I recently attended the Mode Accessories Show where I witnessed many beautiful and unique gems. Today I want to share with you a brand that touched me beyond the physical beauty of its pieces. I was very lucky to not only get a glimpse of MaLu’s spring line but get to know the woman behind the brand – Maria Luisa.
Maria, a school teacher so wholeheartedly devoted to her kids, started the “Start me up” breakfast program at the school she was teaching in at the time. The program quickly became successful and grew from the $500 Maria began with to receiving a $100,000 grant from Sun Life Financial. The Toronto District School Board took notice and modeled their own nutrition programs after Start Me Up. The name, by the way, was created by the kids themselves which earned them a well-deserved pizza party for their efforts! But the school where Start Me Up originated had to close down which was hugely upsetting to Maria.
Rest assured Maria wasn’t finished making a difference in people’s lives. Her passion, devotion and entrepreneurial spirit were the ingredients which formed her next venture – MaLu. Although MaLu has now branched into men’s shoes, kid’s shoes, custom jewelry and apparel, the main focus still remains on the Monarch Butterfly Outsoles and proprietary technology, coupled with giving back to the community. Five percent of all sales are donated back to the communities in which MaLu is sold thus making a difference with every sale.
Maria is an extraordinary individual who talks so passionately about reducing poverty, bringing awareness, and making a meaningful and positive impact on kids. I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she frequently travels to Colombia seeking out the most impoverished communities where she serves meals and gets to know the local kids. This year she will take her mission one step further and will be sending an individualized pair of shoes, with a message of encouragement sewn inside, to each and every child in that community – that’s 400 shoes made meticulously with love.
Now that we’ve established Maria is awesome, what about the shoes?? Well, they are beyond adorable! I find shopping for beautiful flats even more challenging than shopping for high heels. The idea behind flats is to be comfortable all day without of course sacrificing style. Typically the selection of flats isn’t as wide as that of high heels, and often flats are literally that- flat, leaving the heels of your feet even more sore and uncomfortable than a pair of pumps would. MaLu has solves our flats problems by developing a proprietary technology. MaLu flats come in many beautiful designs, all of which are foldable and will easily fit in your purse. They have a little heel for support and comfort, and of course feature the highly coveted Monarch Butterfly Outsoles.
Images courtesy of http://shop.designsbymalu.com/prestashop/
It’s wonderful to know that human kindness and compassion can co-exist and even thrive alongside beautiful fashion!