Every day, local businesses are creating jobs and encouraging growth in Chicago. This is one business that brings it home.

Raaja Nemani and Aaron Firestein met in Argentina. Before parting ways, Aaron drew a design for Raaja on a pair of canvas sneakers. The shoes sparked conversations across six continents. By the end of Raaja’s trip, he knew these shoes could be something bigger and BucketFeet was born. The pair have worked hard, and worn a few different hats (and shoes), to create a company that’s about more than shoes. Today, BucketFeet employs 60 people, but impacts so many more. The shoes feature artwork from around the world–20,000 artists from 100 countries–but the company brings it home by supporting Raaja and Aaron’s true passion: connecting people. Check out the full story below.