We're so excited to share with everyone the launch of our newest brand CHOOZE! Sharon Blumberg is the founder and creator of CHOOZE. For our customers to fully appreciate the brand, we wanted everyone to hear from Sharon, so they can learn about her story and understand her passion for this industry. Check out what she had to say during our Q&A below:
1. What inspired you to start CHOOZE?
I never imagined that I would start a brand! I was an Interior Designer with a focus on creating magical spaces for kids - environments that would inspire creativity, imagination and confidence. When my youngest child (and only daughter) was a toddler, she always chose to wear two different shoes. I did not think much of it, other than thinking it was cute. She was expressing her creativity and she felt empowered because of it. As time went on, I realized that her shoes were constantly a conversation. Many people shared with me that their kids loved to mismatch their socks or shoes, or they would make comments that they couldn't believe I would allow her to do that. I knew the concept sparked opinions, and I knew there was something to be said for providing kids with choices. I loved that she had her own unique style, but her particular choices would often throw her off balance. I searched for a company that sold shoes with the same outsoles but different uppers, and my search came up empty. That led me down a path to design a line of creatively-coordinated footwear that could empower kids to express their creativity. I knew that fun, bold prints, combined with great quality materials and comfort, was what kids needed. It has been eight years since we launched our first collection and it has been so much fun to see kids (and parents!) fall in love with our unique styles. We now offer matching and mismatched shoes, apparel and accessories. Each of us is different and so are our products.
2. What kept you motivated to continue your business day by day?
I am highly motivated by the idea of inspiring kids to feel confident and creative. Over the years I have received many messages from moms telling me how much their kids love CHOOZE, for varying reasons, and that keeps me going. I know that we are offering something different, and that our message is resonating with kids of all ages. Every day I work to create a difference in our products, our message, and our mission.
3. Why would you say it’s important for kids to be themselves?
It was with great intention that I made the choice to name the brand "CHOOZE." I believe that one of the most important ways we can impact our kids is to teach them to make good decisions, to CHOOSE wisely. Ok, so I spelled it a little differently, but that was deliberate, too. I am passionate about teaching kids that there is power in the choices they make and that is ok to make decisions that are different from the norm. Being yourself means that you are not just following in someone else's path but creating your own.
It is important to present kids with opportunities to practice their decision-making skills when they are little so that when they grow up they have the confidence to make good decisions. I often hear from parents about how their child wants to wear their favorite dress every single day, or how the outfits their child wants to wear totally don’t match. We all know kids who insist on wearing a Superhero cape to school. And we definitely know (and LOVE!) kids who want to wear two different shoes. Our customers are so excited to find a brand that empowers their kids to express their unique style with fun wardrobe choices.
While I would never say that kids should have full freedom to do whatever they choose, I do believe that it’s important to present kids with opportunities that empower their confidence to be who they are. When we allow kids to express themselves, we are telling them that we trust their opinions and their choices can have an impact.
4. What is something you wish everyone knew about CHOOZE?
That's a great question, especially in an age where so much of who we all are is shared all over social media. That being said, I often think that our customers don't realize that our social media pages are run by me, mom of three, founder of the brand. I am the one who posts and responds to all of our customers. I love hearing from our customers and understanding who they are. I love reading comments from customers who tell us how much they love CHOOZE, but I often wonder if they don’t realize they are speaking directly to me. And, of course, when we have a customer who is not happy with one of our products for whatever reason, I take it very personally and want to do everything I can to make it right.
To check out the entire CHOOZE collection, head right here!