Meet the Team Bringing Innovative Design to These Socially Conscious Sneakers

COMUNITY will donate $10 made from the sale of every pair of shoes to a non-profit organization located in downtown Los Angeles.

The COMUNITY is a new shoe brand responsible for making socially conscious footwear. They are also interested in bringing innovation to the industry. The brand COMUNITY is a combination of three different footwear industry veterans that have acquired a lot of experience working with Nike, Sanuk, Vans, and ASICS.

Together with accomplished footwear designer, Ryan Gumienny, Sean and Shannon- Founders, Husband-wife team have built this giving platform. They have done this to inspire action, participation, and empowerment in their customers through civic engagement. This was achieved by creating positive change in the community they carry out their everyday activities.

Three different designs of footwear meant for men as well as women are included in COMUNITY’s foremost contribution. Their prices range from $150-$180. They are planned and manufactured with choice equipment for the highest quality, luxury, and lastingness. This Multifaceted and handy lifestyle assemblage will be made locally in Los Angeles. Manufacturing locally helps COMUNITY provide jobs for those that reside downtown. It also helps create a focus on maintainable results and processes.

A campaign has been started making use of crowdsourcing to help bring COMUNITY to market.

Here is a Q&A with the founders of COMUNITY.

What is the meaning of community to the COMUNITY team?
The idea of COMUNITY is a non-complex truth that begins with an individual and is made manifest in every aspect of life. The community is concerned with the welfare of one another in addition to looking out for family, friends, and co-workers. Apart from just being a place or group, the community helps people live happily. Everyone loves to feel at home with their surroundings. That feeling of being at home is made available by a supportive community. Communities are a source of inspiration to individuals. They help people have a sense of belonging in addition to the feeling of being valuable. This feeling is contagious and can be passed on from one member of the community to the next.

What are the issues surrounding these themes “arts, education and homelessness’ in L.A. and what are the changes your team hopes to effect?
The three platforms we have chosen to be of support were chosen because they represent the three different parts of the LA community where we have feelings that we can make a lasting change. AS a result of these, we are very proud of them.

The community where our headquarters will be situated has arts as a vital part of it. Both those that appreciate arts and those that are responsible for making them are beneficiaries of the freedom and joy that is brought by arts. It also creates a means of expression for those that have issues they are struggling with. This explains why street poets have been chosen to work with us as partners for this platform.

Youths, adults, and elders from various backgrounds are brought into deep transformational relationships when they are awoken to their gifts and full potentials by help from the organization. This is achieved when work is done to break the cycle of violence in the lives of at-risk and constrained youths.

Bringing an End to Homelessness
This is a serious issue in the Los Angeles neighborhood because it has reached its highest proportions. As a result of the closeness of our headquarters to Skid Row, we are perfectly able to mobilize concerned citizens to be partakers at all levels. LAMP Network has joined forces with our partner The People Concern to help people start all over again with their lives. The aim is not to manage but to bring an end to human suffering. The People Concern is an organization that is fully independent and supported by the community. It gives room for staff, volunteers and clients to work with mutual respect to tackle the effects of poverty, castigation, disregard and segregation. Removing barriers to the much-needed resources for survival is one thing the agency’s programs are designed to do. It is also concerned with increasing the quality of life of individuals

We have a belief that as the rate of education increases among people, there will be an increase in a sustainable and productive life for the individuals that are involved. This will help them contribute and become productive members of their community. Violence and crime are subjects of great concern in the LA neighborhood that can be tackled with the youth of the community to make them aware of the alternatives available to them with some guidance from others. Our partner, the Youth Mentoring Connection, aims at awakening the youth at risk to their strengths, special gifts, and purpose by pairing them with caring adult mentors and making sure it is done within a structured group dynamic that makes available the means needed by the youth to reach productive mindful adulthood. They go on to awaken society to the needs, prospects, and worth of this neglected population and inspire young people to put their talents into their communities.

What is the Procedure of producing these Beautiful Shoes?
We have been manufacturing footwear for over a decade. We, therefore, assumed transferring the knowledge to manufacturing in the U.S will not be an uphill task. We got to know very rapidly that the case is very different. At the moment, the US is not structured for the production of footwear in large scales. Formerly, there were thousands of factories in the LA neighborhoods. However, now there are only about a dozen left. This has made our options very limited.

We had to search for a couple of months before we were able to discover the perfect factory that was suitable for the construction of the shoes that had already been designed in the amount we were projecting at a good price. We finally came across a factory that was willing to be our partner for a long term. The factory was located across the LA River from our headquarters. They are popular for their lovely artistry. In addition to that, the factory owner is devoted to rebuilding the industry of footwear production. We make our shoes with the use of high-quality materials, and construction is done at a price that is fair based on production cost. Manufacturing in LA is a great move because it helps make jobs available to the locals in addition to helping in rebuilding the community.

How do you think COMUNITY will influence the local L.A community to improve their city rather than focus on cities and communities in developing countries?
To enable the local LA community personally take part in their efforts, we carefully chose giving partners located in the LA area. To give local community members the opportunity to donate their energy and platform to any giving platform they choose, we will be partnering with each of the groups to organize events. The neighborhood where we are situated, and the downtown LA area surrounding it is going through a rebuilding process. There is usually a buzz while moving through a community that is going through a rebuilding process. There is a lot of confidence in DTLA, and it is becoming famous both nationally and internationally. Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, is responsible for the rebuilding and revitalization of business and community in Los Angeles. In addition to this, there are lots of local supporters willing to pitch. We are banking on that move to get people to participate and to help make this move popular.

What do you See COMUNITY becoming in a year After a Successful completion of your Kickstarter campaign?
With one year gone, we are positive that COMUNITY will be responsible for the change in the community. We also hope to inspire others and help them make positive changes in their environments.We aim to create an awareness that nothing is too small to make an impact.

Only motivated people can remain in control of situations even when they have a feeling that all hope is gone. A lot of times, we find out that people do not lack motivations but lack guidance on how to set out. COMUNITY wants to help change people’s mindsets and help them become less selfish in their day to day activities.