The Floto Story

Joe Floto leather bagsIn 1997 I was working on Wall Street.  I bought a leather duffle bag on a trip to Italy and over the years I noticed two things about the bag - it looks better as it ages and people always ask about it - I love that bag, where did you get it?

Five years later I returned to the Florence leather market to buy a matching bag.  I was on a mission to find the exact same quality and leather as my trusted companion - what is now the Venezia Duffle.  As fate would have it, the artisan who made my bag spotted me in the market and complimented me on her bag -- "you mean you made this??  Awesome! I need you to make me a similar size bag in the exact same leather, same color stitching, but it needs a pocket on the side for a passport and Blackberry(remember, this was '03 and I was a banker), plus a nice leather cover over the pocket, and built in cross-body strap - can you do it? - can you make me one?"  It sounds crazy I know, but an hour later I walked into her family's factory and found my calling - the smell of the leather and glue, the sound of rubber mallets pounding vegetable leather on marble, workers sanding raw edges and splattering paint everywhere but the leather, clicker dies cutting leather parts like holiday cookies - I was in heaven and the Wall Street gig was up!

On that fateful day in 2003, we made the first Tack Duffle, and I made my first bag.  Over a decade later I work full time with her and other artisans to produce new styles that are understated, classic, and timeless.  I am grateful to have a second family in Florence that I trust and collaborate with.

Thank you everyone for your patronage and appreciation for our artisan bags made with antique passion, Joe Floto  

Prior to becoming obssessed with making leather bags, Joe Floto worked as an Investment Banker at Salomon Smith Barney from 1996 until 2002.  At Salomon he focused on working with small private companies to raise early stage capital and eventually go public or divest.