Local business SoGiv
is the world's first non-profit shoe company dedicated to using shoes as pathways for philanthropy and volunteerism around the world. Launched in 2011 by native Memphian, Edward Bogard; SoGiv has adopted 20 charitable causes they believe can make the biggest impact on the quality of lives and communities.
"We select organizations that align to our causes and we design one-of-a-kind shoes that reflect their logo and promote their mission" says Bogard. "To initiate, grow and sustain these organizations we donate 100% of the proceeds from every pair of shoes we sell. While our formula is simple, our impact is BIG."
Raised in Memphis, Bogard earned his BFA in Product/Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. After graduating, rather than migrating to the West Coast with his peers, Bogard chose to return to Memphis to launch his business. "I realized the city of Memphis needed something like SoGiv more than any other city."
As for advice for those considering launching their own business in Memphis, Bogard points out that CNN recently named Memphis as one of the top cities to start a company due to the low cost of living.
"Personally I feel like it's a city that's always been on the verge of something great, so why not help the city meet its expectations by starting something cool here?"
Bogard's biggest resource in helping him launch and successfully operate SoGiv has been the support of his mother, a retired Memphis City School teacher of 35 years. "She taught me how to pay it forward from a very young age by giving my outgrown clothes and shoes to struggling families in the community. She would store them in lockers in her classroom for parents and students who were facing economic hardships. This has stuck with me well into adulthood and inspired me to give back through my God given gift of design."
As for the future of SoGiv, Bogard says that SoGiv is very much a global initiative. "And that's where we'd like to take it. Continuing to provide shoes to those in need and raising awareness of worthy causes, ultimately impacting communities around the globe."
Hear Edward Bogard speak further on his entrepreneurial experience at Creatives in the City
, a speaker event presented by High Ground News and the EPIcenter on December 2. Register for free here