Finally got our hands on a copy of @parentsmagazine! So excited to see our new CHOOZEpacks featured this month.
Spotted: Donut doodles on our graphic designer’s desk. #sweet #supersneakpeek #chooze #creativity (at CHOOZE HQ)
Twinkle Twinkle You’re a Star!
#choozeshoes #sparkleshoes #backtoschool
This is Juana. Juana is a woman in the Dominican Republic has been able to lift herself from poverty because she received a micro-loan. When you buy CHOOZE, you help women like Juana to step out of poverty, too. How? We invest our profits in anti-poverty programs that provide loans, education, training, and support to women so they can successfully start businesses. Because of YOU, we were able to provide about 100 loans to women in poverty last year, and this year we hope to be able to provide even more. Read Juana’s inspiring story below, and learn how the profits of your purchase directly help better the lives of others.
In the town of Agua Buena, Juana Baez beautifully defines progress through her Esperanza story. After six years of working with microfinance organization, Esperanza, Juana has come a long way. Before she joined her loan group, Juana just had a dirt floor and no door to accommodate the eleven family members that lived in her home.
Now, after six loans, Juana’s success selling clothing has moved her up the economic ladder. She explains she now shapes her business to tailor her customers’ needs. By taking requests, Juana’s twice a month trip to purchase her products in the capital is worth every penny. Today her customers anxiously await her return to obtain their requested goods. This is a great deal of difference compared to her past walking down the streets in hopes of a sale. Juana describes her business as a win-win situation, since her customers are just as happy with their new clothing, as she is with her new business success.
With her business now on track and growing, Juana has been able to focus on improvements on her home and kitchen. She has successfully installed a new door, cement floors, and now has a functioning kitchen completed with a stove. And as the central cook of the household, Juana takes pride in her novel kitchen appliances that enable her to provide full meals for her family.
Juana also graciously thanks Esperanza for introducing her to the idea of savings. Before Juana did not have a savings, nor did she knew how to create one. With Esperanza’s savings requirement, she happily states she now has over $34,000 pesos (almost $900 American dollars) in her savings account! Juana describes her savings as her family’s life insurance. Now if any unexpected illness or economical difficulty occurs in her family, she is fully prepared to recover. Today Juana goes beyond the 5% loan balance requirement and voluntarily continues to increase her savings.
Juana’s previously unnamed business now proudly bares the name of “Esperanza.” She anticipates that with this name others will realize that no matter the challenges life presents to them, there is hope. And after sharing her story with them, Juana desires they too might seek and find that hope in Esperanza, just as she did. Juana aspires to spread Esperanza’s word to her community.
Thank you for supporting CHOOZE and enabling women like Juana to create better lives for themselves and their families.
-Andrea, CHOOZE HQ
Make a splash this summer with CHOOZE!
We recently received a message from a mother on Facebook, and we were so moved by her story that we had to share it.
Thank you for making Chooze! My daughter Martha has Aspergers and they are all she wears! It has changed her life. We have probably tried 100 different shoes over the last 5 years. She finally gets ready easy in the morning instead of tying and untying her shoes for 20 minutes and she pays attention in class better instead of fiddling with laces. THANK YOU! We do everything in Chooze!
It really does make our work that much more meaningful to know that our shoes are making a difference in ways we could have never expected. Thank you for sharing your story and photos with us, Elizabeth! You brought a smile to everyone’s face at CHOOZE HQ today.
Getting excited for our Spring 2014 photo shoot this weekend!
Featured Mom: Melissa Plaskoff
In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating inspiring moms who teach their kids to have a positive impact on the world. Melissa Plaskoff certainly fits the bill and is a mom we truly admire!
Melissa founded Lemons To Aid, a non-profit organization that uses simple, but memorable experiences of lemonade stands and other child-driven fundraisers to empower children to raise funds, to allocate funds, and to make giving a way of life.
Melissa’s inspiration emerged during one of those helpless moments many feel when a natural disaster impacts a place on our globe and the news stories following trigger that desire of wanting to help in a tangible way, but not knowing how.
Days following the tragic earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and wanting to shelter her two young sons, Hudson and Parker, from the heart wrenching pictures, Melissa attempted to keep a normal routine for the boys. So when Hudson asked one afternoon if they could host a lemonade stand, a big smile of joy and relief crossed Melissa’s face and she said, “Yes, and the money raised will go to the families and children in Haiti.”
That initial lemonade stand raised over $150.00 and garnered a local television story. Melissa shared the story with several other moms, which then launched the lemonade stand idea through social media. Within days Melissa was being notified of plans for children’s lemonade stands, read-a-thons, bake sales, etc. all over the country to raise money for disaster relief, and as a result Lemons to Aid was born. To date, over 350 events have been run worldwide by children for different charities and relief efforts.
Through these creative projects, Lemons To Aid hopes to instill the mindset of service and charitable giving in children at a young age.…because everyone at any age has the power to make a difference! (We couldn’t agree more!)
For more information, visit www.lemonstoaid.org.
CHOOZE LOVES MOMS!
Enter to win our Mother’s Day SPA + SHOE giveaway. Be sure to share directly from our Facebook page for your entry to count.
Here’s a fun way to style our new Breeze/Sweet Love sandals for spring!
[Visit our Polyvore page for all of the details of this look.]
A good friend of mine often points out that I am always so amazed by things around me. He laughs when I still marvel over the fact that I can Face Time a family member on the other side of the world. He smiles when I am blown away by a simple line drawing created by a two-year-old. It’s true that I find wonder in many things. It’s because I am a Creativity Junkie! I love that creativity is endless and that we each see the world through our unique vision.
Creativity is defined as “the act of creating or inventing art and solving problems using different approaches than the typical.” Every person seems to have this boundless ability to imagine. But I often hear people say, “I am not creative,” or my favorite, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” And that is the reason for my post.
I believe that we are all born creative. I am not only referring to creativity as artistry but also as originality and imagination. We can look around us and be inspired by other’s ideas, but it is our ability to take what we see and truly make it our own, that makes us unique.
I began my career as a children’s muralist soon after college. I painted whimsical scenes in baby nurseries and children’s rooms. I had learned about how colors, shapes, scenes, and characters can expand a child’s mind and how our moods are strongly affected by our environments. My goal was to inspire kids to find their creativity.
CHOOZE was developed out of the same desire to inspire creative thinking. As a mom, I have always focused on providing my kids with environments that feed their imagination. They are stimulated through art supplies, random scraps of recyclable objects, art books, movies, technology, etc. What is even more important is giving them the freedom to express themselves through art, fashion, music, cooking, and writing. I believe that parents and teachers have a responsibility to feed the creativity that lies within each child. We all know that, when schools have budget cuts, the first departments to go are the Arts. Meanwhile, when companies are looking to hire employees out of college, the number one quality they are seeking is creativity and ingenuity, the very qualities that are developed through the Arts.
Wearing two different shoes is a simple act that gives us the freedom to express our creative spirits. It shows that we have the courage to be different, to stand out, and to think outside the (shoe) box. My goal is to inspire kids of all ages to be open to new ideas and see the wonder that is all around us.
It’s a WONDERFUL world.
Send us your stories about how you inspire kids to be creative. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment on our blog.
"I LOVE the Spin/Create shoes because it inspired a little girl in Guatemala to have enough "umph" to create something from nothing. She designed handprints and footprints because she "wants to leave a mark on the world" - and THIS is what it’s all really about. That is, how can we deploy the best of ourselves to leave the world better than how we came into it? Spin Create reminds us to do just that - imagine and then create what we want to see… and so it shall be…"
-Sue, VP of Sales, CHOOZE HQ
We spy CHOOZE shoes at Whole Foods Market in Plano,TX!