Annie Mohaupt’s background in architecture and her desire to work with her hands led to a business making sustainable, comfortable shoes. She founded Mohop in 2005 when a friend persuaded her to sign up for the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park.
Mohop creates custom-fit, vegan sandals and some accessories, with a small team of designers and shoemakers in addition to robots and 3D printers. The company surpassed its $50,000 goal to make $67,000 during a Kickstarter campaign. The shoes were featured on the Science Channel’s “How It’s Made,” which gave sales a boost.
In June 2015, Mohaupt was accepted into 1871’s WiSTEM program, which gave 13 female entrepreneurs access to educational and networking opportunities with mentors and investors.
“One of the things that kind of gets me out of bed in the morning,” Mohaupt told Blue Sky, “is showing young women that they can make things, and that they can make a business.”
Mohaupt serves on the board of Jhoole, a nonprofit clothing company that helps artisan women in Maheshwar, India, to make and sell their clothing in an effort to alleviate poverty in the community.
Mohaupt grew up on a sheep farm in Pecatonica, near Rockford, and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998 with a degree in architecture.