He lived and worked at a small orphanage with many incredible kids. One day, he was walking down a dusty road with all the kids when he noticed a little girl in a white dress walking next to him.
As he looked down at her feet, he was shocked to see how small her shoes were. They were so small that she had to cut open the front of her shoes to let her toes stick out. So Kenton thought:
What if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand its size?
And the idea for The Shoe That Grows was born.
Kenton and a group of friends in their home of Idaho worked for more than six years to make their vision a reality. They finally succeeded; they created The Shoe That Grows, a shoe that expands five sizes and lasts for years.
Later on, they founded a nonprofit organization Because International to help provide The Shoe That Grows to as many children as possible who are in critical need of footwear.
Over 300,000 pairs of The Shoe That Grows have been sent to children in over 100 countries thanks to him and his crew.
Listen to the episode to learn more about Kenton's journey and the biggest challenges he's overcome!
You can see the transcript of this episode here.
Links From the Episode
- Connect with Because International:
- Buy The Shoe That Grows on GroFive.com
- Kenton Lee
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
- The FOCUS Group
- What is Kenton doing? [1:15]
- How did everything begin? What have they accomplished with The Shoe That Grows so far? [1:46]
- What are the mechanisms they use to fund the operation? [4:04]
- Where can the listeners buy The Shoe That Grows? How much does it cost? [5:28]
- What difficulties has Kenton encountered when it comes to understanding supply chain logistics, sourcing raw material manufacturing, and his original molds? How did he overcome them? [6:32]
- How did Kenton try to find help in the beginning? [7:08]
- What did it take to build connections in the industry and start designing the first prototypes? [7:48]
- How long did it take to create the first 3,000 pairs of shoes? [9:28]
- What has been the most painful lesson so far? [10:08]
- How has this mission impacted the quality of Kenton's life? [13:30]
- Is this job Kenton's primary focus? How big is his team? Are there any volunteers? [15:45]
- How is Kenton raising funds and streamlining the fundraising process? [17:19]
- How much are they raising donations-wise? [19:50]
- How is Kenton identifying the donors? What systems do they have in place to keep track of them and communicate regularly? [21:36]
- How are they identifying talent or identifying that people really care about their mission? [23:53]
- How can someone get in touch with Kenton and The Shoe That Grows? [25:49]
- Parting thoughts. [26:35]