Laura was 17 when she immigrated to the United States in 1905 with
her sister Anna, then 30. They arrived in Providence in 1907. She
was also a skillful seamstress, and partnered with her sister to
open "A. & L. Tirocchi" in 1911.
is clear that Anna Tirocchi was the artistic genius behind the sisters
business, but Lauras role is less certain. Varied accounts
of her position suggest that Laura made contributions to the business
in different ways at different times. According to some, she kept
the business organized. She was also a valued confidant and advisor
to Anna, pointing out the merits and demerits of a particular design.
Although Laura apparently worked upstairs alongside the seamstresses
she also joined Anna in the public rooms to assist with fittings.
She may also have designed gowns along with Anna.
Lauras loyalties were always somewhat divided. She was devoted
to Anna, who was mentor as well as sister, and she felt a sense
of responsibility toward her. It is not clear how important Laura's
assistance was to Anna, although we do know that Anna had a crippled
arm and leg that hindered her somewhat. In later years, Annas
health was also fragile. However, as a married woman and a mother,
Laura had definite responsibilities to her own family. Anna was
a demanding business partner; Dr. Cella was a husband with traditional
views of marriage. Laura did her best to keep both happy, but it
cannot have been easy.
Laura and Louis Cella had a son, Louis, Jr., and a daughter, Beatrice.
When Anna died in 1947, Laura and the family lovingly packed up
the remains of the shop and closed its doors. The clientele had
dwindled to almost nothing and Laura had not the desire nor energy
to re-invent the business. She turned her attention back toward
her family and lived at 514 Broadway until she died in the 1980s.
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