We were so excited to meet Laura Chauvin, CEO and Founder of Her Best Foot Forward and get to see Her Best Foot Forward live and in action at Connect To Confidence last weekend. We wanted to share Laura’s inspiring story and more about the amazing organization that she has founded that provides opportunity for women in Tanzania by having them make gorgeous sandals that are then sold in the U.S.:
What inspired you to found Her Best Foot Forward?
I was working in Africa on big picture projects, such as water issues and agriculture projects. I meet amazing women in Tanzania and connected with them right away. It is kind of crazy because more good work could be done from me working on water and agriculture projects, but working with these women gives me the opportunity to form friendships and learn. Accidentally, my friends asked me where I got my shoes that the women in Tanzania make, and that is why I started selling the flip-flops from Tanzania in America.
What exactly do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I work with a wide variety of non-profit clients on big humanitarian projects, and I also work on Her Best Foot Forward. I have to deal with every aspect of Her Best Foot Forward, including order fulfillments, social media, and workshop challenges.
When did you know what you wanted to do?
In college. There were gaps and challenges that I faced in my own community that I wanted to work on and address. I was able to go to college, because people who I was never able to meet or thank supported me. I wanted to make it possible for people around the country and the world to have the opportunity to go to college like I did
What advice do you have for people pursuing a career in this field?
Be prepared to take on any job. I advise people to start working with small non-profits and to try everything out. You need to find where your strengths are and you need to continue to evolve over time. You need to be able to think about why and you need to be able to start over.
Where did you go to school and what degree did you graduate with?
I went to Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate, and I got my Bachelors of Science in Human and Organizational Development. I went to Washington University for graduate school, and I got my Masters in Human Resources Management.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have?
My Family, my pets, and clean water.
How would your best friends describe you?
Intense, determined, big-hearted.
What is your favorite thing to eat?
Traditional Mexican food.
What is your favorite television show?
I don’t really watch t.v. But if I have to pick one, I guess Shark Tank.
What is your favorite place you have traveled to?
What is your favorite animal?
Giraffes, because they are very graceful and you cannot mess with them.
Who is your favorite celebrity?
How do we get involved?
You can become a Foot Forward College Ambassador. Learn more.