Three years ago, I never would’ve dreamed that I would be writing this blog post announcing the launch of a shoe company named PASSERI. If you have read our origin post about the jungle, you know that when the idea to start this business struck me, there was just something in me that told me I needed to give this opportunity a shot; this gut feeling was certainly not bedded in logic, I had no clue how to start a shoe company. There was never any doubt in my mind though that the company would eventually flourish but the truth is, I had no idea what I was doing.
What I did know is that I loved designing, designing anything from clothes and shoes to houses! I also had 20 years of experience working with small scale artisans in Guatemala, Tanzania, Thailand, and India and bringing their art to market. Well, a market I held in my home every holiday season and a pop-up market where I would take my little store of treasures bought on my travels to festivals and fairs a few times a year.
Over the past three years I have had promises and disappointments of funding, partnering, work trades and more. For the first two years my husband Jim and I funded the entire growth of the business through working our traditional jobs and picking up extra work when possible. I traveled to Peru regularly on long holiday breaks, summer breaks, and whenever I could steal away for a week to build the business.
As I worked to build the business, I also knew that this was more than just another shoe company, I wanted to start a movement. A movement that inspires people to step into their power and believe that they already have everything it takes to live their best lives. A power that requires bravery to untangle dominant cultural narratives and stories that we have come to believe about ourselves because of programmed data others have told us about ourselves. Well intended or not, when we live our lives according to these stories, we are incapable of truly thriving and achieving the freedom to live our best lives.