Friday, July 25, 2008

TOMS in Greece

A couple friends of mine, Carl Wescott and David Norrie, recently bought a pair of TOMS in Greece. While on vacation in Mykonos, they came across a store that carries our shoes!

Carl has been a great mentor of mine for many years now and is such an inspiring businessman. He started off as a used car salesman in Texas and became the first to offer extended warranties- people came from all over the country to buy cars from this guy! Since then he has started and sold many successful companies and has helped many entrepreneurs get off the ground. He and his wife Jimmy are like “second parents” to me, and have supported me through my ups and downs. Hopefully he is buying the purple pair for Jimmy here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Muchas Gracias

I have to give some pretty big THANK YOU's to all the people who helped out with our event in DC last week:

Elliott Bisnow for helping with planning, his parents Margot and Mark for their incredible hospitality and opening their home to my assistant Jake, Katherine Kennedy for pulling together so many great guests, Leading Authorities: specifically Matt Jones for green-lighting the event and Don Neal for giving me such a great introduction before the screening of the film, Sharon at the City Tavern Club for providing the perfect venue and a smooth evening, Catherine Cooling for working so diligently with Jake to plan the details, and everyone who supported us by attending and enjoying the evening. This was really a stellar event and could not have been possible with a lot of great input and effort.



In 2007, TOMS Shoes was the proud winner of the Cooper-Hewitt People’s Choice Design Award. I cannot tell you how moving it was to be recognized in such an amazing way. A couple weeks ago, I received an invitation to attend brunch at the White House with the First Lady, along with other honorees from the National Design Awards. After the Hotel Café event last week, I hopped on a red-eye to the east coast and met up with my Mom in DC Monday morning. After being shuffled from one room to the next, taking photographs and chatting with some incredible people, we sat for brunch in the State Dining Room at 11am. Check out my pics below…

The first lady and I at the White House

Me, the First Lady, and my Mom, Pam

The East Room, where the presentation was held

Although the White House brunch popped up in the schedule rather quickly, we had another event previously planned out that I was really looking forward to. The City Tavern Club is a landmark in DC that John Adams stayed at while the White House was being constructed in 1800. We gathered a crowd for a screening of our documentary For Tomorrow at this amazing venue and got a lot of people really excited about TOMS. Leading Authorities (my speaking agency) co-hosted the event, which was sponsored by Surreal Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila. We couldn’t have pulled it off with out the extraordinary help from our friends Elliott Bisnow (check out this website) and Katherine Kennedy. The evening was such a success that Leading Authorities is going to be sponsoring another event in DC and also a large gathering in NYC!
And just to add even more excitement to the trip, Katherine and Elliot took me to a Kastles Tennis match and introduced me to Ted Leonsis, one of the founders of AOL. He has started a new really cool company that you should all go check out:

Me with Katherine Kennedy and friends

Elliott Bisnow and his mother Margot with my mom Pam and I

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hotel Cafe

This week kicked off with a stellar night at Hotel Café on Sunday night in Hollywood. 15 incredible musicians, all of their fans, and our TOMS family gathered to support Friends of TOMS: our non-profit entity which gives essential necessities to the communities we serve and also connects those who want to get involved beyond the product. 100% of the $10 cover charge went straight to Friends of TOMS! Thanks so much to everyone who showed up and rocked out.

Special thanks to Heidi and Katie for setting everything up, and to Kelly Dalton, Tim Bader, Kai Brown, Michael Mazochi, Paul Dillon, James Webb, Chris Joyner, Terra Naomi, Holly, Buddy, Steve Reynolds, Meiko, Greg Laswell, Carey Brothers, and Butch Walker for taking time out of their busy schedules to play a set for Friends of TOMS!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Aspen Ideas Festival

About a month and a half ago I was asked to be a part of the Aspen Ideas Festival. Every year, hundreds of influential people get together to discuss the issues that mold our lives, cultures, and communities. I headed out to Aspen on the 4th to engage in some great discussions and speak on a panel with Facebook co-founder Sean Parker. We also screened our documentary, “For Tomorrow,” which definitely brings the TOMS story to life.

The highlight of this past weekend was joining President Clinton and the trustees of his foundation for dinner both nights in Aspen. Not only did I get a little one on one time with the President, I met some of the most amazing people at the dinners. His trustees and good friends are very committed to the work of his foundation and to making the world a better place, and this inspired me greatly.

For those of you who might not know, TOMS committed to providing shoes for 50,000 children in South Africa and at least 25,000 in Ethiopia with in a 12 month period as part of the Clinton Global Initiative.

I spent the following days with my family in Colorado, and will return to my TOMS family in Santa Monica end of this week!

Aspen meadows resort, at the aspen institute campus, super cool, where I stayed

Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and I

President Clinton and I