- Kyle, Indosole
I'm Kyle with Indosole, and we’re a shoe company. Similar to everyone else, I’m truly thankful to be involved with Kiva. I started Indosole back in 2009 and was immediately overwhelmed by how intense it was to start a shoe company, create a manufacturing process, and start a brand that had never been done before. I severely underestimated how much money I needed- that was a shocker to say the least. I wasn’t qualifying for big money loans.
One day in 2012 my friend Justin called me and said, “Hey, have you ever heard of Kiva? I’m a trustee for Kiva.”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Well, maybe you should check it out. It’s $5,000 interest-free and it comes with a whole bunch of ambassadors for your brand, people telling your story.”
And I thought, “Well ok, that sounds like a no brainer, let’s get into this.” So I got a $5000 loan and put it towards inventory at the time. We wanted to order 1,000 shoes, and we did that. We paid the loan off. Went back and did the $10,000 loan.
On that one we got 349 or so lenders, and we put that money to work putting some new tooling and resources into our factory to make it a better place for our crew to be working and have the best product, and as I mentioned, just having those 349 lenders as walking billboards for our brand, feeling good about it, talking about it, feeling good about themselves for helping us which also made us feel good was an amazing thing.
I’ve also been to Venture Capitalist meetings in Palo Alto - which is a level we hope to get to, we’re not quite there yet - but what you realize when you walk into a room with those guys is that it’s all about the bottom line, it’s all about making money.
That’s all good, but Kiva’s about the heart and that’s really special.
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