The Romualdo’s bet.
By Vespa through Italy. The creation of the company, the unity of the family, the courage of the businessman
1951 -The war ended few years ago.
. It is time of crisis but also of opportunity. Romualdo Neri
worked as blacksmith, painted the pylons of electrical railways, drove trucks and busses.
When he celebrates his 23rd birthday, he becomes goldsmith for “third parties.” Not only he finds work for himself but also gains the cooperation of his mother and sister.
When the demand increases, he looks around and begins to employ some friends. It is a family company, the laboratory is his house. First a room, then the garage and finally a new floor is built for this.
He is clever and the company goes well: another lab. is added in a closer place.
1956– the big step: work and his own brand, 26AR. The Romualdo’s company is the 26th
of more than one thousand companies that over the years will characterize the economy of Arezzo.
He had a positive experience with a partner which unfortunately, after few years ,decided to move to
The small company has not enough strenght, so Mr Romualdo decides to try other roads.
In his suitcase he brings experience, courage, and desire to change.
That luggage will accompany him for many years through Italy , on his Vespa and with his family.
His wife , Annide , will be his reference point for all his life: at work, in everyday life, in the care of children. Not only she follows him, but strongly supports him in the changes of cities and places where to live.
She is his column in the most hard and difficult times.
Businessman at the begining, Romualdo, becomes business executive. First at Balestra in Bassano del Grappa, then at Filippini in Verona and then at the Texuflex of Vicenza.
From his suitcase he pulls out the experience of his little laboratory and exports his” formula” in Veneto:
a central core and a constellation of small family workshops.
He creates work oppurtunities and relationships. Every morning with his Vespa he takes the gold to the collaborators, then back to do the business executive and in the evening, back on the Vespa again to collect the daily production.
When this experience reaches his peak and maturation, Mr Romualdo does not wait for the beginning of the
descendant parables. The instinct and the desire to change continue to guide him. This is the time of Calabria, where he finally finds the dexterity needed for the company’s core business: the handmade chain.
The place is Torretta di Crucoli, near Crotone, where the girls ,since young, weave their wedding kit with mothers and grandmothers : this capacity may be used to create chains.
It is ‘1971. There was no large possibility to work, women are at home, regular contracts are a mirage. Mr Romualdo employs and regulates several dozen young girls.
He compromises historical balances and the lawlessness. The threats multiply. In the end the painful but necessary decision: leave Calabria and get back where everything began.
To transfer the production quickly, he needs a factory already settled, so he settles it down in Caprese Michelangelo near Arezzo.
It is 1972. Mr Romualdo continues to focus on his classic product, the “handmade rope”, and decides to expand his production.
He begins to work silver as well, considering the crisis that is beginning to show its signs, and respecting the diversification that will be a feature of the brand Neri.
In the seventies he creates “the enamel fish pendant, that will be a kind of “trademark” in the history of the family, together to rings, chains, crosses.
Mr Romualdo is supported by his sons and daughter Danilo, Carlo and Luana.
The development seems unstoppable.
it will be the weapons of a gang of robbers to trigger a red light to the Neri’s company. The caveau was emptied, one son was wounded, the daughter, who was pregnant, was upset. It is not just the crisis of a company, but it is above all the drama of a family.
Friends remain close, but the big companies for which The Neri worked, did not do the same. For a few months the question remains whether to continue or Not.
In the end the character of Mr Romualdo and the determination of his sons won.