Meet Jefferson



Founder Jefferson Pezzella conceived the idea for Cetuvi handbags while residing in Mexico in 2018. It was one of the many places his nomadic spirit landed he and his wife Diana over the years. Whether studying Portuguese, Brazilian literature, and Capoeira in Fortaleza, serving as a professor’s assistant in Italy, or hanging up his stocking cap in New Hampshire, where he resides in a tiny home, Jefferson’s minimalism reigned supreme and his possessions proved portable. While this Massachusetts native and son a of a blue-collar cabinetmaker never envisioned designing women’s handbags, it makes sense that his problem-solving pragmatism would result in something both malleable and mobile.

You don’t need big walls to hang your Cetuvi
handbag or encase it in glass, but it’s singular, collectible art nonetheless.

A hobbyist linguist, Jefferson speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, swears fluently in Italian, and can sing Russian rap. He loves to delve into the nuances of everything he encounters and it’s this attention to details that made him a successful online marketing consultant and general contractor for home construction all the same. While kicking back in Tulum contemplating another endeavor he stumbled across a YouTube video of a Russian guy named Vitali playing with epoxy in a way that transcended the countertops and flooring of his home contractor days. The fluid swirl of acrylic bliss reminded Jefferson of his favorite cenotes—Mexico’s subterranean freshwater pools. His passion for precision was piqued and he set out to make the lightest-weight, 3/16 of an inch, nearly bulletproof (don’t test this) handbag embedded with wood: Cetuvi’s River Bag collections were born shortly thereafter, in 2018. That is, after grueling over templates and forms, working with Mayan leather crafters in Merida, and swearing regularly and profusely—both in Italian and English.
Jefferson doesn’t harbor a burning desire to be Tom Ford. (Hell, he doesn’t even know who that is.) No, he has no aspirations to be a fashion icon, rather wanted to create something that preserved gallery-quality work while simultaneously serving as interesting moveable medium. You don’t need big walls to hang your Cetuvi handbag or encase it in glass, but it’s singular, collectible art nonetheless. So he and his small team work tirelessly to launch new collections dreamed up in-house or conceived with like-minded artists who agree that art appreciation should be a daily pastime.