Tallahassee business owners create contest to inspire kids to express themselves

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A group of Tallahassee business owners have come up with a unique way to inspire kids to express themselves.

The Kicks Collective is a contest for kids to create a custom design on a pair of shoes.

“Everyone wears shoes right? And shoes take you places every day,” business partner Morgan Evers said. “But, shoes can also be a vehicle to express yourself.”

Kicks Collective blank canvas template

The Kicks Collective

Using a blank canvas above, kids come up with hand-painted designs.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” business partner Eddie Gonzalez Loumiet said. “There are kids at home. There are families at home trying to do the whole virtual school thing, so why don’t we create an opportunity for children and families to learn about arts, entrepreneurship and culture.”

Once the winner is selected, their design will be given to Jimmy Sherwood and his team at the Canvas Project to bring the art to life.

“Really involve kids and children in creating in ways that maybe they didn’t really expect or kind of foresee,” Sherwood said.

The shoes will be given to the winner and a social media influencer to help show off the new design.

They’ve already had 60 submissions, with some from kids across the state.

“We’ve had submissions from 5-year-olds in a class in Hialeah, Florida, which is really exciting,” Gonzalez Loumiet said.

In a time where it can feel like nothing is going right, this group knew they could bring joy in people’s lives.

“The world needed something good, and this is just the start,” Evers said.

Kids of all ages can submit your design at the Kicks Collective website.

The deadline is Feb. 12 at midnight, and the winner will be announced on Feb. 19.

Angelia S. Rico

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