How a passion for footwear is born. The story of Max and Giò

How a passion for footwear is born.  The story of Max and Giò

After the first post in which we talked about the latest news on our site, today we want to talk to you about us.  If you have been so kind as to visit us here, the least we can do is introduce ourselves, explain who we are and how our shoe shop began.

To do this, we will tell you a story, the story of Massimiliano and Giovanni (Max and Gio) who decided to transform their shared passion into a job, becoming business partners.

Massimiliano is from Bologna and is 37 years old, Giovanni is Sicilian and is 46.  Two different regions and two different paths, which crossed because of their love for footwear.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Giovanni, before landing in Bologna, also lived in Germany.  The choice to put down roots in the capital of Emilia was made for study reasons.  After his diploma and a few odd jobs, he began working for Officine Rizzoli making orthopedic shoes.  His curiosity about shoe making, however, did not stop there and when he returned home from work, in a little workshop set up in his garage, he began making his first bespoke shoes by hand.

Massimiliano, instead, after getting his diploma in surveying and working a bit in an office, opened a bar in downtown Bologna, which he ran with his family for five years.  During that time, he was lucky enough to meet a shoemaker who began to teach him the basics of this craft.  Also Max, like Giovanni, continued with this new hobby after work.

The meeting between the future business partners happened at a master shoemaker’s where they began to work together.  They gained experience at other shoemakers in Bologna and nearby areas, exchanging bottles of wine and salamis for the kindness of their teachers.  After several nights spent in small, dark workshops, they decided to open La Calzoleria di Max e Gio.

At the beginning, they worked only with local Bologna clients, then, thanks to trade fairs, they began to get orders from all over Italy.  By word of mouth and some hard work,  they began to sell abroad, where they now have many clients.  In Russia, Kazakistan, Azerbaijan, London and Japan, they have partners who keep orders coming in on a regular basis.

The shop today is a destination for enthusiasts and it is worth mentioning that both Max and Gio have splendid families that support them and allow them to travel so that more people can get to know this fascinating craft.  This tale could end here, but they both have a dream for the future: to teach their kids this craft so that the tradition continues.  They are convinced that this skill, which has been abandoned by today’s generations, can again be the future in a world where items truly made in Italy are still loved and appreciated.

This is our story and we are happy to have shared it with you.  There will be more tales to tell if you would like to continue following us.