An Ancient Sandal Goes Modern; How Jorge Gurrola is Bringing Innovation and Economic Opportunity to East Los Angeles

Jorge Gurrola holding up a sandal from Mazatli Footwear

East Los Angeles, CA – If you are looking for something new in outdoor footwear, Jorge Gurrola has just the thing. The Huarache Sport Sandal is a modern take on the traditional footwear of the Anahuac people of southern Mexico. The sandal sports a dual-post design; where a flip flop would have a single “post” between your big toe and your second toe, the Huarache Sport Sandal has a second post in between your 3rd and 4th toe. 

If you want to bring home a pair of the Huaraches while also supporting a new social enterprise, then all you have to do is click the link and place an order.

This crowdfunding campaign is a result of Gurrola’s participation in ESTEC LA™ Incubator – powered by OmniWorks™, a business incubation program created through a partnership between OmniWorks™ and the East LA College Foundation. The incubator’s mission is to create new initiatives to incubate and accelerate startup and growth-phase women, veteran, minority, formerly incarcerated, and LGBTQ owned businesses in East Los Angeles.” ESTEC LA™ is the first such incubator in the East LA region.

Funding is a significant challenge for early stage and start-up businesses. The Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship reports that “a surprisingly high percentage of entrepreneurs – more than 83% – do not access bank loans or venture capital. And, access to capital presents an even greater challenge when it comes to people of color, women, and individuals of limited wealth. Many of these entrepreneurs are left to rely on personal sources of capital, primarily personal savings, credit cards, or home equity lines.”¹

ESTEC LA™ has been working with crowdfunding consultancy Crowdfund Better in an effort to fill the funding gap for would-be Angeleño entrepreneurs. Crowdfund Better hosted a 12-week crowdfunding workshop focused on helping participants raise critical seed funding for their businesses.

Jorge Gurrola holding up a sandal from Mazatli Footwear

The campaign is hosted by The Local Crowd, LLC, a community-based crowdfunding platform with a focus on social entrepreneurship. The partnership serves as a pilot study sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The effort is designed to understand and support businesses whose mission integrates social and environmental impacts with a market-driven revenue model. 

Jorge Gurrola is an unlikely hero for the footwear industry. But with a crowdfunding campaign building momentum, Gurrola is showing that there may be other, untapped sources of capital for those who know how to find it.

While Gurrola’s campaign is modest, his vision is not: Gurrola plans to establish a manufacturing facility that will bring jobs and much needed economic vitality to East Los Angeles. Order your Sport Huarache Sandals today.

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