Saturday, October 20, 2007

People’s Design Choice Award

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to everyone that voted and helped to make TOMS the People’s Design Choice Award Winner! I am both honored and humbled that TOMS beat out the iPhone, IBM Think Pad, and so many other ingenious designs to win this award. Thank you to everyone that made this the closest race in the history of the award. The voting was so close that they actually extended the deadline to allow for a tie-break.

It is hard to believe how far this company has come. It seems like yesterday that I was running around in Argentina with Alejo trying to learn how to make shoes… and now Isaac Mizrahi, one of the greatest designers in the world, is presenting me an award on behalf of TOMS!

I am usually so calm speaking in front of crowds – I’ve been doing it since my first business, EZ Laundry, when I would walk from sorority house to sorority house telling rooms of girls about my company (talk about intimidating). I haven’t been this nervous in a long time… I was just praying that I wouldn’t trip going up to the stage, or completely freeze up, or try and speak and only have gurgling noises come out. Thankfully none of that happened…

Take a look at my acceptance speech here.

I say this on the video, but I am only one component of the TOMS story. I am so thankful to my family – my dad, my mom, and my brother Tyler, and my sister, Paige – for always supporting me, no matter how crazy my ideas. TOMS has so many AMAZING employees that work from early in the morning to late at night to make sure that everything runs smoothly. It's funny now, but this company started with just myself and three interns that I found on Craigslist. I feel so blessed to have everyone that we do. You guys are truly my FAMILY. And, of course, I am thankful to everyone that has bought a pair of TOMS and has found joy in telling the TOMS story to their friends and family. This company and this award would not be possible without you guys!

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