[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/17/art_una.jpg
caption=”Una Kim, 30, co-founded Keep Company, a cruelty-free brand of shoes.”]
I get asked a lot, “What makes young entrepreneurs different?” I think it’s the underlying consciousness that links every budding business tycoon I’ve featured: the basic desire for due diligence and care for sustainability. Una Kim is a prime example of both of those things.
In her twenties, Una started Keep Company, a skateboarding-inspired shoe brand. Every shoe is cruelty-free. But it’s still full of what Una and her little team that could believe their customers want.
“I was skateboarding a lot because I was living in New York, and I hated all the girls’ shoes on the market,” Una says of her inspiration for her company. She bought boys’ shoes in their smallest size because they weren’t those “puffy pink ugly marshmellowy things that misappropriated the color pink” but more streamlined and authentic. “It’s all about understanding the American dream,” this first-generation American says of the good company she keeps.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview