On June 7, Brave Soles will officially be one year old. This birthday celebration is about the people and events that have helped to build a business we are proud to work in, day after day.
If you want to know the numbers behind our celebration, here they are:
- We sold 29 pairs on the first day we launched with a simple little Facebook announcement
- We have since sold approximately 4000 pairs of shoes and accessories
- Our soles have helped to pull 875 truck tires out of landfills and ditches plus numerous motorbike inner tubes in our bags and accessories
- We have helped to keep 89 cars off the road for a day and helped cut down greenhouse gas emissions through our processes
- Our people (meaning you!) have helped to save 153,000 light bulb hours because of how we create our products
- We now help to contribute to 19 people having equitable employment and supplying us with their services.
The above may not look like much in the incredible tide of events that happen around us, day after day. When we continually read about millions and billions, it might be tempting to dismiss small milestones like this as inconsequential. Those numbers can numb us and they can tempt us to think that there is not much we can do to help change it.
But, this is why there is an untold story behind every pair of Brave Soles that we want to pull back the curtain on. Numbers can tell us a part of the story - but there is so much more behind every number we ever see or hear...
Our company was launched with $250.
When I (Christal) had the idea, I had an abundance of vision and a total lack of dinero. I am a single mom, living a less than conventional life due to extenuating circumstances. However, I had reached the conclusion that unless I did something to change the things that were bothering me, nothing would ever change.
The tires in the garbage dumps we work in with volunteers from around the world were always causing me concern. They are toxic and I was heartbroken at the lack of opportunities to change what I saw. I would return to that dump, time and again, and would say to the people I brought with me, “Someone really needs to do something about this.”
The drive in me to continue to dream of something bigger wouldn’t go away, despite all the reasons I could think of that would point to me not being able to do it.
So when the chance came to take a risk and try something I felt compelled to, I was determined to make it happen.
I told myself that if I could even just find $250, I would try something. The money literally dropped into my hands from someone who could never have known at the time what I was about to do with it. When it showed up in the exact amount I told myself I would use, I knew I needed to honour my promise to myself
No one was more surprised than me on the serendipitous path that silent declaration would take.
However, a vision for the future isn’t a tortured, lonely road. It calls out for others to journey with you.
Our co-founder, Florence, reached out to me two weeks after Brave Soles launched. Timing in life is everything, and when she asked to get involved, I knew that I needed to take advantage of the opportunity.
Florence brings so much clear-headed thinking about what we do and has the ability to anticipate what we will need to tweak and refine along the way.
Kaitlin, our Director of Customer Service, joined our team in August and others have come along since that are all equally important to our journey.
From here, we can look over our shoulder, say a humble prayer of gratefulness and turn to look forward again.
Because this is not just the story of the people at the front. This is the story of the voices and dreams that speak for every item we make.
These voices are voices of confidence in the future.
Faith is the willingness to believe in something more. Many of the amazing people we work with exemplify that every day. Our leather whisperers and tire wizards are what make our products possible. Without their skill and craft, we wouldn’t be able to exist.
These voices are also voices that say things don’t have to be the same.
We can think differently about our choices, our lot in life and about what we want for our future.
And yes, those voices are definitely the voices that say, I want to love what I own.
Whether that story involves loving your shoes, your experiences that make you who you are, or the vision you are believing you can build in the future, own that story.
Share it, believe in and live into it. Every step of the way.
Thank you for all the encouragement, excitement and graciousness for our learning curve that you have so willingly extended to us. We are grateful we are here and we are grateful to share this journey with people like you.