In its first six months, Moeloco has put a thousand shoes on children’s feet living in poverty. Moeloco, means Dream Crazy and this is Kathy Wong’s story…
Deciding to start a business isn’t always easy and I admit, I was a bit of a serial entrepreneur in the past. Prior to starting Moeloco, I went through the process of discovering who I was and appreciating my many unique gifts – and it was through recognising my self-worth that I discovered a deep desire to inspire others.
Through meeting like-minded people on my life’s travels, I made a discovery that would change my life forever: there are 300 million children in the world without shoes, some dying from foot diseases caused from being barefoot and many denied an education as schools prevent anyone without shoes from attending. It’s a stark contrast to how our children live in Australia, and I find it rather amazing!
I had to do something, and it was then that I knew what my new business venture would be.
In Australia, we love our flip flops – or “thongs”. The flip flop is a fashion icon that continues to grow in popularity, and the average Aussie owns five pairs. Our sunny weather and sandy beaches create the perfect setting for a new brand of flip flops. But what differentiates our brand from the many others on the market? Moeloco flip flops have inspirational messages etched on the bottom of the shoe – “I am Peace”, “Because I’m Happy”, “Live Love” and “Dream Crazy” – that, when worn, leave an imprint in the sand.
Not only can a positive message in the sand brighten someone else’s day, but our simple one-for- one business model ensures that for every pair of Moeloco’s sold, a pair of shoes is donated to a child in need. This is made possible through our partnership with the wonderful Hope Foundation in Calcutta.
The Hope Foundation works with some of the most disadvantaged children in the world, educating and empowering women and young girls living in horrendous situations in Calcutta. The Hope Foundation reaches out to the poorest, neglected and abused by offering protection, healthcare, education, rehabilitation and hope for the future.
I’m often asked the hows and whys. Why Moeloco? How did it happen? How did I turn my dream of wanting to help those less fortunate than me into a business with the power to actually transform lives across the world?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Why? Purpose. Through life’s travels and experiences, I have come to find that starting a socially responsible business with a focus on parallel giving is something I’m passionate about and an extension of who I am.
How? Work and help. In the past year, I have worked harder than ever before. Long days, early starts, late nights. I have faced many challenges, but working through them has been easy because of my passion and drive to keep pushing forward. Knowing what I’m good at – and not so good at – has proven to be helpful. My biggest lesson so far has been to ask for help and allow myself to receive it, something not many women are good at, I certainly know!
Where am I headed? I want to impacts many lives as I can by raising awareness of these children in poverty and helping them access education as this is the long term way out.
If you would like to make a difference too, you can purchase your own pair of Moeloco’s here and some selected stockists.
Written by Kathy Wong – Chief Energy Officer and Founder, Moeloco.