Today we’d like to introduce you to Alice Brown.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I am Alice Brown, a recovering corporate attorney here in Atlanta, where I live with my husband, three busy kids and sweet pup – and I run a flip flop company called GoodSteps! As for my story, I grew up in Huntsville, AL, spent an amazing four years at Wake Forest University (Go Deacs!), a couple of years in Washington, DC, and then I moved to Atlanta for law school… and never left. While I thoroughly enjoyed the work I did as an attorney (or most of it), when I started a family, I realized that I wanted more control over how and where I spend my time.
For me, that meant jumping from the big law firm life into the white space of entrepreneurship and social enterprises. I have always loved the concept of companies that give back and actively sought them out as a consumer, but I felt moved to focus my work time creating something GOOD – a company whose sole reason for existing is to give back. Why flip flops, you ask? Because they are awesome, and everyone has a pair (or ten, in my case), so I thought, why not make a really good, high-quality version and give people the power to do what they were already doing – buying flip flops – but do so ON PURPOSE?
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ha! Trick question, because the path is never easy… though some parts are bumpier than others. Our biggest challenge has probably been the manufacturing process, which initially took more than two years from final design to product launch. We manufacture our shoes in Brazil, and it is an exercise in patience and determination – and requires more time, money and mailing back and forth of prototypes than we would have ever envisioned (or hoped for. Looking back, we do feel like our investment in that process and stubborn attention to detail was worth it because the shoe we ultimately produced is one that we would proudly put up against any competitor and is well-loved by our customers. We are currently nearing the end of the same manufacturing process with our new kid’s line and are excited to (finally) get those minis out into the world!
As you know, we’re big fans of GoodSteps. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
GoodSteps is, first and foremost, a social enterprise that is focused on doing good in the world and empowering people – our customers – to do good. We carry out our mission by making (awesome, 5-star reviewed) flip flops! We worked hard to create quality, handmade products that are stylish, comfortable, supportive, versatile, and – best of all – purchasing a pair (or two!) provides direct financial support to our incredible nonprofit partner organizations.
With every product sold, we donate 20% of the purchase price to MANA Nutrition and Atlanta Community Food Bank, and our customers choose where to direct their specific donation. The work these organizations do to fight hunger and the good they provide is literally why we’re here! At any time, you can see what these donations look like in action: the running totals we provide at the bottom of our website demonstrate the impact we and our customers continue to make together in the fight against hunger. Thus far, we have donated 82, 600 meals to food-insecure folks here in Georgia via ACFB and have fully nourished 155 malnourished children back to health across the world via MANA Nutrition.
How do you define success?
Success is first and foremost cutting that quarterly check to our giving partners and knowing the impact we, and our customers, are making on the fight against hunger and food insecurity. That includes the smaller day-to-day wins, like when a customer tells me they love their flip flops – and even better –when they become a repeat customer. Not only does that feedback validate the two years of blood, sweat and tears that we put into the design and manufacturing process, but it is exactly what we need to continue to grow the business into a sustainable and substantial source of funds for our giving; partners!
- Leather Original Flip Flops – $59.95
- Water Resistant Nomad Flip Flops – $49.95
- Monogrammed Leather Flip Flops – $69.95
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.goodsteps.com
- Instagram: @goodsteps
- Facebook: @takegoodsteps
- Twitter: @takegoodsteps
Laura Negri Childers Sarah Vitel Charlie Quade