Soon after a devastating war for Europe and the Friuli region, few have the strength and courage to look beyond the rubble. Even fewer are able to plan for the future. Amongst these post-war pioneers we have Rino Snaidero, an uncompromising native of Friuli. This young man decided to take up the challenge and take what became the gamble of a lifetime.
A gamble not based on luck, but rather on intelligence and manual skill: on the virtue of work, in other words. And so it was that in January 1946 Rino did for the first time what he would continue to do throughout his long life: breaking with tradition by innovating. He broke with the family tradition and chose to become a craftsman and furniture maker. He did this by setting up and opening his workshop behind his father's house, in Deveacco, near Majano (Province of Udine). Significantly, on the 9th March of the same year he got married, thus also beginning his own family.
At this point Rino was struck by the desire to create jobs and stable and peaceful prospects for his fellow countrymen, and a future for his children. Without running the risk – which in those days was almost inevitable – of seeing them leave (both fellow countrymen and children) to take the difficult road of emigration. In this way, business and family interests coincided.
Rino employed sixteen people in his first workshop. In the beginning the Company only made bedroom furniture, and later also windows for the new homes being built, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the “Ina Casa” program. Soon the workshop was no longer big enough. A new building was erected on the site of his father Francesco's vegetable garden, and in here were housed new machines that allowed him to further refine the manufacturing process. A process which, from craft beginnings, now became decidedly more industrial by the introduction of serialization. A house was rented in Deveacco di Majano (Udine), and was used to house the first permanent display of the Company's products.
In 1959, a crucial year in the Company's history and development, Rino made three very important decisions. He set up “Rino Snaidero & C.”, transforming what was essentially still just a workshop into a properly structured business. He settled once and for all on the manufacture of kitchen furniture exclusively, optimising and serialising the production lines in an industrial way. He invested his savings in a hectare of land in Majano (Udine), in what was then called viale Europa Unita and is now named viale Rino Snaidero Cavaliere del Lavoro (Cavaliere del Lavoro - literally Knight of Industry - is an Italian decoration given to important figures in industry). It was here, later, on 9th January 1960, that the Company's new industrial premises were opened.
If it is true that the virtues of an entrepreneur and pioneer must include foresight as well as courage, Rino Snaidero quickly understood the changes taking place and the evolving times and tastes. Just a few years after the war he realised that bedroom furniture was no longer a growth area. It was the first American kitchens, the new modular designs he had glimpsed in magazines, which then captured his imagination. The first domestic appliances were already revolutionising the conventional order of the kitchen space. The kitchen, thought Rino, will now have to be reorganised according to a new order and a new anthropological ideal. This challenge therefore came to represent for him, the newest, most interesting and most lucrative commercial and research frontier to dedicate himself to from then on.