Sandro Barbera & Sons is the winner of the Artigiano del cuore contest, for the section entitled Vestirsi e Ornarsi (Chothing and Ornaments).
We have met Sandro’s son, Andrea, who is now continuing the family business with his brother Stefano: a sound, cutting-edge company, resting on a great family tradition. Everybody in Biella knows and loves their shoes, which are successfully sold worldwide.
Congratulations on your victory! What were your feelings throughout this experience?
Heartfelt thanks, we must say, from my family. We went through the contest with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of excitement and, undeniably, some anxiety: it was a dream coming true! It was a team win, thanks to our parents and all the people who showed their affection, trust and a keen appreciation for our products.
When was your business established ? What did growing up in a bottega mean for you?
Ours is a family business, it was established 50 years ago thanks to my parents’ expertise in the shoe industry and their passion for Italian handmade objects. They were deeply rooted in the savoir-faire characterising Biella’s territory to this day, which is deeply rooted in me and my brother Stefano as well. We followed in their steps as the natural consequence of having been reared in the bottega. That was always a magic place for us, where we could create things with our hands, play together, meet new people and see a glint of wonderment in our clients’ eyes. I owe a lot to my parents — especially my father — who were able to pass on their passion and their trade secrets to us through a full-blown family apprenticeship. Also, master shoemakers often visited our workshop exchanging their expertise with us, playing a relevant role in our training and offering us an excellent opportunity for growth.