Thursday, September 20, 2012

CHOOZE Shoes is on a Mission

Can wearing two different shoes change the world?  It’s a step in the right direction. 

I absolutely adore this product and the charitable mission of its brand...  AND it all started right here in our neighborhood!

Created by Sharon Blumberg – a Dallas mom on a mission – CHOOZE is a collection of fun and colorful vegan shoes that are matched but never the same. The left shoe is always different from the right. The difference is sometimes subtle, but occasionally bold. Either way, the simple act of wearing two different shoes inspires confidence and creativity. It encourages people to think different, change their perspective, and be open to new ideas.
 Blumberg’s career began as an artist in children’s specialty stores. She soon started her own design business focused on creating custom murals and furniture for children’s rooms. Creating CHOOZE was a natural transition – it combines her love of art and fashion, as well as her passion for inspiring kids to have the confidence to make an impact.

The inspiration behind CHOOZE is Blumberg’s now five-year-old daughter, Ayla (pictured below).  Ever since she started walking, Ayla chose two different shoes. Blumberg saw this as a creative form of self-expression, and soon realized that there was both a need to empower kids to be kids and to empower parents to let their kids be kids.
The CHOOZE brand launched in September of 2011 and is now sold in 500 stores across the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Central America. CHOOZE Shoes are sold in a number of specialty boutiques, as well as large retailers such as REI, Olly, Whole Earth Provisions Co., and CHOOZE Shoes are available in sizes: Toddler 5-11, Youth 12-6, and Women’s 6-11.
 Understanding that companies have a large influence on society, Blumberg integrated the Good Returns business model into CHOOZE. At the end of each year CHOOZE invests its profits in anti-poverty programs. These programs provide training, support, education, and loans to women so they can start their own businesses and lift themselves out of extreme poverty. These loans are paid back at the  end of the year and CHOOZE starts the cycle again. More powerful than a donation, it is a sustainable way to have a positive impact by giving a "hand-up" rather than a "hand-out."

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