Azaleia was founded on December 2nd, 1958. The founders and partners Arnaldo Luiz de Paula, Nestor Herculano de Paula, Theno Jos?erlitz, Nelson Lauck and Arnildo Lauck installed the first plant in an unused bowling alley in the city of Parob?80km from Porto Algre, capital of the southern most state of Rio Grande do Sul, producing the first hand-crafted pairs of Azal? shoes. Their first brand launched by the company was Laika, enjoying the popularity of the little female dog that went to space on board of the Russian rocket Sputnik. In the beginning of the 60?s, the company started to use the brand N?ar and, a short while later, it became the Azal? brand, named after the gift of an azalea plant from the first sales representative of the company, Mr. Ant?nio Costa Lopes.