Changing the world through business

Submitted By: Sofia Oliveira | Age: 25 

My name is Sofia, and I’m a Portuguese woman entrepreneur.

I created a shoe brand called Josefinas. In everything we do, we carry the mission to empower and inspire other women. We believe in empowering them towards their own successes because a woman’s success is a success to other women.

Every chance we have, we work with business suppliers that are brilliantly led by women. To create our pieces we always look for companies that are both talented and guided by craftsmanship and women empowering values. For example, the company that creates our handmade boxes is led by a strong and passionate woman; it’s a story of success and vision. The CEO was a former employee of the company – the ex-owners wanted to close the factory but she said no and rebuilt it towards success. Now she employs more than 10 women. Another example is the Rose Couture special edition, made in honor of Portuguese women embroiderers, an art passed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter. These women embroiderers are self-employed and began, from scratch, a beautiful and meaningful business. We’re proud to help these women grow.

On another side, we help women in need in Rwanda so that they have the means to learn skills to create their own small businesses and, therefore, provide for themselves and their family. They also learn their rights and have financial and emotional support. We’ve helped over the course of a year almost a dozen of women. We want to help more. Our ultimate dream is to build a school for these women – women’s education will change the world!

Josefinas’ story is a story about dreaming. It’s a story of perseverance. It’s a story of passion. When I started Josefinas with Maria and Filipa in 2013 we had no money and no knowledge in shoemaking. We just had the dream to change the world through business. It’s been 3 amazing years, and from an apartment in the north of Portugal we started selling shoes online. Now we’re the first Portuguese company led by women to open a store in NYC (our first and only flagship). Amazing women have been seen with Josefinas like Gloria Steinem.

We really believe in women’s friendship and in changing the world through business: through a shoe brand made of women for women. If a woman can dream, a woman can do!

Thank you so much and I hope to hear back soon.

Sofia Oliveira

Where do your Josefinas take you?

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