ERIKA LYNN, the designer and maker

Shoes are a way to say who you are without having to speak...

Erika Lynn graduated, Magna Cum Laude, from Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Accessory Design.  At SCAD she learned how to design and make footwear, handbags, and other leather accessories.  Her passion for shoes lead to her starting of her own business.  

The Summer after graduation Erika Lynn travelled to Southern Italy.  In Italy she fell in love with the leather sandals that are custom made by shoemakers in little shops on the streets.  She watched different shoemakers to learn different styles.  With Erika's background of shoemaking she was able to pick up on sandal making very fast.  She brought the Italian style sandals back to Charleston, SC where she now makes custom leather sandals. 



UNIVERSOLE was created to partner with organizations and vocational centers in impoverished areas; to teach at risk women, orphans aging out of the orphanage, and survivors of human trafficking a way out, via leather skills and SHOE MAKING.

The goal of UNIVERSOLE is to empower the survivors with sustainable skills. These skills allow these women to earn a respectable income and provide for their families with DIGNITY; to have HOPE and a FUTURE. UNIVERSOLE will only work with proven vocational centers that do not use or exploit children.

These handmade leather products are purchased from the vocational centers, shipped back to the United States, marketed and sold. The sale of these items helps sustain training and bring attention to the plight of women being sold into human trafficking.

UNIVERSOLE, with a future ambition to expand into multiple countries, teaches product designs that have been specifically created with the culture and products indigenous to that country in mind. For example, in India, the traditional sari was incorporated into their shoe design. All materials and equipment were purchased locally, helping the merchants and economy of that community. Click here to read more and shop.

We all know it, but did you know...There are 27 million SLAVES worldwide today?

  • Human Trafficking grosses an estimated $32 billion USD per year.
  • It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.
  • $90 is the average cost of a human slave sold around the world.
  • Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will.
  • Slavery is not legal ANYWHERE, but happens EVERYWHERE.
  • 161 countries are affected.

erika lynn universole
Handmade, hand painted leather fish coasters made by girls that are at risk of human trafficking in Haiti.

  • Set of four coasters
  • Genuine Leather
  • Hand painted
  • Coaster holder
  • Colors may vary slightly
  • Handmade metal fishhook made by local Haitian artisan
  • Buy coasters here >

lepwa-universole erika lynnHandmade by girls that are at-risk of human trafficking in Haiti.

  • Lespwa is the Creole word for Hope! These girls need HOPE!
  • Made from genuine cow leather.
  • Each pair has a handmade metal medallion made by a local Haitian artisan. The medallion is made out of a recycled oil drum.
  • Medallion is handmade, therefore the pattern and style may change slightly.
  • Buy sandals here >