Designers, Entrepreneurs

CNN Profiles Bethlehem Alemu, Shoe Mogul Building an Ethiopian Global Shoe Brand

Accountant turned shoe mogul Bethlehem Alemu is founder and owner of SoleRebels. Employing over 200 people, Alemu, makes shoes from “old rubber tires and tubes with each one hand cut into soles; the business takes inspiration from the original old car tire shoes worn by soldiers who fought off Italy’s invading forces.

Some of the SoleRebels shoes are also made from camouflage material cut from old army uniforms. The shoes are simple cotton-covered or leather covered flip-flops and sandals with names like Night Rider, Pure Love, and New Deal.”

Her designs use African materials and designs, is eco-friendly and capitalizes on the USA AGOA act.

“Alemu and her family launched the business in 2005 and already it is stepping out onto the global stage with clients like Amazon, Urban Outfitters, and a host of Web sites outlets and bricks and mortar companies in the U.S.

“I had to quit my job when I started this company and people were like almost screaming,” says Alemu, “‘Why are you leaving your work to do nothing? But now they are getting it, they are happy.” ~CNN

Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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