When John Feidas (1885-1978) returned to Greece, in 1919, after having spend twelve years as a migrant in the USA where he learned all about shoecraft, he started making hand-made leather shoes in the city of Kalamata, in Messinia area, Greece.
He created a large customer base and gained great reputation in the local community, thus laying the foundations.
In the following years, his son, Dimitris Feidas, who was very talented in fine arts and painting, learned the art of shoemaking, including design and creative making of shoes, and he became an even better craftsman than his father.
As Kazantzakis says, “the third duty, to pass on to your son the great mandate to surpass you”.
After World War II, Dimitris Feidas had to start once again from the very beginning, since Greece was completely destroyed. So, he and his wife, Maria Feida (Sotiropoulou née), a brilliant and dynamic woman, decided to move to Athens (in the area of Psyrri, where all shoemakers of the era had their stores). They started their first small manufacturing business there.
They worked hard, putting in all their creativity, and they managed to become well-respected in the field of shoecraft. Having been brought up in this tough and demanding environment, their daughter Mina gained knowledge, experience and strength. So, she contributed greatly in her parents’ upward course.
Mina Feida married John Ntais, a hardworking man of vision, with progressive ideas, who invested greatly in the development of the family business.
After many years of hard work and hardship, the first privately owned factory was built (1961) in the area of Lambrini (Ano Patisia),,in a piece of land which had been acquired to host their daughter’s school, like an unfulfilled dream. So the small manufacture developed into a small factory, employing many people and operating with modern machinery. As a result, production of good quality shoes raised significantly and so did the number of customers on a national scale.
In 1968, the company becomes SA under the low profile title “D.J. FIDAS SA” which is the brand name till today.
Since 1970, it also became an export company, with clients in Europe and later in Russia, in the USA and in the United Kingdom.
In 1974, the second privately owned factory was constructed in Acharnes. As a result of increased demand for the company’s shoes, this unit was much bigger and modern. It was in this factory that D.I. FEIDAS SA grew gigantic in production and customer numbers (5.000 pairs/day – 800 customers), having customers not only Greece, but also in many more countries. The company became a leader in its sector, after beginning large exports mainly in Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
Mina and John Ntais had two sons, Dimitris and Panagiotis. Dimitris and Panagiotis. Dimitris studied Mathematics and became a University Professor in Theoretical Mathematics. Panagiotis studied Economics and specialised in Marketing. Since he was little, Panagiotis was observing and learning the job of his parents and grandparents, becoming thus the fourth generation of D.I. FEIDAS SA.
In 1990, John Fidas dies from a fatal disease, and Mina Fida-Ntai takes over the company, which she had always supported after finishing her studies in Sociology, standing by her father, her mother and her husband.
“Love responsibility. Say: it is my duty, and mine alone, to save the earth. If it is not saved, then I alone am to blame. Love each man according to his contribution in the struggle. Do not seek friends, seek comrades!”
In 2006, the head of the company, Mina Feida Dae, together with the administrative team of the factory and after 6-7 years of raising demand for the product Boxer, decided to construct the third factory of D.I. Feidas SA in the Industrial Area of Acharnes.
The head of the company decided that the construction of the third privately owned factory should be a task for the Managing Director Panagiotis Ntais to undertake, after finishing his studies in the University. The factory has a production capacity of 8.500 pairs of shoes per day The shoes are made with the most modern machinery and in an excellent working environment. In this way, vital space was created to boost the exporting activity of the company.
The opening of the new factory in 2010 coincided with the economic crisis in Greece – and worldwide. However, despite the fall in purchasing power in Greece, the factory continues to deliver within the limits of an era of hardship and, together with the team, employees, customers, and suppliers, we anticipate the day that would provide for a more extrovert business stance.
There is already demand in Austria, Germany, and Russia, so we have been waiting for a normalisation of the financial situation in our country, in order to make a dynamic outward opening in our production.