LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF (MARK 12:31)
LOVE ALWAYS PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES, ALWAYS PERSEVERES (I CORINTHIANS 13:7)
These are clearly verses to live by but hearing to what degree these verses have impacted and formed someone’s life is a gift. I got this opportunity one morning when I had the pleasure of meeting Samuel Bistrian, founder of Roma Rain boots.
Samuel has always had a deep passion to help others. He was raised in a remote village of Benesti in pre-revolutionary Romania. Although, his family immigrated to the United States when he was eight, he still remembers the struggles of growing up in poverty. His parents taught him and his 11 brothers and sisters to never forget their humble beginnings, to display sincere gratitude for their many blessings and to always give back to those less fortunate.
Samuel lives by Acts 20:35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.“
During his summer breaks in college, Samuel would travel to poverty-stricken countries to help in orphanages and with building projects. In 2001, Samuel returned to Romania for the first time since moving to America. The poverty he witnessed was unbearable – children trudging through the rain and snow with inadequate shoes or no shoes at all. Samuel knew he had to help!
BIRTH OF ROMA BOOTS
After graduating from college, Samuel took a job with Neiman Marcus in Dallas. During this time, he continued to take annual trips back to Romania sending clothing and shoes. However, it never seemed to be enough. In 2009, while working at Neiman Marcus, Samuel had the opportunity to meet Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes. Samuel asked Blake if TOMS gave back to countries with wet and cold climates; at that time,TOMS was not focusing on those regions of the world. Samuel was very inspired and knew his dreams of helping Romania children had the potential to become reality. In 2010, Samuel decided to take the knowledge he attained from the fashion industry and his humanitarian efforts to create a charity-based boot company. With the help of his family and friends, Roma Boots was born.
ROMA – spelled backwards is AMOR – which means LOVE!
Samuel experienced several obstacles when he was starting Roma Boots- from production to marketing. His lowest point on this journey truly tested his perseverance. He had put all his money into the company and was not taking a salary. He could barely pay his bills or rent, and the only form of transportation he owned was a scooter. On one August day (105 degrees in the Dallas shade) his scooter broke down on the highway on the way to meet a potential investor. He eventually got to his meeting by walking, which did not go well. After the meeting, his sister picked him up and they went back for his scooter only to find that it had been stolen.
Samuel said, “If it had not been for my deep faith and discernment that this was my calling, I would have probably given up. I kept questioning if God was shutting doors because I wasn't to continue this business venture, or He was teaching me perseverance. I had no idea what God’s plan was for this business or me, but my deep relationship with God told me I was on the right path and to persevere.“
Today, Roma Boots has grown 500% from its humble beginnings. These stylish, comfortable all-weather rain boots are making a splash in the marketplace.
This fall, Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty and Dancing With the Stars, is joining Roma Boots to bring adorable rain boots to your wardrobe. You can pre-order on the website by clicking here.
With every pair of Roma Boots sold a brand-new pair of Roma Boots will be donated, and 10% of all proceeds will go to the Roma For All Foundation. Samuel and his team believe that only through education, can the cycle of poverty be eradicated. The team at Roma Boots is determined to facilitate this growth by helping these children achieve their educational goals with the supplies they need. Currently, Samuel has donated thousands of Roma Boots to over 20 countries on 4 contents.
The video below beautifully displays Samuel's passion.
Also, scroll down to see a few of my favorite Roma Boots.
Roma Boots has a store front in Dallas - Shops at Park Lane across Hwy 75 from NorthPark Mall (next to the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant). Store address: 8060 Park Lane, Suite 126, Dallas.
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