Sole Sharer / Aspiring Brand Strategist
How did I get here?
In New York City, the odds are high that my answer to that question on any given day, at any given place, is that I walked.
And my shoes enabled that. They are my most trusted form of transportation in this highly pedestrian environment. But between that most simple functionality and their superficial design characteristics, I believe that shoes also contain a bit more … but what?
While Cinderella’s heels or Dorothy's red slippers would suggest that it’s magic, Vincent Van Gogh’s shoes would suggest that it’s memory. And this is where I started my 100 Day Project.
You see, in the decades following the creation of Van Gogh's painting, "A Pair of Shoes" — Heidegger, Schapiro, and Derrida all wrote on their interpretations of it; building connections between shoes and the philosophy of art, its reception, and its relationship to the history of ideas. And thus, 100 Days of Sole became my attempt to do a modern day exploration of the concepts that these philosophers uncovered.
You see, my mission statement is, "I seek to create communities that facilitate self-expression and personal growth" And I found in my research links between shoes and the psychological concept of “individuation” — that is, the process of becoming one’s own unique person.
So I sent about 300 emails, texts, and facebook messages (it wasn't until later that I would incorporate in-person ambushes) to a range of friends, acquaintances, and people whom I had never met before—all of whom were people that inspired me—with the following primary subject line: "A Project About Shoes."
... miraculously, people actually replied.
And even more miraculous were the stories that they shared. Stories of the identity, memory, and meaning that a pair of soles can contain. Stories that themselves contained more hope, grit, inspiration, humor, meaning, and LIFE than I ever could have imagined (even in my wildest dreams).
Overall perhaps the greatest thing I gained was the ability to shine a spotlight on how many brilliant, creative, and incredible people there are out there. And the gift of being able to celebrate them and their stories first and foremost. They are what made this project come to life, and the reason that it is beautiful.
I’ve decided to continue the project, so if you would like to share your story with me — all it takes is the answer to a single question and a photo of your shoes.