Take entrepreneurial inspiration from these two family businesses

entrepreneurial-inspiration-family-businessIn our last post, we shared the story of Ganong, a Canadian family business that’s been around since 1873. Want more family business inspiration? Read on to learn more about Zildjian and GV Showshoes.


One of the longest running family firms in North America is Zildjian. It was founded in 1623 (that’s right – 1623) in Istanbul, Turkey by an alchemist named Avedis I, who discovered an extremely musical metal alloy. He used this alloy to create powerful, durable cymbals. Sultan Osman II named him “Zildjian,” Armenian for “cymbal smith.”

In 1929, company ownership is transfered to Avedis III, already living in the US. He began establishing ties with hot, rising jazz drummers. His son Armand (1921–2002) created the company’s modern factory.

His other son Robert, amidst conflict with his brother, split from the company and started his own cymbal business, “Sabian.”

Today, Armand’s daughters Craigie (CEO) and Debbie (VP Human Resources) are Zildjian’s first female leaders in its long history.

GV Snowshoes

GV Snowshoes, established in 1959 and whose factory and head office are located in the Huron Wendat Reserve in Quebec, is the only manufacturer in the world which uses new snowshoe technologies along with the various wooden models, in the ancestral traditional spirit.

GV Snowshoes is one of the most important manufacturers of snowshoes in North America and the only designer-manufacturer to produce all types of snowshoes available in the market today.

For over 50 years GV Snowshoes has maintained a tradition of excellence in the production and servicing of snowshoe products.

GV operates three manufacturing plants totalling 60,000 square feet, and exports its products around the world. It is a proud supplier of snowshoes to the Canadian military.

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