Sandro Barbera & Sons

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.

Fabrizio Travisanutto

Fabrizio Travisanutto is the winner of the Artigiano del Cuore (Artisan of the Heart) contest for the Arredare e Decorare (Furnishing and Decorating) section. A Master Mosaic artist since 2003, he is now running his father’s business as well as creating wonderful artworks for prestigious customers worldwide.

Congratulations on your winning! How did you experience the “Artisan of the Heart” contest?
With great curiosity and enthusiasm. That was the first time I was so overtly involved; I generally avoid showing my work to a large audience. I would like to thank all the people who have spent a few moments to express their sympathy with us.

When was your business established? What encouraged you to carry forward its tradition?
My father, Giovanni Travisanutto, studied and worked as a mosaic artist in Spilimbergo until, in 1971, he was offered an opportunity to work in New York City, US. After working very successfully for ten years, he decided to come back to Friuli and open a workshop, and for years we never stopped, even one day, creating thousands of artistic mosaics in every corner of the world.
My father wanted me to become a lawyer, but, after attending the Liceo Classico, I chose to carry forward his trade. In fact, I have never seen him bored, or tired; he always looked satisfied, always happy to go to work. No doubt, he was, and is, my role model to this day.