A work trip brought me to Montebelluna, Italy to visit Edea Skates. Edea is led by Sabrina Merlo, who’s largely responsible for accelerating the transformative growth seen in the competitive figure skating industry over the last decade. Her attention to detail has captured the imagination of thousands of skaters around the world who yearn for a lightweight, made in Italy boot. She grew up in the industry. Her father Tony was the visionary behind the growth of Risport Skates. After selling the company to the Rossignol group, Tony and Sabrina signed a non-compete agreement and laid low for a while.
While taking time away from the industry, they realized their non-compete had an expiration date and took the opportunity to begin strategizing on ways to innovate. The Merlo family launched Edea Skates in 2002. At the last World Championships, they had more medallists than any other boot brand.
I’ve gotten to know them over the last several years and the family aspect is more authentic than anything else I’ve witnessed as it pertains to business dynamics. They take great pride in the legacy they are building and Sabrina hopes to one day pass the reins down to her daughter. Sabrina's energy is infectious and her employees show her the greatest amount of respect. Edea would not be the same company without such a leader.
Perhaps my favourite thing about the factory is that they proudly display three Italian phrases which relater their cultural DNA. They are:
“When you create, you give. When you copy, you steal.”
“Never say, ‘I will do it later.’ Do it now.”
“Without new ideas, all good companies die.
She's inspirational to be around because she doesn't have an ounce of negativity in her soul. She's always smiling, laughing and offering to help. A great leader.