When an earthquake devastated Nepal last April, Austin Paik, who was traveling throughout Asia at the time, knew he had to help the many children impacted by the disaster. He had always hoped to improve the lives of children around the world, but the events in Nepal provoked a sense of urgency and desire to turn his vision into a reality. Utilizing his experience co-founding the premium apparel and snowboard accessories company CandyGrind, Austin and his wife Brandi launched Kushi-riki, an organization dedicated to not only keeping children warm, but also improving their lives.

Kushi-riki crafts exceptional wares for children—particularly hats and gloves—and then donates 100 percent of its profits to nonprofit organizations that work to ensure all children have the lives and opportunities they deserve. As Austin puts it, in the spirit of Kushi-riki, they aim to share the love and share the warmth.

We spoke with Austin and Brandi to learn more about Kushi-riki:

Kushi-riki is such a unique name. What does it mean?

Kushi-riki means “to share” in Swahili and underscores our basic belief that we all have the ability to better the world for our children. It’s also a playful word that reflects our product line.


Kushi-riki means “to share” in Swahili.

You will donate 100 percent of your profits to children in need. How will those donations be used?

The first project we will support is a.k.a HOPE. a.k.a. HOPE is dedicated to assisting a specific group of children in the Naguru slums on the outskirts of Kampala in Uganda. These are mostly orphaned and displaced kids who have been driven from their homes and largely forgotten by their government and foreign aid workers. They have fought to survive civil wars with terrorists, genocide, death, trafficking, and life on the streets. We want to help provide them with security, meals, education, love, and hope for a better life.


Kushi-riki has partnered with a.k.a HOPE. The nonprofit organization works to provide free housing and education to children in Uganda.

How can people support Kushi-riki?

We just launched a funding campaign on Indiegogo, which aims to raise awareness and support for the debut collection. The campaign also provides backers the opportunity to purchase our gloves, mittens, and beanies in advance of their retail appearance. We plan to start shipping products in September 2016.

What is your goal for Kushi-riki?

We want to create a sustainable opportunity to help children while shifting perceptions of what constitutes a successful business. Our goal is for the design and craftsmanship of our products to be perfectly paired with our mission of improving the health and education of children across the globe.

Why did you choose FirstBank as your partner?

FirstBank is passionate about giving back to the communities they serve and to charitable organizations across Colorado. With FirstBank as our trusted banking partner, we found the opportunity to work with an organization whose mission mirrors our own of giving back and serving others.

Visit www.kushi-riki.org for more information or click HERE to help fund their campaign.


The Kushi-riki logo carved into snow.

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