Bally was founded through the passion and vision of pioneer Carl Franz Bally. His original family business was the manufacture of elastic ribbon but a journey to Paris and a gift of love forever changed Bally’s destiny. During a business trip to Paris in 1849, Carl Franz wanted to buy his wife some lace-up booties - the popular shoe of the day. Unable to recall her exact size, he decided to buy twelve pairs in a range of sizes, knowing that one would certainly fit. Upon visiting the Parisian factory where the booties were made, he noticed that each shoe featured buttons with elastic closures similar to the kind his family produced in Switzerland. Inspired by the possibility of creating more jobs, he decided to expand his business into shoe production. Together with his brother Fritz, Carl Franz employed designers to assist and together, they began producing shoes made entirely by hand in the cellar of his Schönenwerd home.