Caterina Angerosa's Story: Founder of Anna Fiori Footwear
Caterina Angerosa - an iconic Australian immigrant who succeeded against all odds in the male dominated industry of footwear. Caterina went on to run one of the most prestigious women's shoe factory in Australia. One amazing women who's talent and dedication to the footwear industry in Australia is second to none.
Section written by Julie Angerosa: In 1942 in the middle of the Second World War and living in a small Italian village a little girl dreamed that la befana (The Italian equivalent to a Santa Claus) had left a new pair of red shoes under her bed alas she awoke but there were no red shoes under her bed, and from that day forward the little girl vowed that when she grew up she would make sure she would have shoes a plenty. Little did she realise that this vow, would occupy the better part of sixty years of her life. This little girl is the founder of Anna Fiori, Caterina Angerosa. Shortly after immigrating to Australia in 1954, she sort work in a shoe factory. She first worked at Bordeaux shoes followed by Footrest, Gold Cross and Rumbling Hall.
As an immigrant, she often felt ostracized from her Australian born colleagues also working in factories at the time. She promised herself that as soon as she could she would branch out on her own and in 1966 along with her husband Don started up their own shoe company which now includes their children Rick and Julie and thanks to Joanne Mercer has had resurgence with Matilda Life.
Whist the Anna Fiori factory in Thornbury Melbourne is much smaller than back in the 90's, the skill, passion and commitment to making quality shoes is in Caterina's and her children Rick and Julie's blood and hearts. Caterina can still be seen today on the factory floor supporting the Matilda Life production.