- Christal Earle, Founder of Brave Soles
The power of choice is truly the one possession we own and can control in this lifetime.
I owe a lot of my own growth in life and business to many people from around the world. I have worked with many insightful, wise and sharp leaders that have helped shape my vision around Brave Soles. Those people have played all kinds of roles in our genesis as a brand: from angel investors to the suppliers who pull tires out of ditches and landfills for us to reclaim.
Every day is a new adventure in learning about the power of choice.
Let me explain...
Much of the recycling and reclaiming of materials happens literally at the ground level of landfills around the world. Our “stuff” is picked through by men and women who are showing up, day after day, to make a living for themselves and their families.
In the landfills in the Dominican Republic, where Brave Soles first started, it’s no different. When the trucks pull up to dump their loads of garbage, people quickly start digging through to find something - anything - of value that they can use and sell for recycling. This work and determination to survive against great odds is the reality for millions and millions of people around the world.
Through working with these men and women over the past 14 years, I have come to know one truth that is unchanging for all of us:
“Dignity is something you choose for yourself and there is no one who gets to decide that for you.”
Some of the people I have met there over the years are now part of the supply chain that helps to make sure our production of shoe soles is accomplished. They scout out tires for us and they give us access to a part of the cycle of our “stuff” that we would never have known about without their insights. They do this on their own time and tell us what they want to be paid for their work.
For us, this is a partnership. In a partnership both parties recognize the power they have to create something together. Though we may each have different skills or abilities, we are building a story together.
To be able to recognize you have choices is one of the great gifts you can give yourself and the world. Our choices are powerful and they contribute to creating the story of our lives and the future we want to live with.
This is the kind of story that we want to participate in at Brave Soles:
- One that recognizes that we all contribute to our future.
- One that says, “Today I learned this, and I may have not done it perfectly, but tomorrow I can try again.”
- And one that is full of people who are realizing the power of their lives and choices.
We have had a lot of behind the scenes acrobatics to grow this company and it’s not all been pretty ;) We are doing our best to honour our mission and the people who have believed in us and sometimes that isn’t perfect. Sometimes I have had to sit down, close my eyes while I go inside and remind myself that we’ll figure this out and that there is a path forward that I may not yet see.
Choosing who you want to be and what you want your life to be about is not a one-time event. It’s built upon countless smaller choices and steps we take, over and over again, to decide what is most important to us.
Those small steps often take a little dose of courage, but I have discovered that we are all far braver than we give ourselves credit for.
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