Taffi and J.G. Ayodele, co-creators of Thando’s
The Root TV screenshot

In 2012 Taffi Ayodele was working for a luxury brand in South Africa and had to attend many events in high heels. Being a true New Yorker, she kept a pair of foldable flats handy when she was on the go, and her African girlfriends were mesmerized by the concept.

Her husband, J.G. Ayodele, did some research and found that there were no foldable-flats brands on the continent at that time. So they decided to fill the gap by moving to Lagos, Nigeria, to start their own company and create the first African foldable flat, Thando's, which means “love.” The company is fueled by a love for Africa, and its motto is "For the love of the sole."

In order to make sure the flats were authentically African, the couple even created a unique platform for African artists to co-design the shoes. The artists also share in the proceeds.

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The company's holiday collection is now available, and If you are in the New York City area, there is a popup store in Chelsea Market from Dec. 19 to Jan 15. Tell them The Root sent you!

We spoke to the founders of Thando's for Color Creatives, our video series highlighting the wave of black innovators in several creative industries. Watch the full interview below:

P.J. Rickards is an original video creator at The Root.