BucketFeet began with a college student, some cool artsy customised trainers, and the power of our old friend Facebook. Aaron Firestein began drawing on canvas trainers in his spare time at Uni back in 2007, and posted pictures of his wearable art online, which immediately gained a lot of positive comments from friends, friends of friends, and even total strangers. So, being out of pocket like me and most other students out there, he decided to start designing and selling the quirky shoes to put a bit of extra money in his pocket on the side.
Then, in 2008, Aaron jetted off to Buenos Aires to embark on a career in photography, but decided to take his unique wearable art with him. While volunteering with young kids out there in one of the slums, fate worked its magic as it always does, and he crossed paths with another volunteer – Raaja – who quickly became a close friend. He even bought himself a pair of Aaron’s custom trainers; a true friend right there. The pair stayed in touch; meanwhile Aaron’s shoes began to take off big-time in South America.
Just a few years later, the guys decided that what they truly wanted to do was to create a platform that would connect artists to people around the world. Realising that this was their hearts calling, Aaron and Raaja both quit their day-jobs, and embraced footwear as a way to spread art in a creative way, support various artists, and give back. So in Spring 2011, the goodness that is now BucketFeet was born.
The shoes are great for a bucket-full of reasons: they are very original, comfortable, light, versatile, and affordable too. Artists are hand-selected by the guys to create exciting and innovative designs to decorate the shoes, and they are paid royalties for every pair that you guys & dolls decide to purchase. But the goodness doesn’t stop there – BucketFeet also donates a percentage of its sales to its non-profit partners (including MAGIC, love futbol, and Children Mending Hearts) where kids are supported through various creative programs in art, music and sports – centred on teaching skills and instilling confidence, rather than being based upon handouts. Some might ask why, but Aaron and Raaja always knew that giving back was the right thing to do.
These shoes are simply AMAZING. Having discovered these, my overdraft looks set to take another beating, because I simply MUST have at least one pair of BucketFeet in my life (let’s be honest, I will probably end up buying 3 pairs minimum). Here are a few of my favourites...
|The ones I have my little eyes on....|
all images from www.bucketfeet.com
BucketFeet is such a simple, yet awesome idea for incorporating a life passion into a business model, that has the added bonus of contributing to society in an extremely positive way, and changing the lives of young people around the world. I love that our generation seem to be much more socially orientated when it comes to the world of business. We are choosing to use our good fortune and spread it around in places that really could do with it far more than any of us could, and receive a little less profit in exchange for this good deed.
I have officially finished university now (*choking back the tears... no I’m simply not ready to be an adult just yet and am still about 12 years old in my head*) but this week I have enrolled in a extra one week crash-business course, where I am learning the basics of how to go about starting a business, and whether I’m suited to this career. And the more I think about it, and the more I plan and develop it, I really do see The Girl With The White Balloon being a great addition to the fashion world. I really want to make it happen, and continue to build on my label (and this blog) and design & produce fashion that people enjoy, but that also has a really positive effect on someone somewhere else in the world. And the more that I continue to give this deep thought, the more I get scared. Scared, because the world is full of people and their broken dreams. All the things they dreamed of doing, but never did. I’m scared that I’ll end up being one of those people.
Isn’t it strange how the majority of us spend our lives endlessly planning for someday? The people we’re going to be, and what we’re going to do. Lists upon lists of things we hope to accomplish and achieve within our lifetimes: get out there and see the world, write books, quit our jobs and pursue our true passion, get in touch with an estranged friend, start a family... and before you know it, life has slowly been ticking away, and you wake up and realise that someday is today.
And then someday is yesterday.
And this is your life.
So don’t waste a single moment. You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do?
You should go do them.