Founded by storyteller, entrepreneur, teacher + activist Nicole Still in 2013, VIAJIYU is more than a shoe company. It's a movement of trailblazing women. 

 

Our mission is to empower women one step at a time. It starts with students. We need to build greater confidence in women at the start of their careers. Show them how to lead. Teach them to manage self-doubt. Coach them how to overcome unconscious gender bias. They need more courage. And, we've got the space to help them practice courage at a real workplace. 

Men not backing women at work, it's a thing. But, women not backing women at work, no more. We're over it. It's time to change. And, it starts with our VIAJIYU Young #TRAILBLAZERS (#VYT). 

"Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another." 

 

"We find courage through practicing it."

- Maya Angelou

 

The VIAJIYU Young #TRAILBLAZER program started by accident in March 2014, thanks to Lee. (Read Lee's story here.) Lee was timid, but talented. Nic wanted to create confidence in Lee. She gave Lee a safe place to practice courage + her craft: graphic design. Lee helped Nic find her mission: Empower women one step at a time. 

The VIAJIYU Young #TRAILBLAZER program is a design-your-own work experience. Our goal: Help students step closer to their dream job. Build a portfolio. Solve a real life problem. Grow confidence. Practice their craft. Learn to embrace failure. Start a business.

We're a newsroom of makers + future founders. Students choose their projects. Students set their hours. Students work closely with Nic. No one fetches coffee.

We've #REIMAGINED what it means to be an apprentice or intern. We want to grow confidence, not crush it. We want students to be the captain from the start. 

 

RYAN IS A SUPERHERO

He's a #TRAILBLAZER, too. 

Gentlemen can be #TRAILBLAZERS.

Ryan is VIAJIYU's leather master.

He makes all the passport pouches by hand from the scraps of our shoes.

He studied at Florence's Scuola del Cuoio.

He's worked at VIAJIYU longer than anyone, except Nic.

Rumor has it that he was once a professional golfer.

He inspires the VIAJIYU team every day with his creativity, craftsmanship + #KINDNESS.

Few people are as precise as Ryan. He's South Korean.

He always takes great care. He knows the smallest details matter most.

If you looked up "GENTLEMAN" in the dictionary, you would find a pic of Ryan.

Namchul (aka Ryan) Kim will create his own leather company some day. #FUTUREFOUNDER