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I’ve been a huge supporter of The Root Collective since I happened upon them over a year and a half ago. One look at their shoes and you’ll see why I love them so much, but the love goes much deeper than that!

The Root Collective partners with small-scale artisan businesses in marginalized communities to promote change through dignified jobs. The artisans own their own businesses and set their own pricing, but partnering with TRC enables them to sell to a larger market. Take a look at this video which share more of the TRC vision:

The Root Collective — Walk the Vision from Em Grey on Vimeo.
My favorite part of the whole TRC story is Otto. Otto lives in the La Limonada ghetto of Guatemala City, Guatemala, an area plagued by gangs and violence. Instead of falling in with the gangs like many men in his area, Otto started learning to make shoes at age 10.

View More: http://em-grey.pass.us/the-root-collective-guatemala-trip-february-2015-web-optimized-1

image by:www.shimmersofgrey.com

These skills allowed him to rise above his circumstances and go into business for himself. He now employs former gang members, teaching them business and shoemaking skills so they can leave their old ways behind.

View More: http://em-grey.pass.us/the-root-collective-guatemala-trip-february-2015-web-optimized-1image by:www.shimmersofgrey.com

The Root Collective founder, Bethany Tran, just returned from a trip to visit the artisans and I have a huge smile hearing about the way their lives have changed because of this amazing partnership. I just love this quote from Bethany…

This is important work. Not because we are saviors to these communities, but because we have committed to partner with them and uplift the people of La Limonada (and the rural areas). Without jobs, there is no way to provide for themselves or their families. Because many of these men are former gang members, they cannot find employment elsewhere because of their gang tattoos. This is important work.

This is why I buy The Root Collective shoes. This is why I share the shoes and the stories with you.

Wear cute shoes, change the world – it’s a real thing.

And the cute shoes just got even better with the new spring line that debuted TODAY!


You’ve seen my green flats enough and I will never stop wearing them because GREEN IS MY FAVORITE. But look at these beauties. The coral striped ballet flat is just the right mix of spring color + neutrals.


I’m thrilled to have these coral striped ballet flats in my spring shoe rotation to wear with maxi skirts and dresses and leggings…basically everything! Today was still a little chilly, so I paired my new flats with a sweater dress and skinny jeans, along with a few other fair trade accessories.

And I can’t wait for you to add a beautiful pair of TRC shoes to your spring wardrobe! From now through Sunday, March 8th, use the code SPRING to get 20% off your own pair of flats or peep toes! Did you see the lime peep toe?! I’m dying…

Did you ever think buying adorable shoes could be important work?! Well, it is. Thanks for being a part of this beautiful partnership. And when you buy yours, please share them on social media with the hashtag #ottomademyshoes!

Which pair of The Root Collective shoes are you buying first?