Jersey with their growing family. Three years later, a plane crashed into their house while Rosa was home alone, ending her life far too soon. Rosa's handbag was the only surviving possession among the ash and rubble. Safely tucked inside the bag was my grandpa's letter in 1919 proposing to my grandma. Every day of her life, she faithfully carried it inside her handbag.

A family Legacy

A Family Legacy

Over 100 years after that first letter, and four generations of family traditions later, I designed the first edition of the Bella Rosa Bridal Clutch to hold a love letter from my fiancé on our wedding day.

Today, the Bella Rosa Collection combines the intimacy of a personal inscription, the loving touch of embroidered couture, and the romance of Italian craftsmanship. From your engagement party to saying "I do," we establish connections between each wedding event, so every bag feels creative yet cohesive.I want you to experience the same thrill and joy for your Bridal Clutch as you did when you found "the one" — meaning your wedding dress, of course. The Bella Rosa Bridal Clutch is a wedding heirloom in a small-batch, sustainable fashion with the potential to pass on for generations.

The love letter recovered from the American Airlines crash, written by Domenic Caruso to Rosa Andreola in 1919.

The first bridal clutch prototype Maria designed for her elopement to honor her grandmother, Rosa Caruso. Announcements by Ceci New York

Maria Caruso Martin with husband Thomas Martin at their elopement at Palmetto Bluff.