Friday, April 3, 2009

TOMS Shoes on CNBC "The Entrepreneurs" hosted by Donny Deutsch

Being a guest on Donny Deutsch's CNBC show "The Entrepreneurs," was an incredible honor. Since the TOMS Shoes segment first aired, I have been overwhelmed by all of the kind words and well wishes. If you missed it, "The Entrepreneurs" repeats on Sunday, April 5th at 10pm ET and Friday, April 10th at 1pm ET.

I want to share an email I got from a TOMS Shoes supporter and friend. It reminds me that not only are we making a huge difference in the lives of children around the world, but we’re making a huge impact on ourselves, our families and friends, and how we decide to live our life – to the fullest.

From: Rick Liebling

Date: April 2, 2009 7:04:04 PM PDT

To: Blake Mycoskie

Subject: Re: Blake from TOMS


The CNBC piece was terrific. I watched it with my 10-year old son and there was more for him to learn in that 30 minutes of TV than he'll get in a year of school.

The big takeaway for me: You're not in the shoe business, you're in the helping people business. You just choose to do that by giving away shoes. If you were in the shoe business you would never have created TOMS. Maybe ten years from now TOMS shoes doesn't work anymore. You'll still be in the helping people business.

I told my son about the Element shoes (he loves skateboarding) and the Rugby shoes (he loves skull & crossbones) and he desperately wants a pair. I realized that buying it for him would be the wrong thing to do, he wouldn't learn the real purpose of TOMS. I'm going to make him earn the money to buy them for himself so that he can know that he helped someone else. That's more important than the shoes, and it will last a lot longer.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your Top Secret plans, the suspense is killing me!

Best wishes,

Rick Liebling
Insight, Innovation & Ideas


Paul Dorsey said...

I work in Ethiopia (as the IT director for the government's budget and finance system). I also wanted to get involved in helping the country.

I have decided to devote my resources to improving education and trying to get outsourcing going in Addis.

One can make a pretty good argument that the kind of program you are doing causes more harm than good. By flooding the country with shoes you destroy the shoe industry in Ethiopia.

Shoes are very labor intensive, so can be produced very cheeply in Ethiopia.

I would suggest that by BUYING shoes produced in Ethiopia and selling them for a nice profit in the West that you would do far more good than by encouraging shoe production and getting much need hard currency into the country.

Danielle said...

TOMS Shoes gives shoes to children in Ethiopia five days per week. The shoes are actually produced by a local manufacturer whom they work closely with, because they strive to support the local economy of where they give shoes whenever possible.