Our Founding Story
In 2007, our founder Kenton Lee traveled to Nairobi, Kenya after graduating college. He lived and worked at a small orphanage with some incredible kids. One day, he was walking down a dusty road with all the kids when he noticed a little girl in a white dress walking next to him. As he looked down at her feet, he was shocked to see how small her shoes were. They were so small that she had to cut open the front of her shoes to let her toes stick out. That was the day that Kenton thought:
What if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand its size?
What if there was a shoe that could grow?
And the idea for The Shoe That Grows™ was born.
It took Kenton and a group of friends back in their hometown in Idaho more than six years to take this idea and turn it into a reality. But they finally did it; they made The Shoe That Grows—a shoe that grows five sizes and lasts for years.
They started the nonprofit organization Because International™ to serve as the structure to get The Shoe That Grows to as many kids as possible who are in desperate need of footwear to protect their feet. This was always meant to be a small hobby for Kenton and his friends. It was something they were passionate about, but they never dreamed it would be the worldwide cause and movement that it is today.
Our Name + Logo
Where does the name Because International come from?
Our founder Kenton Lee decided to call this organization “Because International” after seeing the word “because” dozens of times in his journal.
After living and working in Kenya at a small orphanage, Kenton had the idea for The Shoe That Grows. When he returned home he wanted to pursue that idea, but life was getting in the way. As he journaled about the reasons why he should or shouldn’t work on this project, he kept seeing the word “because” repeated over and over. And so he decided to jump in.
Where did the logo come from?
The three dots in the logomark are for the three big programs that we use to impact people: Products, Production, and Pursuit. And the dots go up and to the right indicating the upward, positive cycle of innovation—always improving. Finally, the logomark dots are the beginning of a “thought bubble” that you sometimes see in cartoons. We love talking about innovative ideas and are excited to see what thoughts will lead to the next great product.
The typeface for the word “Because” is a copy of Kenton’s handwriting from his personal journal in 2007.