While getting my undergraduate degree at West Virginia University, I was introduced to BANGS Shoes, an adventure-inspired footwear company with a social mission. BANGS Shoes pairs with a non-profit organization, Kiva.org, to help entrepreneurs build their business and repay their loan.
BANGS Shoes was founded by Hannah Davis. While teaching English in China, she noticed farmers and workers wearing simple work boots out in the fields and decided to bring the style to the United States. The word “BANGS” comes from the Chinese character meaning help. Their slogan is “Your Adventure Helps Others Find Theirs.”
When I was an undergrad, BANGS Shoes was a new company based in Charleston, South Carolina, looking for new ways to get exposure. They decided to take the approach of involving college students. College representatives were popping up everywhere, and I knew I had to get WVU involved.
After interviewing with Hannah Davis, I was selected to be the brand ambassador and start a team at my college. Many people were interested, so starting my team was easy. Eventually it became one of BANGS Shoes’ biggest teams with 25 people.
I held weekly meetings, and we promoted BANGS Shoes across campus. Our promotions included setting up a BANGS Shoes booth in our community “lair,” attending events and meetings to raise students’ awareness about the brand, and putting up posters in the fashion school. We also had a photographer photograph the team around campus wearing our BANGS and created a Facebook page where we posted the pictures. It was a great opportunity for students wanting experience in sales or pursuing degrees in fashion, business or marketing.
I loved being a part of my BANGS Shoes team. Not only did I get experience as an organizer, I was also glad to be helping others by supporting an organization that pays it forward. I'd love to see a team start at LIM one day! I think the combined mission of supporting entrepreneurs and marketing fashionable footwear would make it a great fit.