Stefano and Manuela are a young couple from a small town in Puglia, located at the very bottom of the heel of Italy. This part of Italy suffers from lack of employment opportunities especially for the younger generation. Many of Stefano and Manuela's peers have had no choice but to leave their hometowns in Puglia and either head to the north of Italy eg to Milan or abroad to find employment. Manuela and Stefano are very attached to their roots and family and wanted to raise their 2 young children in the beautiful area where they grew up. Puglia is a very family focused area and very rich in local traditions and beliefs. Here, shops, offices, schools etc close at 1pm during the week so that everyone can have lunch at home with their family. It's a tradition which is held very close to the hearts of the local people and one which they are proud to continue. However, Stefano and Manuela also understood that they needed to carve a career for themselves in order to remain in Puglia and support their young family and it was at this time that they discovered that they both had a passion and a creative gift for a family handicraft which has been passed down though the generations in Stefano's family and that is, the craft of making unique and beautiful handbags and wallets out of weaved upcycled newspapers. Stefano's mother taught them the skill and over time they have added their own contemporary twist to the handmade items. They have also amended the items over the years based on customer feedback and more recently based on the recommendations and market research from The Crafty Italians. Stefano and Manuel are the creative force behind the original products but they lack the marketing, business, financial and English skills to promote and sell their products to an international audience. This is where The Crafty Italians come in.