Tribute to Domenico Carbotti

I began manufacturing leather goods in the immediate post-war period. I can’t remember exactly whether it was 1944 or 1945. I was about 10 years old when at the time I came across the famous Caffè Derna in Via Barnaba. First I started cleaning the floors and only after a while I was allowed to cut the leather and finally to sew it to make saddles and horse harnesses. After three and a half years I decided to improve my skills with another very good saddler, who had his workshop in Taranto. After two years spent moving between Taranto and Martina, I realized that the expenses for the transfers were too much. I decided to start working at my parents’ house.

My parents’ house didn’t have much space. My desk, on which I pulled the hand-stitched leather, was very small. I was able to make wallets and belts using materials that I somehow recovered from Martina or Crispiano’s shoemakers.

In 1952 I decided to take a small room in Via Gaetano Grassi. Those years were particularly difficult but also profitable. I received orders from a company in Martina to manufacture leather frogs to be applied to their duffle coats. I remember as if it was yesterday that I made thousands of them and all the friends who came to visit me were immediately recruited to help me with this task.

It was 1955 that marked the change, as I won the silver medal at the “Mostra artigiana Ionica” for my leather goods exhibition. This recognition brought me more customers and led to the creation of the Carbotti Domenico private enterprise. I kept on searching for skins with my Piaggio Vespa scooter outside of Martina, in neighbouring countries such as Grottaglie and, above all, in Bari.

Meanwhile, my family, as well as the company, grew up and my sons decided to follow me in my business. In 1985 the laboratory moved to a larger space where we are still located today, in via Pietro del Tocco 31.

My eldest son, Angelo, supported me along with the stylistic phase and in the production. Retail sales continued in Corso Messapia, as still today, followed by my second son Michele.

The company Carbotti Srl was founded in 1987, together with my first two sons; in 2001 my third son Gianni joined in. With the arrival of Gianni, our company had a more international attitude, thanks to his training and ability to use the Internet as a vehicle for the promotion of Carbotti bags. Now we export all over the world and in particular to Korea and Japan.

The passion of my work was my source of inspiration. I always loved to work the leather trying to convey to our products not only the quality and style of Made in Italy but also the strength of tradition and experience gained in fifty years. These are the things we must focus on and that can distinguish us from the massification of the market.

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