Kathy Wong was happily retired, life was rich with travel, hobbies and leisure. Yet she was unfulfilled. There was something about her new life that left her restless.
So Kathy went back to work and launched Moeloco, a social enterprise selling thongs (flip flops) to fund school shoes for kids in extreme poverty. Three years later, still on a mission to do more good, she’s just launched The Crazy Dreamers TV Show to showcase other social enterprises from around the world.
Kathy is our guest writer this month and this is her story.
“I started my journey as a social entrepreneur three years ago when I decided to shake up my life of retirement. After finishing my design branding business I began to create a life that everyone dreams about: I traveled the world, took up hobbies I never had time for while working and moved to the beautiful southern highlands of Sydney where I lived on acreage.
Life was good although there seemed to be something missing. Then, one day in 2014, a day, I can so vividly remember, the course of my life changed forever! Because it was on this day that I dared to dream crazy and decided to become a changemaker. I literally had a dream with the words ‘Dream Crazy’. And in my dream I saw a world where no child should live in poverty.
With a fast emerging, burning desire to now chase my dream, my social enterprise Moeloco was born.
Moeloco manufactures rubber flip flops as they’re called in most parts of the world. Although us Aussies refer to this footwear as thongs, I could no longer bear that raised eyebrow that comes with saying I had a thong business! We give a pair of school shoes to a child in poverty with every pair of Moelocos sold. Did you know that children without shoes in India can’t attend school in case they spread disease through their feet to the other students?
Social enterprises aren’t charities
During the three years that I’ve run Moeloco, I began to understand that there’s a very low awareness of social enterprises and often we’re considered a charity.
We’re definitely not that. Instead we use trade to generate a profit that can be used to fund the causes we support. Being a social entrepreneur at such an early stage of this emerging sector has been very challenging. This has led me to realise my role is to help raise further awareness and play a part in the bigger vision I now have.
What if everything we consumed had a positive impact?
My Crazy Dream is a world where everything we consume, whether it be a service or product has a positive impact on humanity. I want to share, inspire and educate people to be part of a movement of businesses who are doing this.
The world is full of serious problems and people are searching for good news, connection and purpose. Most people want to make a difference, it’s a very deep human desire. [You can read Kathy’s article ‘The Rise of The Conscious Consumer’ here.]
Consumers have so much power and can drive a revolution in supporting ethical businesses to flourish so that they become mainstream and the accepted norm for how we all live. If we can show more people what’s possible, then I believe more people will get on board.
Crazy Dreamers TV is born
So, I thought, how can I reach as many people as possible? Through the box in their living rooms and the screens in their lives. That’s how. This is why I have created a web TV show. It’s my new project and yes, it’s bit crazy, but that’s me. I interview social entrepreneurs around the world to share why they do what they do and how they do it. The show is aired through Facebook Live and uploaded to YouTube. I launched the show when I left Sydney to travel the world for six months and visit at least 12 countries to create these stories, while at the same time sharing my own personal story of being a digital nomad and a changemaker.”
If Kathy’s story has stirred something in you then like Lucy, we reckon you should go for it. You can also find out what others are doing, and how the sector is evolving on Kathy’s show here:
This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter The Gazette. Sign up here and never again miss your monthly dose of good stuff.