As the founder of an international youth humanitarian organization, Christal Earle had been working and learning from a local community of garbage dump workers since 2005 on the north coast of Dominican Republic.
Among everything else in that garbage dump, there was also an overwhelming amount of tires. They were a breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases and they were a toxic nightmare.
In 2010, an unexpected turn of events in Christal’s journey left her facing the fact that she was going to have to rebuild her life between two countries. She was now torn between Canada, where her career was based, and the Dominican Republic where her adopted daughter couldn’t leave.
In early 2017, the idea struck for the first time. Why not use tires for soles on beautiful hand made shoes - and create a way to help the most vulnerable people in the process?
The ability to ask a different question has led us on this journey that continues to expand and grow.
It's not just our story, nor is it a tire's story.
This is the story of people like you: people who know they want to be proud of their choices. Our team ebbs and flows and covers many generations of people from many different parts of the world.
All of us have stories and reasons for why we do what we do.
And all of us have one thing in common: we are curious and inspired by the continuing question of how we can create something that is a growing reflection of our love for people and plaent.
The choices we make should be a reflection of what we value.
As our founder and chief optimist, Christal calls both Toronto and Cabarete, D.R. home. From starting a global charity in 2000 to living between two countries for 10 years, because of an international immigration situation gone sideways, she has kind of done it all.
Brave Soles was born out of her love for people, planet and great shoes 😉
Retail Manager, Dominican Republic
As one of 8 kids, Scania knows a little bit about sharing resources effectively :) Born and rasied on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, Scania is a proud single mom of three kids, a supportive sister and aunt, and a dedicated daughter.
Her work with Brave Soles provides us all with the confidence that things are actually going to get taken care of, no matter how crazy they may get at times 🤭
Digital Marketing and Social Media
Originally from Salvador, Brazil, Toronto is now home for Rafeala. In in her words...
"I'm a Fashion Business student that is passionate about digital marketing. I was born in Brazil, but I now get to call Canada my home.
I started my internship at Brave Soles in October 2020, and I am so happy to be having this opportunity to grow and learn from my amazing boss! By the way, I am the face behind all the Instagram posts 😇"
Director of Design and Photography
Augusto is the reason we have such great photography, classic designs, and behind the scenes flow.
Originally from Mexico City, his Spanish skills have also played a huge part in making sure we actually say what we mean to say with our suppliers and team in Dominican Republic! 😬
Carol is the glue that helps us work together and stay on track. As a certified coach with a Masters in Leadership, Carol helps us stay close to our why and clear on who we want to become.
She is a voice of wisdom, a sounding board and sometimes a gentle nudge to consider things from a different perspective 😘
Customer Success Team Lead
Originally from Syria, Bissan now calls Canada home.
After completing her degree in engineering in Syria,
she launched into working in customer service in telecom and stock managements.
Bissan joined our small team in the summer of 2020 as an intern and has become a valuable part of what we are building. She's a great listener and big believer that "life is beautiful when we know how to live it."
Her favourite things are singing, painting and shopping...all of those things are why we love her ❤️
Digital Marketing and ECommerce Intern
Vanessa is a Fashion Industry professional with experience in Styling, Management and Marketing. Looking to expand her skills further in this ever-changing world, Vanessa has decided to adapt to her career to Digital Fashion Communications.
It is important for her to contribute to a company with high values and a mission to make the world a better place. With Brave Soles, she has been allowed the opportunity to grow her proficiency in a hands-on role, while knowing that she can feel good about the company she works for - and we are grateful to have her 🙂
Design and Merchandising Intern
Manel is a fashion design student who is intrigued by avant-garde designs and unique projects. She is interested in building a career around up-cycled and sustainable fashion. To her, it is important to support ethical and environmentally friendly businesses and practices. Through her efforts, she hopes to advance the sustainable fashion industry, improve the environment, and create new designs within this industry.
In her free time she likes to re-make and adjust thrifted clothing, participate in physical outdoor activities, and one day, hopes to see as much of the world's art and creativity as possible. ⭐️
Digital Experience and Ecommerce Intern
Helena is a Fashion Technique and Design student, currently studying at George Brown College. She is drawn to cartoon animations, environment and human documentaries and she usually finds the inspiration from there.
Her passion for creativity and imagination is now being applied to the behind the scenes of Brave Soles.
Helena has been passionate about environmental protection since her early childhood and by her own confession spends a lot of time thinking about how to save the world 🦸🏻♀️
Communications and PR
Kate is currently a fashion student at George Brown College in Toronto.
After working with Green Story in the summer of 2020, she developed aspirations to help the industry re-direct into a more green and environmentally friendly direction. This led her to Brave Soles.
She says she likes our values and strong mission. We say that we love her enthusiasm and passion to learn and grow. 😊
Content and Curiosity
Yona is a Fashion Design student who loves fine, unconventional details in garments but is simultaneously intrigued by the big picture of fashion and sustainability.
She’s passionate about seeing things in different ways and is always interested in what people have to say. Her lifelong dream is to travel through Europe (at least part of the way by bike!) and perform as a street musician 🚲
Originally from the world of interior design, Rachel has been in sales for most of her career.
Rachel has been a passionate fashion maker since she was little. She loves pilates, shopping small/local, and her husband (whom she happened to meet on a tour bus with Christal and 30 other people who traveled across Canada doing high school motivational presentations!). True story ❤️
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