Necessity truly is the mother of invention: Real estate developer Ben Hertz was vacationing in Rome when his shoelace broke mid-trip. He found a pair of red, waxed cotton laces from a local merchant, strapped them in, and continued with his day. Everywhere he went, people were asking him where he found such stylish "shoes." When he returned stateside and it was time to replace the laces, he couldn't find them anywhere. Soon thereafter, Benjo's was born.