Tieks: Striding Toward Success, Style, and Social Impact

Estimated read time 4 min read

Very few fashion brands have managed to find financial success while making a noticeable social impact and staying true to their stylistic roots. And yet, under the guidance of CEO Kfir Gavrieli, the Tieks brand has managed to do just that.

So, what’s the secret to the brand’s three-pronged success story? The answer seems to lie in Gavrieli’s unique devotion to empowering women around the world to look, feel, and achieve their best, regardless of the financial circumstances into which they were born.

Right from the time Tieks debuted in 2008, Kfir Gavrieli proved himself to be an industry disrupter. Instead of selling Tieks at a traditional brick-and-mortar store, Gavrieli launched his shoe company as an online-only, direct-to-consumer brand, with convenience and efficiency in mind.

“Around the time I graduated college, e-commerce was just taking off,” Gavrieli told Authority Magazine. “It seemed like such a smart way to bring your brand directly to customers without the need for big retail partners. I had been interested in starting my own business ever since I was a kid and jumped when the opportunity presented itself.”

The unique design allowed the shoes to stand out in a sea of ballet flats by prioritizing comfort and fit without sacrificing style or quality of construction. As the years progressed, Gavrieli managed to build a loyal fan base by constantly updating style options: Today, there are more than 70 different prints and patterns for Tieks fans to choose from, and frequent drops of limited-edition Tieks keep fans engaged in the Tieks community.

Many CEOs would be content to remain a financial and fashion success, sitting back and relishing the glow of their brand’s longevity. But not Kfir Gavrieli. Seeing how his shoes empowered Tieks customers to look and feel fantastic, he wanted to leverage brand loyalty to uplift women in less privileged positions. And so, he did just that.

Kfir Gavrieli: Starting a Micro-Loan Revolution

While building up his brand following, Kfir Gavrieli was also giving back through his Gavrieli Foundation. But rather than orchestrate simple handouts in the form of one-time gifts, he decided to invest in hand-ups, becoming the single largest lender on the Kiva platform, a micro-lending marketplace that allows individuals from around the world to fund budding entrepreneurs. With a specific focus on female business owners, the Gavrieli Foundation has already lent its support to more than 60,000 women, donating upwards of $10 million.

“Through business, you can have impact rather than just make money and give it away later in life,” Gavrieli said in an interview with eJewish Philanthropy. “Through commerce, you can create change. This model of integrating social impact with the business is newer.”

Yet, he’s not stopping there. In recent years, Gavrieli has expanded his charitable efforts, attempting to offset the impact of global conflicts without taking a pause in his efforts to amplify women’s voices.

Help for Ukraine, Israel, and Beyond

In recent years, devastating global conflicts have inspired Gavrieli to embrace new forms of philanthropy. When Russia first invaded Ukraine, he auctioned off several pairs of limited-edition Tieks to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees, resulting in donations of around $100,000, thanks to brand lovers willing to spend as much as $6,500 on one pair.

Next, following the devastating Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel, and a subsequent global rise in antisemitism, Gavrieli launched back-to-back campaigns: Tieks for Israel and Tieks Against Antisemitism. According to Tieks, the fundraising raised $397,198.

With a history of looking good and doing good, what comes next for Tieks and Kfir Gavrieli? Clearly, the sky’s the limit. But one thing is clear: The brand’s next big development is bound to make a stylish and social splash.

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