Frou Frou Flip Flops

Alice
Alice, creator of Frou Frou Flip Flops, recently celebrated her twelfth birthday. Like many things in Alice’s young  life, it was anything but ordinary. That is because Alice asked her guests to make a donation to the Make A Wish Foundation in lieu of gifts and raised over $350. This was not Alice’s first act of charity. Alice started Frou Frou Flip Flops with the help of her mom, Raffi, when she was in the second grade. She is now finishing up the sixth grade. Alice designs and makes beautiful ribboned flip flops and then sells them to benefit her favorite charities, which change every quarter. Currently proceeds are benefiting the Make A Wish Foundation. Past charities include Guide Dogs, the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), as well as the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Alice has collected over $3,000 for charities. I asked Alice if she had a goal amount in mind and she said, “I guess my goal would be to give as much as I can.”

Alice was also asked what had influenced her desire to help on such a grand scale. Her answer was, the Tsunami and her grandmother who told her, “Every time you make money, 10 percent should always go to tzedakah (‘charity’ in Hebrew).” Alice said that when the Tsunami hit, her class collected school supplies for the victims. After that, Alice asked her mom, Raffi, if they could run a lemonade stand in the neighborhood to donate proceeds to the Tsunami victims. Raffi didn’t think her daughter could make enough money on a lemonade stand and said no. A few weeks later Alice learned to make flip flops decorated with shredded potholders in class as a Mother’s Day gift. Alice again asked her mom to put up a lemonade stand. Her mom said no again, but suggested Alice might consider making the flip flops instead. Alice used colorful ribbon instead of potholders, much of which is donated today. That is how Frou Frou Flip Flops was born. Alice with her Mom

Alice has also been strongly influenced by Dr. Seuss, whom she refers to as, “a very creative man.” Like Dr. Seuss, this multi-talented little lady also loves to write and express herself. You can read Alice’s poetry and musings on The Spirited Woman Blog. When asked what she likes to write about, Alice she said that she likes to, “blend things that happen in my life into fictional characters that have super powers.” It is not surprising that Alice hopes to be a writer when she grows up. Her advice to other kids is to “be creative.” And she stresses that you learn that “a penny always helps” when you are involved in charitable works. It’s advice taken to heart by Alice, who also wants others to know, “if you’re not loving what you do you should probably do something else.” She also recently participated in the Disney Princess Half Marathon with her mom. Again, proceeds from the race benefited the Make A Wish Foundation. Running is not a new sport for Alice, who runs cross country at her middle school in the Tampa Bay area. However, Alice was very proud of her mom who completed her first race. Alice said the race was really fun because there were some well known Disney characters participating.

So how long does it take for Alice to make a pair of Frou Frous? Well, it takes Alice up to an hour to make one pair. There have been a few occasions where Alice had orders for about 20 pairs. In those times it is lucky that Alice has an equally creative younger sister Wendy to help. However, Alice usually makes about four or five pairs at a time, leaving her some free time to do science experiments in her bedroom – another fun way Alice spends free time.

One of Alice’s favorite memories is when she was able to donate a check to the local homeless charity. Alice said they get a lot of clothing donations, but not much in the way of money. “The way her face just lit up and she was really happy. That was one of my favorite memories.”

If you are interested in purchasing a pair of your own Frou Frous you can do so on Alice’s website www.froufrouflipflops.com. They are $10-20 per pair and are available in adult and kids’ sizes.

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