Kyle Berner always loved flip-flops. Three years ago, during the New Orleanian's stint teaching English in Thailand, he stumbled upon a pair of "Thailand's most comfortable, all-natural rubber flip-flops," and, finding them to be just that, it occurred to him to launch a company that would bring the ethically produced, environmentally sustainable, biodegradable footwear to the United States. In early May, after securing funding from First Light Venture's Village Capital fund for his newly Christened company Feelgoodz, Berner had 10,000 pairs of flip-flops sitting in a cargo ship en route to the Port of New Orleans to be distributed at 75 Whole Foods across the country.
Then the oil spill happened. Because of inbound and outbound congestion, the shipment got stuck at the Port of Freemont in the Bahamas until late June—ostensibly missing its window for summer sales—and now the company is in risk of defaulting on the $50,000 loan that was part of its Village Capital funding. The repayment deadline is August 18.
But the story doesn't have to end sadly. There's still some time to move these products. Berner created a discount for GOOD readers who buy a pair of flip-flops on the site: Enter "GOOD" during checkout, and you will get $5 off each pair you order and $5 flat-rate shipping.