It’s been everywhere these past few years…bullying in our schools, kids trying desperately to fit in with what is considered “acceptable” and “cool”. Self-esteem is at an all-time low in children these days. In fact, having low self-esteem changes the way the brain responds to social feedback, according to Dartmouth researchers. So how does a pair of shoes help change all that?
Dallas Mom Sharon Blumberg started noticing a few years ago that her daughter Ayla liked to mismatch her shoes. While some parents might try to correct their child’s shoe choices, Sharon started to see it as a creative form of self-expression. Her daughter was confident in her choices, and felt empowered by the encouragement to try new things. Realizing this inspiration to create and make a positive impact could affect other children in the same way, Blumberg began CHOOZE.
CHOOZE shoes are immediately eye-catching because the colorful shoes are matched, but never the same. The right and left shoe are paired perfectly, yet have small differences that make them unique. (Angelina Jolie’s daughter Shiloh seems to wear her pair non-stop.)
Not only are these shoes good for the soul, they are good for the environment. Made of 100% vegan materials, they are machine washable (Moms everywhere are cheering!) and come with an “art box”. Rather than a plain shoe box that is discarded after the shoes become part of a child’s wardrobe, these special shoe boxes are made of recyclable materials and feature scenes begging for crayons and markers to decorate. With a handle on top, these boxes can become a child’s art piece, and can hold their toys, treasures, or whatever they’d like.
So, apart from being some of the cutest children’s shoes you’ve ever seen and helping little ones express themselves, CHOOZE invests its profits at the end of the year in micro-finance institutions that provide loans, education, and training to women in extreme poverty. These programs do more than temporary assitance; they empower women to start their own businesses and move into a better station in life.
So can wearing two different shoes change the world? Thanks to Dallasite Sharon Blumberg, the answer is yes.
(CHOOZE shoes are sold in 300+ stores, including REI, Dillard’s, Whole Earth Provision Co., and Piperlime.com)