The Real History of Penha



To know the real history of Penha company we have to go back more than 50 years and get to know the shoe maker that made the first Penha Shoe. His name is João Novais and this is the part of his life history that made possible this company existence.

Recently married and with a child on the way João Novais had to get out from the farming fields and came to the city of Guimarães searching for a job so we could support his family and provide for them better life conditions that the life of a farmer could. Being educated to work since he was young it was no problem for a man like him to find a job and so he found a job as a helper in a shoe workshop!

As the years went by He started to get very good in his job, so good that the clients started to ask him to fix the shoes over the owner of the shoe workshop. That cause some jealousy to the owner and he got mad and afraid that João Novais could take his clients elsewhere. The workshop owner thought in a plan to get rid of João Novais so tried to give him a bad name, he starts to accuse him of revolutionary ideas and that he was a communist! In these times those were very dangerous accusations and somewhere between that time the secret police of Portugal dictation (PIDE) took João Novais for questioning, after some days they set him free. Making false accusations in these times was also very dangerous so the Police came after some time and they took the owner of the shoe shop and charge him with false accusations that where proved and he got arrested!

So, without a job and with a family growing, João Novais, continued doing what he had learn best and took care of the shoe workshop, and started not only fixing has creating new shoes. There were about 4 people working on the shoe workshop, and 5 to 6 pairs were made by week, in a totally handmade process.

Later on, João Novais´s son, Armindo Novais understood the potential products that where being made by his father and notice that the production number and also the quality of the products could be improved if they add the skills and machinery to produce Goodyear shoes! So, journeys were made to Italy and other industrial countries were this method was more evolved, with the objective of learning their ways of constructing shoes and buy their machines! After getting the machines more employees had to be hired, and production number increased dramatically

What once was a small workshop started to look more with a shoe factory and Penha started to gain name between the most important shoe producers in Portugal!

With a refined production method and now with the machinery to produce better and faster Penha name started to be considered synonymous of quality and luxury! Projecting its name since 1967 in the international paradigm of shoes production.

Now a day what once was the necessity of one man to take care and give better life to is loved ones is the livelihood of 155 employees, that proudly produce 650 pairs of luxury shoes per day!