Why did I decide to begin to write my story?
Do you know why?
Because I would like to exalt the values of my parents. It is only thanks to them who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to start a company. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to express my creativity and motivation!
years of work
pieces per year of production
per month of thread consumed
NEVER GIVE UP
Life usually reminds us of how much it can evolve, from infancy to adulthood… but who says that time can’t be spent a bit like in a game, a serious but appealing game, maybe even still being somewhat of a child in spite of already being an adult?
I would not presume to dictate the lovely notions that can answer this question, but I can tell you about my life and perhaps about my success.
Year of birth
My name is Massimo Brusco and I was born in Canelli in January of 1974, in the city of Asti Spumante.
A small Monferrato town, renowned for its sparkling wines, historic wine makers, and more.
Its ancient castles and their towers tell the story of its good life, like the lovers’ road that leads to the Gancia castle and that traces the path of games and romance.
Romance embraces various dancing facets of our mind and reminds us of the light-hearted side of life, sweetly re-accompanying us in the discovery of our most pleasant memories.
Mine take me back to the pleasure of playing football, when I was a huge AC Milan supporter, and to my motoring passion.
A dangerous, but absolutely fun passion, because it reminds me of that legendary Vespa 50 that I used to love to take apart and soup up when I was young with my mate Roberto – my best friend.
What a ruckus we made together on the dirt roads of our beloved Canelli and beyond… what thrills!
Roberto was also no slouch with a football. He lived next door to me and he was my desk mate from kindergarten.
Together, we weren’t exactly geniuses in school, but we were definitely gearheads!
We had zero desire to study, but we were never lacking for things to do in those sweet years, with grease-stained hands, a confident kick that would send the ball streaking across the pitch towards the net, and that infinite desire for curiosity and beauty.
After middle school, I attended ITIS ARTOM in Canelli, a school for mechanic technician studies.
This experience didn’t last very long either. Within 5 months, I was no longer in the classroom.
I’ll never forget the disappointed look on my mother’s face, by then surrendered to the idea that she would never see her son in cap and gown with diploma in hand. She scolded, threateningly telling me that I would have to work, exhorting with all of her grace this phrase that I had by then become accustomed to hearing from the first waking moments of each arduous morning.
“Look, Massimo, I’m tired of this situation. Either buckle down and start studying or go work with your father.”
The only difference was that I jumped at the opportunity not to go to school – the natural solution for a slacker like I was in those years.
My father opens a company
My father started a company in 1979.
The company processed metallic wire, namely any type of extension, compression, torsion, or shaped spring in various diameters or types of material.
To be honest, in that “slacker” period, I didn’t pay much attention to my father’s work.
Bikes, football and girls were definitely my primary distractions, but the actual situation of that odd time forced me to begin working with him.
This was certainly a springboard for me which fit perfectly for what would later also be my destiny.
It was long ago on 14 February 1989 and I was only 15 years old. My father woke me for my first day of work!
Punctuality was a strict rule, so we were awake at dawn and in the shop five minutes before opening time at 8:00.
There were four of us, cheeky lads who fed off of football and motorbikes, still unaware of the responsibilities and rules intended to enforce the integrity of a hard and tiring job, albeit within a family atmosphere.
We found ourselves stationed at a long company bench, dealing with equipment built by my father, set up to form bends and pieces of wire cut to measure.
Each of us had been assigned with the task of boxing up those pieces.
Our behaviour was strictly disciplined, so no chit chat, chuckling, or inconvenient mayhem was permitted.
We were only allowed one coffee break in the morning and another in the afternoon. The sole objective was to complete a job that required nothing more than utmost concentration, commitment, and an outstanding result.
At the end of the week, Friday was dedicated to general cleaning of the workshop. One of us on the right and the other on the left. We had to clean the lathes and tooling machines first, after which we would sanitise the bathroom and the changing rooms.
My employment in this position continued for about three or four years. I was then transferred to the area near the winding machines, in other words the machines that wind the wire and produce cylindrical or extension springs.
I open my own company!
My job in the family business stretched out until 1996, after which I decided, along with a friend, to open my own business!
My apprenticeship was over and my training had prepared me more than adequately for the job.
The company made its début with the initials of our names: FM
My parents were extremely proud of my decision and tried to support me as much as possible.
It was an extremely difficult enterprise. The documentation obviously had to certify the veracity, credibility, and feasibility of that initiative with guarantees and anything else connected with the work.
Lastly – an essential aspect – we needed the economic funds to get everything started, but through sacrifice and willpower, we were successful in our endeavour and purchased a completely empty 1000 m2 warehouse, a sort of magic box capable of being filled by desire and strength which, in the meantime, turned into passion.
However, the flooring was missing, as were the office doors, and the workshop still didn’t have an electrical system.
Straight away, we bought a milling machine and a small lathe and we used iron to build the benches, the carts and, even more importantly, my father pitched in, building all the equipment we needed to make the cones for the extension springs, springs with English eyelets, and much more.
Banking institutions lent us the money to purchase the initial machinery, essential for launching the business. Banking institutions lent us the money to purchase the initial machinery, essential for launching the business.
My many years of experience in the workshop nominated me as specialised worker, so I had fun constructing a wide range of springs, although the wine-making machine manufacturers in the city of Canelli and the surrounding area were also rather varied.
On the other hand, my partner, but first and foremost my friend, handled the business sales end and, when needed, he also had fun in the workshop optimising the relative work on the operational part of the product.
We were also fortunate in that we knew of a company very close to Canelli, now a market leader, that sold farming material (posts, wire, and obviously accessories).
From that time on, a truly significant light began to shine, generously marking our occupational path.
Certainly, the fact that we were also the first to invest in the first electric multi-skid machine gave us a great advantage in terms of profitability and company reputation. Consider that in the years prior, the same process was optimised and bent by me, all by hand.
We work non-stop
This was in 1998. At that time, we constructed bent pieces for wine production, specifically shoot ties that were used to secure the bearing wire on the vine braces.
When necessary, we also did work for the plumbing and heating sector, although the wine production segment was the bread and butter of our operations.
Over the years, this great machine continued constructing undeterred.
There were no breaks, with the machinery even working at night, until the year 2000, when we decided to purchase the second multi-skid machine that processed up to 2 mm (the first one did up to 3 mm), a nice milestone for us, worked hard for and highly deserved.
We were still very young and excited about the occupational path which, with great satisfaction, we had managed to conquer, but in life, as we all know, everyone has their own priorities and vulnerabilities, so companies do not always continue with the same protagonists.
To keep things going in a positive way, it takes dedication, perseverance, and determination, whether or not the results are optimal.
So, my partner decided to dedicate his time to his father’s company and my sister came on board in his place, clearly not yet fully up to speed on the new position I had assigned her.
So, I found myself abandoned by my partner but with twice the amount of responsibility to bear.
In addition to protecting my employees, in this case the accounting staff that worked for us, there was now no one to take care of the sales end since my partner had handled that entirely over the years.
So, in addition to carrying out my operational work in the shop, I also filled in as a sales representative, going around to visit all my customers.
These were people who were extremely valuable for the progress of our business as they also had great potential for spreading the word about the quality of our work.
My speed in working and my attention to the progress of our business made me increasingly aware of how many stainless steel devices were used in the vineyards, each with its own specific function.
These devices certainly optimised the wine-making process greatly, reducing labour times.
My first bender
The year was 2003. I purchased my first bending machine – a truly innovative robot, capable of producing extremely complicated parts with various wire diameters.
At that point, my work had established an excellent rhythm. Operations had reached about 100 hours weekly on average and I had hired 4 people assigned to positions throughout the departments.
I purchased an average of one machine each year, which also meant gambling that I might make mistakes. Thanks to these mistakes, I realized that some decisions were not entirely in line with my goals, so I decided to replace some machinery, specialising in the wine-making sector.
At that point, my business had become increasingly more experienced and specialised. So, I decided to participate in my first international trade fair, setting up a small stand at the “Sitevi Merocosur” exhibition in Argentina.
Before leaving, I contacted a family of Italian origin and some young people local to that area who helped greatly getting things organised.
It was a fantastic experience – truly astonishing. We noticed that visitors were specifically attracted by our products and we were even interviewed by a local TV station, precisely because of our innovations.
In spite of the fact that the experience was truly electrifying and promising, we were unfortunately unable to optimise the operational results since Argentina (despite the richness of its vineyards) is one of those nations with high customs fees and a weak local currency.
My calvary begins
On 22 July 2009, the Guardia di Finanza (Italian Internal Revenue Agency) raided my company, accusing me of a violation concerning 2 patents.
In the previous months, I had responded (through my lawyer) to a threat concerning some technical parts that I had been producing. These were parts that I saw regularly at every show I visited in Europe, so I never imagined that they might be covered by a patent.
From then on, my Calvary had begun…
They investigated me in both criminal and civil court. They investigated me in both criminal and civil court.
I absolutely had to defend myself against certain outrageous accusations, most likely advanced because my company was gaining lucrative popularity in the market.
We used the best post manufacturers and distributors. In short, we were becoming quite the thorn in the side of those who held the monopoly.
Word had obviously spread about what had happened and before we knew it, orders also began to wane initially.
What to do? After all that work with such great devotion, it was an extremely difficult obstacle to overcome.
But I refused to bend… just like my tubes in their natural state, I might say…
I got in my car and went to visit each and every one of my customers. I got in my car and went to visit each and every one of my customers.
Their loyalty was important to me and I certainly had nothing to hide.
I then began once again to dedicate my time to other trade shows in the sector From Italy to Romania, from Bulgaria to Spain.
My conduct was absolutely in line with the professionalism of my work, so there was no reason whatsoever to be called into question, given the validity of my product and, more importantly, of my professionalism and dignity, with head held high!
So, I resumed working, producing as much as possible, even running the machinery at night. This latter operation was no great burden for me, given my experience over the previous years…
In spite of all this, I kept running into countless legal battles, but I still continued to acquire new customers/distributors nonetheless.
In 2012, along with my technicians, we invented a spacer to apply on the American posts that carried out the function of guiding the vegetation. A perfectly refined system kept the closure of it from detaching.
In 2012 and 2013, we exhibited this innovative system at the international wine-making trade fair in Sacramento, California.
Then, in 2015, the Trieste court ruled that there had been no counterfeiting and finally authorised me to resume my production.
At this point, I took the decision to purchase a moulding bender for large scale production. This latter invention is highly in demand because it is the only machine that can currently be used in a vineyard.
In the shop, I had made a wager with my technicians and great friends, Marco and Angelo.
Angelo maintained that we would produce no more than 6 or 7 million in the first year, whereas Marco said that we would produce 10 million. I, on the other hand, decidedly more optimistic, said that we would produce more than 10 million.
What was the result of our production? 15,000,000!!!
That’s right, it’s neither a joke, nor the result of a wild and foolish presumption. We produced no fewer than 15 million pieces. Beyond all expectations. The machines worked constantly and the warehouse was forever struggling.
To summarise the fantastic story of my beloved company, the results greatly exceed any and all expectations.
The “offending” hook
Currently, in 2021, after being forced to take a step back, my company, which has by now become my home both twenty-four hours a day, consumes 30 tonnes of wire per month and has filled 1000 square metres of workshop space with many other machines, exporting to various countries around the world, including Azerbaijan, Uruguay, England, Australia, etc., generating almost €3 million in turnover annually.
And… I almost forgot, as of August of 2021, the famous incriminated “hook” had been produced at a quantity of 127,000,000 pieces in three and a half years, meeting with resounding success.
They say that perseverance is the virtue of the strong, and the discipline in the days of my youth, in any case educational and an example for me, is also rewarded by the result of all these years.
My parents gave me hard life lessons, but they taught me love for myself and for my truly satisfying progress.
United States 2011
United States 2011
United States 2013
United States 2013
I have them to thank, perhaps more than anyone else…
But one thing is certain. Self-confidence and determination are absolutely essential.
We must never look back and we must have no regrets about what we were unable to accomplish, but we must rather focus on what we’re doing today!
We must continue on our path without any feelings of remorse or nostalgia.
The future brings with it the immensity of our deepest emotions that only we are able to conquer.
The numbers speak for themselves and our satisfaction and joy are immensely blissful sensations.