reposted from launch787.com
Living in a seriously laid back town, flip-flops have very much become a staple to the modern closet. It is refreshing to find a product that is so much more…that it literally brings new meaning to, “the soul of your feet.”
When Kyle Berner, owner of Feelgoodz was 25, he decided to throw some clothes in a backpack and buy a one-way ticket to Thailand to embark upon his often now referred to as, “adventure of a lifetime.” He spent an entire year there, fully immersed, living just like the locals. He learned the difficult and beautiful language and unbeknownst to him at the time created the foundation for a brand new endeavor that would completely change his life. After his amazing year in Thailand ended, Berner decided that he wanted to find a way to give back. “We just had to…”
Kyle, being industrious learned that Thailand is the world’s leading exporter of natural rubber, and because of this vast natural rubber supply, there is excellent quality at an amazing value. Therefore Feelgoodz was able to create some of the most comfortable flip-flops quite possibly in the world at a pretty reasonable price. These flops are made from 100% eco-friendly natural latex rubber harvested from tropical Yang Para trees and come in a variety colors.
Recalling my experience with Kyle, first time meeting then new neighbor and young entrepreneur from New Orleans, almost seven years back while living in some apartments in South Austin, way too terrible to name. Admittedly, Kyle was a great neighbor, perhaps the kind you would want to borrow sugar from or help out building an easy to assemble furniture kit with. Kyle was ALWAYS full of ideas, all sorts of ideas. Little did I know his adventures would lead him down such a promising path.
Kyle along with his generous and hardworking staff at Feelgoodz have been kind enough to offer an amazing chance for you to WIN a few pairs of these sweet flops, as well as a chance to support an amazing cause.
In the true spirit of nourishment, Feelgoodz has launched The 5-5-5 Flip-Flop Feeding Fiesta campaign. For every pair of Flip-Flops sold, 5 children in Thailand will be fed for 1 day. Feelgoodz is partnering with Green Coop Thailand to provide Fair Trade jasmine rice to children in rural villages. In addition to providing this nourishment, customers receive $5 off their purchase as well as $5 flat rate shipping. Amazing deal, right?!
The 5-5-5 Flip-Flop Feeding Fiesta shows how a simple purchase can make a difference in the life of a child. Just enter the code FIESTA upon purchase to activate the Fiesta!
CONTEST: To enter to win a pair Feelgoodz flip-flops, simply go online and follow @feelgoodz on twitter and re-tweet this: (*Winners will be selected within the week!)
RT @launch787 – Spread the word: #555FlipFlopFeedingFiesta! Every pair @feelgoodz flip-flops sold, 5 children fed! http://tiny.cc/feelgoodz
Now for a little info on Feelgoodz from owner, Kyle Berner:
Kyle, why did you start FeelGoodz? What’s your story?
I was a backpacker in Thailand. I was walking around one of the local markets in Bangkok and my J Crew flops broke. I stopped to buy new pair, had a lightbulb moment. I knew I could use sales of flip-flops in the States to funnel margin percentages to support everyday needs in Thailand. And 2 years later, here we are.
Kyle Berner, Owner of Feelgoodz The Eureka Moment — “So, when I was 25, I threw some clothes in a backpack and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime. I spent an entire year there, living like the locals. I ate the delicious local food, learned the difficult – but beautiful – language, and developed lifelong friendships. It was phenomenal…”
Where does the name FeelGoodz come from? What does it mean?
As soon as I put the flip-flops on my feet in that market in Bangkok, the first thing I thought to myself was, “Man, these feel good.” And I paused for a moment… “They’re my feelgoodz.“ So it is in direct relation to how comfortable the flip-flops are.
What is your vision for the future of your company? Where do you see yourself in ten years?
To become a for-profit social enterprise that uses sales revenues of conscious products as a vehicle for global social empowerment initiatives. I see us aiding in poverty alleviation, ridding of malaria, supporting micro-finance, encouraging youth entrepreneurship, ending starvation, supplying clean drinking water, etc. All through sales of conscious products.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in starting your business? and how have you dealt with these challenges? anything you would like to note to other other young entrepreneurs just starting out?
The biggest challenge has been in working with our factory overseas. Having a true understanding on extraction processes, manufacturing processes, and accurate timelines can be an issue. My advice is to be as detailed as possible to truly understand your supply chain.
Tell us about how Feelgoodz gives back and your involvement in that?
Our current projects are two-fold. We provide a means of revenue for Kenyan villagers through our Recycle your unFlops campaign, and we are feeding Thai children through our 5-5-5 Flip-Flop Feeding Fiesta. The vision is to harness the power of the internet to turn everyday consumers into philanthropists.
Do you feel that the people who purchase your products are beginning to adopt the lifestyle that you have based your business mantra after?
Yes! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no environmentalist, but I think it is all about taking small steps in a responsible direction. Our customers can understand and live the “small steps” approach.
Also would you mind listing a few of your favorite causes that you personally
B Corp, 1% for the Planet, Ashoka
Reading about your “Zero Flip-Flop Waste World” mission has really piqued my interest. What exactly does the FeelGoodz — “Recycle Your unFlop Campaign”entail and how can people get involved?
People can simply send ANY kind of flip-flops or sandals to our partners’ Alabama warehouse facility. That partner is Soles4Souls. They just need to mark their package with “Recycle your Unflops” and S4S will partition accordingly. In return for their involvement, we offer a $5 recycling credit upon future purchases.
Recycle Your unFlop Campaign –”An unFlop is a flip-flop turned into a work of art, crafted by a Kenyan villager, transforming one man’s trash into another man’s treasure. how can you get involved? If you have some flip-flops you want to recycle, you can either send them to a Soles4Souls DC (www.soles4souls.com), or toss them in a Soles4Souls Collection Bin. Soles4Souls has generously agreed to house the flip-flops for up to one year, and at the end of the year, Feelgoodz will send them to Kenya (yes, Kenya!) to a company called UniquEco, the (flip-flop) recycling company. UniquEco (www.uniqueco-designs.com) will take the unFlops, distribute them to Kenyan villagers, and these villagers will make new eco-boutique items out of them to then use for resale. This creates a much needed source of revenue for Kenyan villagers! So, in essence, the unFlop you recycle will, in turn, provide employment for a Kenyan villager one day. Get involved! twitter — @feelgoodz, Facebook — Feelgoodz, or at http://www.feelgoodz.com!
Lastly, where can we find these fabulously soulful flops?
See a list of our stores online!