Sovereign Sandals is taking on the issue of sex trafficking. The online sandal brand, which launched last October, is dedicating 25 percent of its profits to Courage Worldwide, an international nonprofit based in Rocklin, Calif., that builds homes for children rescued from sex trafficking.
Sovereign Sandals, headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., was founded by Nick Elcock. While Elcock had no prior experience in the shoe industry, as a native Californian, he’d always hoped to create a line of footwear that embodied the West Coast lifestyle. Once he discovered a way to combine business with a mission, he was ready — but it took eight years to realize his dream.
Elcock was joined in his endeavor by his wife Cari Elcock and a group of friends who shared his passion for Courage Worldwide. Nick divides his time between Sovereign Sandals and his job in pharmaceutical sales, while his wife, who’s a stay-at-home mom, handles “compassion and outreach.”
The company, which produces the sandals in the Elcocks’ garage, was initially self-financed. But the couple recently raised $10,000 in capital during a five-week Kickstarter campaign that began on April 11. According to Justin Caporusso, who oversees marketing for the brand, 250 pairs have been sold to date. The unisex flip-flop style is available at Sovereignsandals.com for $49.
For the partners, helping to fund Courage Worldwide is just one of their objectives, said Caporusso. As the company expands, the goal is to provide work experience in the shoe company for the sex-trafficking victims.
Moving into summer 2015, the company plans to add sandals with manmade uppers and a companion children’s collection.