Thursday, March 5, 2015

#OTTOMADEMYSHOES and He Could Make Yours Too


I can still remember the smells of Guatemala--diesel fumes spouting from the  of chicken buses, corn tortillas sizzling on a grill, cilantro boiling in chicken soups, and the dampness of the "chipi chipi" (the Q’eq’chi name for drizzle) in the highlands. In fact, when I get a sniff of those smells here, I'm often brought right back to memories of when I studied and lived there.

I also remember very well the poverty that crowded many parts of Guatemala too. Their history is rich and vibrant, but even today, there are still remnants of their civil war during the 1980s. I worked in a hospital where mommas brought in babies too sick to get better. I walked through tiny villages which had seemed preserved by time, but not protected from hard times. I visited the Guatemala City slum (la Limonada) where I felt lost in the concrete maze of houses and watched kids wander aimlessly down the narrow alleys.


When I lived there, I was in my late teens/early twenties, and honestly, I shielded my heart from many of the realities because it was easier to not see and not know (or pretend to not see or not know). It overwhelmed me because it just seemed like too much. I knew that handing out money was not a solution that would last, but what was?

So now, 10 plus years later, I get super excited (you know when your heart starts skipping beats and it feels like YES-THIS-IS-IT!) when I hear about companies like The Root Collective.

Why?

Because they are partnering with artisans, like Otto, who are changing the landscape of their community. For example, Otto makes shoes (which are simply adorable!), we purchase them, Otto continues to invest in his business, and then his business is able to employ others. And that means that Otto is able to give others an opportunity to walk away from a dangerous gang life in La Limonada. Otto's business is a solution to many of the economic and social challenges in Guatemala. Learn more about Otto and the other artisans here.

 Images by: www.shimmersofgrey.com


Investing in beautiful (and comfy!) shoes = investing in changing lives and stories for the better.


I mean, how can that not get you just a little excited? You can also watch this video (by www.shimmersofgrey.com) to learn more if you want to see more about The Root Collective (it's short, but so good!)

As a new owner of these shoes, I can completely vouch for them. They are classy, fun, and very comfortable (and I'm picky about my shoes). Since they are an investment (at least for me!), I choose a pair that would go with many outfits but still add a bit of fun :) My favorite part about them is the woven pattern on the heel--what a fun detail! I think my investment was 100% worth it--not only because I love the shoes, but I because I can't help but get fired up about the vision of The Root Collective.

ps. why does it look like fall in March? #ohtexasweather

And today they are launching their spring line (goodness, I had a lot of trouble choosing which shoes to purchase--too many beautiful options!), so I'd encourage you to take a peek at the shoes. You could also sneak a look at the discounts/sales right happening now too (like these shoes!).

Also, be sure to follow @therootcollective on Instagram if you want to learn about sales, new products, and hear more stories :)

What about you? Which shoes would you grab? ps. get 20% off with the code SPRING until Sunday (3/8)


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ps. I am a blog advocate for The Root Collective--which means I make a small commission if you purchase an item from The Root Collective using these links. However, I would be gushing all over you about them even if I didn't :)

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