Gino Mellozzi (1944-2001): Mellow Walk Co-founder

by Anthony Mellozzi                                                                                                                        (A son remembers his father on the 10th anniversary of his death)

I was eleven years old when I first started working with shoes.  My father taught me everything I know.  I remember sitting in our basement as he showed me how to hand stitch moccasins.  He would stitch the first half of the shoe and then leave the other half for me to do.  I always thought he did this on purpose because it’s much easier starting a shoe then finishing it.  I guess he wanted me to learn the hard way.

I learned a lot of things the hard way from my father.  That was the kind of person he was.  When he had to be tough he was, but he was also fair – not only with me but with everyone.  That’s what made him so great.  When you made a mistake he would explain what you did wrong and give you the chance to try again.

My father’s greatest gift was that he was humble and showed the utmost respect for others.  He was a simple man that immigrated to Canada just as so many of the people that he worked with in the shoe industry had, both at Mellow Walk and elsewhere.  My father’s gift to me was teaching me to be respectful and humble.

I’m in this business because of him.  My love for shoes stems from spending countless hours in the basement of our house stitching  moccasins.  It also stems from my earliest days at Mellow Walk skiving counters and cementing soles.  My father guided me, even when he was sick and unable to come to work, always pushing me to look after the factory in his absence.

My father would be proud of me today.  He would be proud to see that I have carried on in his absence.

This letter was not written for me alone.  It was written to share with everyone who has been involved with Mellow Walk in some capacity, either present or past.  It was written for a great man – a man who was brave enough to start a shoe manufacturing company in the early 1990s when everyone around us was closing.

My father would be happy to see Mellow Walk as it is today.  He would be proud to see that it has become Canada’s leader in comfort safety footwear.

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7 Responses to Gino Mellozzi (1944-2001): Mellow Walk Co-founder

  1. Pingback: Cream Puffs In Venice - Proud

  2. Nina says:

    What a beautiful, beautiful tribute and remembrance.

  3. TJ Lubrano says:

    This is such a wonderful & caring post! I’ve followed Yvonne’s blog Cream puffs in Venice for quite some time now, but I never knew about this. Super glad I do know now though. Your dad sound like a truly genuine and friendly man and the two words being respectful & humble, these words really fit my dad as well.

    Thanks for sharing this with all of us!


  4. A.M. Barletta says:

    Thank you. This reminded me of my father, Joe Barletta, who was a tailor. He came to New York from Monopli Italy at age 18 with only ‘the shirt on his back’ and little education. He and my mother built a small business in Syracuse NY which comfortably provided for us, not only in monetary ways, but in so many other important ways.

    His family, his customers and his work were the ‘loves’ of his life. He also passed away 10 years ago (Feb. 17). We were all so blessed to have him in our lives.

  5. Rosana says:

    Fico triste com você, mas ao mesmo tempo feliz em saber que o que seu “Pai” semeou, germinou e cresceu….. Continue assim, um filho maravilhoso e trabalhador.
    Acompanho o site de sua irmã e amo tudo isso.
    Desejo muita luz em seu viver e muita harmonia.
    Sucesso e mais sucesso.


  6. Tina says:

    Thank you for sharing this part of your family history. Enjoyable article…I know you are proud!

  7. iolanda says:

    Hi Anthony, you wrote a wonderful tribute to my special uncle.
    Here in Italy we will never forget what a special person he was, different from all the
    others, always with a smile for everybody.
    I also think he brought in Mellow Walk all Italians best qualities: hard work,fantasy
    and love for family.
    A big hug for you zio, you are always on my mind.
    Sorry for my rough english

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