Small Business Week Feature: Soles4Souls
April 30th kicks off Small Business Week, and what better way to celebrate the value small businesses bring than to highlight our Nashville Chamber members! Throughout the week, we'll feature small businesses that are strengthening the region's business network and also giving back to their communities.
Today's spotlight features Soles4Soles— an organization that turns shoes and clothing into educational and economic opportunities.
1. What is your business’s mission and how long has it operated in Middle Tennessee?
Soles4Souls turns shoes and clothing into educational and economic opportunities. Our programs, 4Opportunity, 4Relief, and 4EveryKid, aim to make a positive difference on the planet and in people's economic, educational, physical, and psychosocial well-being. Since 2006, more than 83 million pairs of shoes and pieces of clothing have helped create opportunities for people across 137 countries. Soles4Souls is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, with Regional Donation Centers and warehouse locations around the world.
2. For people who haven't visited your business yet, what should they know about Soles4Souls?
We have 4 programs that help us fulfill our mission of turning shoes and clothing into opportunity:
- 4Opportunity: Soles4Souls sells and distributes shoes and clothing through our international partners to help people build small businesses.
- 4Relief: Soles4Souls helps get new shoes and clothing to people in crisis situations, freeing up financial resources they can use toward other needs.
- 4EveryKid: Soles4Souls partners with schools across the U.S. to get new athletic shoes to children who are experiencing homelessness, eliminating a barrier to educational and extracurricular opportunities.
- 4ThePlanet: Soles4Souls cares for our planet and people by extending the life of shoes and clothing that might have otherwise been prematurely discarded.
3. What is your favorite part about being a small business owner in the Nashville region? What can you tell us about the small business community here?
Nashville is a city that has still been able to maintain that “small town” feel. It seems like everyone knows everyone, and in the small business community, that is incredibly valuable. And through groups like the Chamber, we’ve had the opportunity to get connected to so many people, especially as the city grows.
4. How can your fellow Chamber members and other Middle Tennesseans best support local small businesses?
Always look local first. At Soles4Souls, we’ve made a really concerted effort to use local vendors, suppliers, banks, etc. When you can go to coffee, meet for lunch, or head to a local office for a meeting, it makes business more meaningful.
Thank you to Soles4Souls for taking part in this profile. Visit their website at https://soles4souls.org/ to learn more about their mission and services.