Photo courtesy of Ninety-Ten.
Shoes for the greater good
Ninety-Ten carries some of Carrie’s favorite shoe brands such as Antelope and Bacio 61. Shoe prices range from $69 to $259.
With a small budget and a big dream, Carrie and Scott Mullins have created a business platform that has bridged the gap between consumer wants and universal needs. Their online shoe boutique, Ninety- Ten, is a product of the couple’s passion for giving and Carrie’s undying love for shoes.
“Ninety-Ten is trying to capture money that is already being spent (online) on shoes and fashion with the goal of redirecting the profits to people and communities in need,” Carrie said.
The bold mission behind Ninety-Ten is to give 90 percent of their net profits from purchases and donate them to various philanthropic organizations.
The idea behind this profit-for-purpose business began in January 2010 when Scott decided to leave his successful 15-year career as a financial planner to embark on a journey towards fulfilling a greater sense of purpose.
Both Carrie and Scott had a personal conviction to give for a greater good. With
high hopes and a lot of trust, the couple and their two children, Wager and Carlton, took a leap of faith.
Carrie talks about how this experience has been miraculous for her, her family and her faith: “I would never take this process back. This has been a journey of facing my biggest fears…and with my kids in tow.”
The couple’s children Wager, 8, and Carlton, 7, students at Crestline Elementary,
have gained a deeper sense of what giving looks like through their parents’ vision for Ninety-Ten. Carrie spoke of a time when one of her children noticed a homeless man on the street and immediately shouted, “Mom, your shoes can help that person.”
Since before their official launch in January 2012, there has been an outpouring of support from various partners and companies worldwide have given out support out of belief in this “grass roots thing,” as Carrie calls it.
From work and athletic shoes to going out and shopping shoes, Carrie knows
women need shoes. “Ninety-Ten offers affordable shoes that are universal in size,shape, color and profession,” Carrie said.
Ninety-Ten carries some of Carrie’s favorite shoe brands like Antelope and Bacio 61 that don’t have as big of an online presence as some of the other more wellknown brands. Ninety-Ten strives to carry shoes that have comfort and style and can cross generations so that mothers and daughters can share the shoes and the mission.
While Carrie does not design the shoes herself, she does hope to one day have designers create some exclusive lines for Ninety-Ten that can be sold to other retailers to increase the reach of giving 90 percent.
Since the launch of the website, Ninety-Ten has been able to give away $3,000 in charitable donations.
“We hope to give another $3,000 plus this month and continue doubling our efforts as we grow,” Carrie said.
Ninety-Ten sponsored a scholarship for one of the design challenges in this
year’s Birmingham Fashion Week. Carrie came on the scene as a volunteer and
supporter after meeting the founders and finding that they shared a common mission to give back. This year’s beneficiaries were Alabama Forever and Camp Smile-A-Mile.
Currently, the Mullins are helping raise funds and awareness for 100 for Adama, a local charity that funds safe houses in Ethiopia. Two Mountain Brook High School students, Anna Cate Peeples and Caroline White, started the project after they were motivated to take action against human trafficking worldwide.
Carrie and Scott also hope to help their local community by providing jobs through
Ninety-Ten as the business continues to grow and prosper.
For more information on Ninety-Ten, visit www.ninety-ten.com.