BANGS Shoes are canvas kicks for your next adventure that help other people discover new adventures too.
Because buying BANGS Shoes helps people start businesses in the US + around the world.
Explore the unknown. Encourage others. And above all.. BE BOLD.
Because life is an adventure. And it’s time to live it.
Be Bold #liveBANGS
So, BANGS has been up and running for a couple of years now. As a Social Entrepreneur what has been some of the lessons learned through this process of being the founder of a “social good startup”?
I would advise social entrepreneurs to become excellent business people.
A social enterprise can only maintain long-term success if the business piece of the organization is successful.
This may be an umm duh moment in theory, but I assure you it’s a very difficult to practice daily. Especially because social entrepreneurs tend to be more bleeding-heart, whimsical-types (like myself) and want to focus on a vision that can really only become reality after certain items are checked off.
Meaning it’s very easy to get distracted by what you want to be doing because of what you see in the future vs. what you need to be doing TODAY to get to that point.
You can’t get to D without going through A-B and C first.
So business model first. Success here will support your vision and social impact in a sustainable way.
I would also encourage you to trust yourself because only you know what’s best for you and your organization.
Do the research. Do the work. And then trust yourself.
Can you talk about how BANGS Shoes is structured to make a social difference?
My vision for BANGS is to build a network of positive people around the world who live life as an adventure.
Over the past couple of years, it’s become crystal clear that the type of people who buy BANGS Shoes are passionate explorers who seek out the positive pieces in life. BANGS has become an entire mentality.
And I think this stems from our mission of helping people start businesses in the US + around the world.
Because the type of people who seek positivity in life also tend to believe in supporting and encouraging other humans to find their own personal adventures.
So our business model, which takes a portion of profits every month to invest in entrepreneurs around the globe, has morphed in to this movement of positivity and encouragement. Sort of a “Find your adventure. And encourage others to do the same.” mentality.
It’s been really incredible and inspiring to watch it grow.
BANGS recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. What did that accomplish and what did that allow you to do going forward in 2015?
Running a successful Kickstarter campaign was such a humbling, amazing experience that helped fund BANGS to move forward and make our next purchase.
Our summer line arrives May 2015 and I honestly don’t know if I can be any more excited about it. I’ve literally been dreaming about the new shoes.
It feels like an entirely new launch because we’re releasing a new logo, new on-shoe branding, and the shoes themselves have been significantly improved for more comfort and just better wear.
If you want to receive updates on the new line, you can sign up for our newsletter on bangsshoes.com.
With that upcoming new release, are we talking different colors and styles? Low-tops and Hi-tops? Solid colors and patterns?
We’re talking the release of three silhouettes: our traditional high and low tops, plus adding a new slip-on haaayyyy!
And for now, we’re sticking with solid colors. We want for this line to maintain the simplicity that’s consistent with the original Chinese shoes I discovered while teaching English that inspired the entire company.
And just a reminder, BANGS means “help” in Mandarin.
Would you say with the new logo and new shoe designs, BANGS is going through a re-branding stage to represent itself better to its market and demo?
I think I would say that. Building a businesses has to be a conversation. We really tried, and will continue to try to connect closely with BANGS-people to hear how their experience with the company has been and if they’re happy with their shoes.
Then we want to actually listen to what they say. The release of our new line is the result of a couple years of conversations with the people who believe in our mission.
And we’re giving them what they want: comfortable, quality shoes that are easy to wear in an active lifestyle and help people in a sustainable way.
BANGS’ business model is built to contribute 20% of net profits to entrepreneurs in the USA and around the world through it’s nonprofit partner.
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Founder of Causeartist // Social Entrepreneur