Choosing a name for a company or idea is sometimes a difficult challenge.
How do you find a name that encapsulates your vision and helps people understand why you are here?
Truthfully, it wasn't that difficult with Brave Soles.
In fact, the name came to me long before the first pair of shoes ever rolled out the door.
In early 2017, I was returning from hosting a group of volunteers at a local garbage dump in Dominican Republic. I was thinking about the people back in that garbage dump that were still working as I drove away.
I wanted to do the best I could with what I had in my hands. I have been a social entrepreneur for nearly 20 years, but I felt a pull to tune in to what was next.
Do you ever feel like you are fumbling forward in life? On the outside, everyone else thinks that you totally have it all figured out.
Much of my path forward has felt less like confident steps in the right direction and more like fumbling in the dark for the light switch.
The world around us is seeing the edited version of our lives. We get to choose what they know and what is perceived. We often get to choose the pictures they like and comment on, the moments they interact with and the carefully curated versions of our world that we want them to see.
In the end, this is our basic human right. We should all be able to choose what is said and done on our behalf.
But, sadly, this is often not the case. Millions of people around the world don't possess the luxury of choice in many areas of life.
They are often left dealing with the choices of those in the world who hold the balance of power. From environmental degradation to human exploitation, they pay the price for the rest of the world's addiction to convenience.
From garbage dumps to polluted rivers and seas, our world is hurting our most vulnerable, over and over again. We are at odds with who we are meant to be.
So the question I was asking myself as I was driving home that day wasn't about how to make others feel remorse for what we all are responsible for.
That's not a fair question and it certainly won't inspire change.
Instead, the question I asked myself was, "What could I do to inspire people to see the power of their choices?"
We often overlook the immense potential of simple choices.
We can forget that big change happens, little by little.
It happens in the corners of our minds and begins to flow out to our actions and beliefs about what's possible.
I'm a single Mom, a social entrepreneur, and a life that seems to be one big experiment of doing whatever you can with whatever is within your reach. I completely appreciate the lure of seeking the easy way around difficult choices.
After all, we do enough, don't you think? Shouldn't there be some kind of appreciation for how far we have come rather than how far we have left to go?
Yes, I agree. However, the deeper part of me keeps on wanting my life to stand for something bigger than my own footprints.
And what I realized as I drove in my car that day was that the little changes and decisions we all make every single day require bravery and courage.
Whether we fly to meetings in private planes or dig through other people's trash to survive, we all have the power to make brave choices.
- It takes bravery to stay true to your convictions when the path of least resistance is flirting for your attention.
- It takes bravery to live with the next generation in mind.
- It takes bravery to pour your life into something that you believe in.
- And it definitely takes bravery to ask different questions about what's possible.
And that day, the one question I knew I needed to ask was, "I wonder what would happen if..."
A few short days later I had an idea. Handmade shoes with upcycled tire soles became the embodiment of that idea.
Simple, actionable, and worthy of other people's attention.
Already we are growing to include so much more.
Our intention in Brave Soles is to continually push ourselves to inspire and create the kind of change that everyone can own. We are not perfect, but we are growing with the people that become part of our story every day.
When you purchase something from Brave Soles, you become part of that story, too.
Whatever you choose in life, remember that it's your choice to make.
Make it a brave one.
~ Christal Earle, Founder of Brave Soles