Soles Good for the Soul Kari McCormick empowers others with her style and experience
“We sold out within the year, and I decided I was onto something.” — Kari McCormick
20 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
As the owner of Bella K, Kari McCormick uses her success to help empower children. Inset, McCormick with her son, Cole.
ari McCormick wasn’t sure if selling shoes was going to be the right fit for her. “I started with 2,000 pairs of flip-flops in my bandana-style collection,” recalls the owner of Bella K. “We sold out within the year, and I decided I was onto something.” Bella K has made big strides since then and now includes a resort and bridal collection. The flip-flops are handassembled in the Lake Norman area and are available online, at local boutiques and several national retailers. Despite having a designated office and shipping and storage rooms, flip-flops have found a way into
every corner of McCormick’s house. The Clemson University graduate has plans for continued growth, including tan-colored soles and a kid’s line. But for this Huntersvillebased entrepreneur it’s not just about fabulous footwear. Kari has infused her successful business with a mission to help families living with sensory processing disorder, and to empower all children. “Based on my past experience as a school teacher, combined with the struggles of my son, Cole, being diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, I decided to launch the Selfie Style Girl’s
Empowerment Workshop,” says Kari. The workshop is held annually in the Lake Norman area and is a one-day gathering focused on gratitude and confidence. Last year’s event featured local community partners, and nationally recognized women, including Miss North Carolina United States 2016, Elizabeth Crage, and the Radio Disney Ambassador for the Choose Kindness Campaign, Jessie Chris, as speakers. The next workshop is scheduled for the fall of this year. “Our first workshop had a waiting list within a week, and we expect this year’s to also fill up quickly. The workshops are
currently for girls, but I would like to expand to include boys because bullying, confidence, dealing with peer pressure and societal pressures affect everyone.” Kari also authors The Collection of Life Stories, which is an ongoing compilation of her experiences while raising Cole. “As I’m learning about my son’s diagnosis and helping him through his struggles,” she says. “I realize that many times there is a hidden lesson for me as well.” — Bek Mitchell-Kidd, photography by Lisa Crates
For more information regarding Kari McCormick and Bella K, visit www.bellakstyle.com.
The Magazine for the people of Lake Norman by the people of Lake Norman.