Ann Arbor entrepreneurs maintain a contest to encourage youngsters to specific themselves

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – A group of Ann Arbor business owners have developed a unique way to inspire children to express themselves.

The Kicks Collective is a competition for children to create a custom design for a pair of shoes.

“Everyone wears shoes, right? And shoes take you to a place every day,” said business partner Morgan Evers. “But shoes can also be a means of expressing yourself.”

The kicks collective

With a blank canvas on top, kids come up with hand-painted designs.

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

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

“Really involving children and children in design who may not really have expected or anticipated,” said Sherwood.

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

They have already received 60 submissions, some from children from across the state.

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

At a time when it feels like nothing is going right, this group knew that they could bring joy to people’s lives.

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

Children of all ages can submit your design on the Kicks Collective website.

The deadline is midnight on February 12th and the winner will be announced on February 19th.

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