(l-r) Antonio the founder of Yin Italy and Milan shop owner Lina.
This month I'm pleased to introduce to you one other maker in the Ballettonet family. Manager of sales and development strategy at YIN Italy Paola Nuzzo, talks with us about the unique aspects of her family’s shoe making business, what led her to join the company after a successful career in corporate consulting, as well as her top travelling tips when in Italy.
We had the pleasure of meeting Paola and her father Antonio, during our first business trip at the MICAM shoe fair in Milan. Paola is wonderful to work with and we're impressed with the wealth of industry knowledge she holds at such a young age!
What do you do, and what do you enjoy most about your role?
I run the company together with my father and I am in charge specifically of sales and development strategy. I enjoy working together with customers, as they normally appreciate and share our enthusiasm in our product. Manufacturing and selling shoes is no easy job, and dealing with those who value the result of our work is most rewarding. On the other side, I enjoy working closely with my father and learning from his great experience and know-how.
What made you go into the shoe-making industry?
I used to participate in shows and spend some time in the factories occasionally when I was a child, and then I sometimes helped my father when needed during my studies. I later made some work experiences in different businesses, and at some point I felt I had the means to join full-time my father and give my contribution to his business development.
What is different about your shoes compared with other brands?
First of all, it is a unique product: it’s an extra-light and super-flexible shoe, weighing between 130 and 160 grams a shoe, with a comfort foot-bed inside its “sacchetto” construction.
Secondly, because of the “sacchetto” construction, it is a very typically Italian hand-made product, we make it 100% in Italy and we select top quality sophisticated leathers.
Finally, every style is highly personalised in its design and in the combination of materials used.
Is it common in Italy for people to follow in their parents' (career/business) footsteps?
Italy’s economy is based on mainly small businesses, and family is probably still a fundamental unit in our social structure. I know many people, whose parents have their own businesses, who have decided to follow and contribute with their fresher approach and energies.
If you took your family on holiday anywhere in Italy, where would you go and why?
We live in one of the most beautiful areas, Salento. I would spend some weeks in Otranto.
What are the top 5 things to do in Lecce region?
1. Visiting the old town of Lecce
2. Sunbathing in one beautiful beach (e.g. Porto Cesareo or Laghi Alimini)
3. Walking in Otranto and visiting its Cathedral
4. Walking in Gallipoli island-shape old town
5. Seeing Basilica di Santa Caterina in Galatina and its great frescoes.
If someone wanted to live in Italy somewhere to experience the "Italian way of life," where would you suggest and why?
I think that would definitely be Rome, where every feature of the Italian character is expressed at its greatest. A foreigner there can get the most vivid impression of Italy.
Paola (centre) with her cousins.
Porta Cesareo (Image: Pinterest)