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"Giving Tuesday" is Really About This One Thing

November 27th is known online as, "Giving Tuesday". It's a day that has come to be when non profits encourage shoppers to counter their post-Black-Friday commercial rush with a little bit of charitable generosity.

I like that idea.

However, I am also a big fan of giving every other day of the week - because giving isn't about money.

Giving is actually about kindness.

The opportunity to choose kindness will show up in the most unlikely of ways. Being kind is just as much about considering your habits as it is about helping little old ladies across the street. 

Kindness can be about owning up to your choices and acknowledging that they really do have the power to make a difference.

Recently on the IDEAS podcast, I heard well known environmentalist Graham Saul talk about how environmentalism has a message problem. As in, there is not one cohesive message that we all can understand and rally around when it comes to the environment. 

I agree.

Some people are focused on forests, while others are focused on how we use resources. All of them are equally important, but not all of them are treated as such. 

That's why, since the first day we launched, I believed in the core of my being that Brave Soles had to be built on kindness.

Kindness to people and planet is not just a nice thought; it's a call to justice and equality. We all deserve equal access to being treated with dignity and respect; whether that be towards humans, animals or the earth we share. 

To live and choose kindness is to truly draw a line in the sand that serves as a notice to how we are going to live and show up in this world.

This Giving Tuesday, we want to call you to make a kind choice. Perhaps that choice results in some of your financial resources going towards a charity you care about. That's great.

However, it may also mean that you are going to consider how to make kinder choices, as well.

Maybe it means both.

But do yourself a favour, okay? 

Do something today that reminds you that your choices matter. 

Because they do. 

xo

 

 

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When is a Shoe Bag More Than Just a Bag?

When is a Shoe Bag More Than Just a Bag?

When we first began to dream about creating something with a bigger mission behind it, I was only thinking about one way to accomplish our mission. I thought it would only be done through the product we were creating.

We carefully planned out our styles, our processes and even our logistics.


However, there was one thing we didn’t think about: the possible potential for the packaging of our products. When we began to think about what we could do, we got excited about what it could provide for our mission as a company. 


Each Brave Soles item that leaves us and goes out into the world arrives at its destination wrapped in its own unique bag.


Granted, there’s nothing that special about a simple bag.


Except when you consider that you and I are not separate from the items we fill our world with.


We are connected to it all through the stories that are interwoven in our lives.


A simple shoe bag from Brave Soles can tell a great story:

  • It could have been the robe in a Christmas pageant worn by a “wise man”
  • It might have even been a maxi dress that had a lot of great cocktail parties before it went off rotation
  • Perhaps it was destined for the landfill as a roll-end and one of our team members dug it out of a back storage room in our continual quest to upcycle materials.

In our journey to grow and learn how to continue to bring our love of fashion, people and planet together, our little shoe bags have come to represent something to us that is personal, unique and inspiring.


Those little shoe bags represent the beginning of a new life for everything that’s connected to them. They keep the fabric out of landfills and they give your items a longer life by protecting them, However, perhaps the most exciting for us is that they help to provide tangible income for ladies in the communities we work in.


One of the those women is Carmen.


Carmen is a jewelry artisan and seamstress. She has come a long way in her journey from being vulnerable as a young single mother to being a homeowner. Much of that is due to the kindness of Canadian volunteers who helped her build her own home.


But that was just the beginning.


Along the way, Carmen also realized that she had some great skills and ideas. Most of all, she has shown herself and the world that she has the drive and integrity to make her ideas happen.


Carmen is one of our suppliers in our ever-growing supply chain for Brave Soles. We helped her buy her first sewing machine and she has helped us solve a problem for our packaging.


We all share part of the story of beauty in the world. Thanks for joining ours.

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Catherine Levasseur: Bone Marrow Transplant Survivor and Brave Soles Indie Team Member

Each member of our Indie Sales Team has a story of bravery. However, we wanted Cate to tell you hers, in her own words.


I’m Cate, a lifestyle blogger, a foodie, a yogi and a traveler.

I am celebrating life one day at a time since I received my bone marrow transplant 18 months ago after 10 years fighting with a rare blood disease.

Now I have no plan for the future but one thing is for sure, I know that nothing is impossible.

I am currently living in Montreal but near an ocean is where I feel most alive.

1.What made you interested in becoming a part of Brave Soles?

Mostly because my sister (Florence Levasseur) is one of the owners, but also because I trust that she will always stay authentic.
I know that she chose this company because of its value and its desire of helping the planet.

2.What is something fun about you that people might like to know?

I might be a little too enthusiast with smoothies:)
I use food not only to nourish myself, but also to express my moods. I have naturally combined my love of arts and foods and I am trying to cook like I would paint. This is a sort of therapy for me.

(You should go check out our instagram, those smoothie bols are magnificent)

 

3.What kind of people do you think will fall in love with Brave Soles?

Anyone who has a heart for the planet and who cares about the future we can build for the generations that will come behind us. 
 

4.What is your favorite Brave Soles product?

These days, I would say The Florence :)
 

5.What inspires you?

I am inspired by everything that makes me feel like I am the most important person in my life. I am constantly finding ways to love myself. 
 

6.What is your dream for the next generation?

I really hope that people can realize how important they need each other. No one should feel like they don't deserve love. Human contact should not be lost to technology. 
 

7.What makes you passionate about Brave Soles?

The fact that their products are so beautiful and that everything is made with love and respect.
Everyone has been so nice to me since the beginning and it makes me feel like I am truly part of it.

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Meet Andie Downes, One of Our Inspiring #SoulsInBraveSoles

Meet Andie Downes, One of Our Inspiring #SoulsInBraveSoles

Andie Downes #soulsinbravesoles

Meet Andie Downes. She is 14 and going into Grade 9 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Andie is a competitive Irish dancer, has a dog named Papito and has a family that's always there for her. She also struggles daily to overcome anxiety, OCD and the hidden effects of stress. 

In her own words, Andie is proud of getting honour role in school and getting all "A"s on her report card this past school year. When she grows up, Andie would like to be a journalist or scientist, but she hasn't yet decided. 

However, she does know one thing: Andie wants to help kids who struggle with OCD. She wants them to know that they are not alone:

"I don't want any kids to go through what I had to endure with OCD." 

Research has shown that fewer than 10% of people with OCD seek treatment and help. Lives such as Andie's show us how important it is to be brave enough to speak out and speak up.

Andie says that her Mom, Cheryl, is like her best friend. Her mom says that Andie is learning to be brave every day in managing her OCD and anxiety. 

Cheryl also says that Andie's Brave Soles are a reminder to be brave everywhere she goes :)

Our mission in Brave Soles is to always remember that we are all connected. From our choices in consumption to our choices about who we want to be, we can all be brave. 

Andie is walking proof of this. Her story reminds us that she is truly an elite member of our #soulsinbravesoles tribe :) 

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