After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2008, Bohannon traveled to Uganda with the fuzzy goal of helping the country’s women better access higher education.
When experiments in chicken farming and other ventures failed to raise the funds to get the women to college, Bohannon remembered the sandals she constructed during her collegiate days: rubber flip-flop bottoms tied with ribbon, which reduced the flopping noise when she walked across campus.
Bohannon improved upon the design, fashioning them from local materials. She developed a business model that involved employing Uganda’s female high school graduates who couldn’t afford to continue their education and turning a profit healthy enough to fund their schooling. In Uganda, high school graduates are given nine months before matriculating to earn enough money to pay college tuition (averaging between $2,000 and $3,000). Bohannon promised three women that, if they made sandals for the next eight months, they would get to college.