Founded: In Bogotá, Colombia, in 1945
Gender composition: Men 56% Women 44%
Hours: 45 hours a week
Signed code of conduct: Yes
It all began with my grandmother. She wanted my father to learn a trade, and she sent him to help at a shoemaker’s when he was seven years old. In those days, it was done totally by hand - the only tools were a knife and a needle.
When he came of age, he moved to Bogotá and set up a cobbler’s shop. He made kids’ shoes and eventually moved on to men’s shoes. When he established this company at the end of the Second World War, he designed all the shoes himself.
When I was seventeen, my father sent me to Italy. I had to learn Italian in a week! I was there for a year, gaining experience in several studios. I learned to design from the best.
When I returned to Bogotá, I established a new mantra, "Don’t make shoes to sell; make shoes to make people happy." And this led me to focus on combining design, comfort, and quality.
My father died in 2015 at ninety years old. And I'd say that my only frustration is that he can’t see where the studio is now. He would have been so happy.
My drive comes from what he left me - I inherited a trade. I want to pass this trade on to the next generation. My role is not only to run a factory; it’s to continue a legacy.