The son of a humble miller from Sax and hardened by the sacrifice of working as a baker to help raise his younger siblings who were orphaned at a young age. Francisco Gil Martínez worked as a baker for many years while, in the small loft of the bakery he trained and learned a new skill, one which was his true love, the manufacture of small leather goods.
It was around the year 1955 when he decided to kiss goodbye to the bakery profession to dedicate himself entirely to his new passion.
It has been more than 65 years since Francisco Gil Martinez, created and gave his name to what has been our flagship brand for almost 50 years, Gilmart. But when a brand bears your name it takes part of you, your essence, your know-how, nothing is left to chance because it exemplifies your soul and your personality, that's how our grandfather created Gilmart.
He provided the brand with its most appreciated personal values ; a taste for excellence, passion for work, and an acquired seriousness and commitment. These are the pillars that have defined us throughout more than 65 years of our history, as well as the demand for quality, the enthusiasm for our trade and familiarity to everyone.
We are manufacturers of belts, just like our father and his father before him. The smell of leather and the song of sewing machines are impregnated in our DNA, it's in our essence, that is why after so many years we still love what we do.
The son: Juan José Gil Herrero
Our father, Juan José Gil, is the one who pushed our company to its’ biggest evolution, he acquired a small workshop with 5 workers and thanks to his passion, sacrifice, effort and long-term tenacity, it has developed into what we are now, the flagship name in the belt manufacturing sector in Spain. As well as one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly companies in Europe and all this, without sacrificing the tradition and craftsmanship of our work. Our committment to the development of our staff ensures the secrets of our art are passed within the ranks of our company.
THE ORIGIN OF THE BRAND - POSSUM
After being a leader in sales within Spain for almost 30 years, back in 2003, Juan José Gil created the international "POSSUM" brand. A brand with character, easy to pronounce for export, a brand that comes from the Latin "posse", the "pos-sum" variant means I CAN, the words that define the spirit of growth and improvement Juan José Gil has always lived by.
All this could not have been possible without the unconditional support and personal sacrifice of our mother Amparo, who has always been at his side giving him unconditional support throughout his long and hard professional career and ruling over us with a stern hand to ensure that we finished our studies (that were all relative to the company).
A FAMILY COMPANY
It's now when we, the grandchildren, continue to maintain the precious legacy that we inherited, innovating the precious leather craft and making our articles according to the current market trends without forgetting our respect for leather and our precious know-how, which we have used to develop more than 10,000 different models, acquired thanks to the experience over the years preserving and pampering our most precious treasure, our customers.
Our town, Sax, is a small town inland from Alicante. It has an exciting history, for hundreds of years its land, mostly cultivated with almonds, olives and vineyards, has remained unaffected as the Christians fought against, and eventually, won back the land from the Moors. On the south side of a large, elongated crag that resembles the spine of a dragon when viewed from the air, is the very noble and very loyal village of Sax, our town, where our roots lie.
And on the back of that dragon, as if it were its rider, is the imposing castle of Arab origin, which boasts a spectacular view of our town for everyone that visits, creating an unforgettable emotional bond. It was declared an "Asset of Cultural Interest" and its construction dates from the late tenth century.
Just walking through the narrow streets of the old town you can see all of the cultural legacies that history has blessed us with. An exciting legacy where cultures such as Jewish, Arab and Christian are mixed, leaving their customs impregnated in the enterprising, friendly and welcoming people. Added to its magnificent gastronomy, beauty and natural landscape and the Moors and Christians festivals - declared of Cultural Interest, makes Sax a town that all its inhabitants are proud of.
The fighting and entrepreneurial character of its inhabitants have made Sax, a highly industrialized town with leading companies within various sectors such as aluminum extrusion, blind manufacturing, handbag manufacturing, shoe manufacturing, or as in our case, the manufacture of men's belts and accessories.
Multiple drafts, the curiosity to learn new techniques, to learn from the best through the pursuit of perfection, coupled with tests, tests and more tests has led us to what we are now, a market leader able to satisfy all of our customers' needs.
From a hand braid to the most sophisticated alligator or crocodile belts, one of our vintage models for jeans, or one of our exclusive belts from the Platinum line for those moments in which you have to be at your best. All these different and exclusive product types come to life in the hands of our artesans, each of them gives their heart and soul to achieve our commitment to our customers - "excellence in quality".
Like the difficult art of the "patine effect", of which we were pioneers in Spain, using a technique where color is given to the belt by hand after it is finished, an artesan finish is achieved, creating a special and unique belt every time.
All this knowledge, coupled with our desire to discover, has led us to continue researching new processes, new finishes and new ways of working to offer our customers a unique, distinct and exclusive product, we are dedicated to continue learning in order to be the best:
"I forget what I hear, I remember what I see, but I only learn what I do"
Fdo. Francisco Gil