About

Mark Barbera, Owner, Mark Albert Boots

OUR STORY

Mark Albert started as a passion of mine to find the perfect Chelsea boot while I was in college on a college budget. I launched a Kickstarter after partnering with a factory in my own hometown whose team is now like a family to me. We are focused on delivering durable, quality footwear made right here in Somerset, PA by 50 employees using the same process since 1948. We want to push the envelope in design and functionality while staying committed to offering the most affordable and fair price to our very valued customer community.






Mark Barbera's great-grandfather, Mark Albert Boots

LEATHER STILL RUNS IN THE FAMILY

As it turns out, my passion for footwear and the entire process may be more of a reflection of my family than I had once realized. My Nonno (great-grandfather), was born in the small town of Fiumedinisi, Sicily in 1895. After serving in WWI and surviving a prisoner of war camp, he and his family immigrated to the United States in 1922 and settled in another small town, Rockwood, PA. Here, my Nonno opened up a shoe repair shop. In 1939, my Nonno moved his shoe repair shop to nearby Somerset, PA. Here, my grandfather and great-aunt worked with my Nonno in his shop where it was typical to repair at least 30 to 40 pairs of shoes per day. My Nonno worked as a cobbler in his shop in Somerset until he was 86 years old. He also passed on many of his techniques to the boot manufacturer that is creating all of the Mark Albert Boots.






Today, we are still grateful to have partnered with our incredible local factory and the people behind the finished products. Learn more about our factory here.