Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Original TOMS Mom

Hi! Blake's Mom here. I know it may be hard to believe, but I had never painted a pair of TOMS before a couple of weeks ago. I had my white pair of TOMS sitting on a shelf in my closet with a brand new set (still in the package) of paint pens, just waiting for a little inspiration. They had been there since last October. It wasn't so much that I was procrastinating, I just knew it would take a lot of time and I wanted to make sure I could complete the task in one sitting.

So, let me explain how this all came about. We have a new puppy named Sadie, a precious Golden Retriever who needs constant supervision. I've found that it is much easier watching Sadie outside where she can't get into too much trouble (or so I thought). One afternoon as I was sitting out on the back deck keeping my eye on Sadie and playing ball with Noah (our other Golden Retriever), I decided to pull out the TOMS and paint pens and see what I could create.

I started doodling on the toe of one and then I continued around the sides and eventually finished my first shoe! I definitely had no plan of attack. They just sort of evolved over several hours time.

I think the main reason I'd never painted a pair of my own was because I'd seen so many awesome painted TOMS that people had created and knew MY artistic ability was lacking to say the least. However, after I finished I was actually excited. I put them on and walked around the deck. I had so much fun creating something original and was anxious to show Mike, Paige, Blake and Tyler.

I took a couple of pictures of my shoes and emailed them to the kids. Blake wrote me immediately and thought they were awesome! About an hour later, he asked if I would be willing to paint some to sell online. He said he would make it a "Limited Blake's Mom Edition" in honor of Mother's Day. Of course I told him yes, thinking I could surely paint a few pairs of shoes if I had a few weeks to do so.

He asked me to email him a picture of me wearing the shoes and also one of me holding them.

Like I said, this all took place about two weeks ago. For Mother's Day Mike gave me a trip to LA to visit the kids for the weekend and he stayed home with the dogs and cats. Our sweet and calm little Sadie has recently turned into "a Marly" and Mike needed to stay home to monitor the situation. You REALLY have no idea!!!!

I arrived in LA on Thursday and figured Blake decided to scratch the Mother's Day Special Edition shoe idea since I hadn't heard anything else about it. I didn't give it another thought.

Then, Friday morning, Liza called me from the TOMS office and asked if I had seen the website. I told her I hadn't looked at it for a few days... and why? When I arrived, she told me to come take a look- Oh my gosh!!!! After reading what Blake had written, I was so touched by his kind words that I was truly honored to be part of the Mother's Day project.

Liza proceeded to tell me they had sold three pairs the first hour. By the time I left the office, they had sold six pairs. I was beginning to get a little nervous. This was only the first day and it had only been on the website a couple of hours! Friday night I got a text from Liza telling me they had sold thirty pairs the first day.

So, now I'm back in Arlington sitting at my table outside on the deck surrounded by FIFTY pairs of white TOMS and an assortment of paint pens. Noah is diving for balls in the pool and Sadie just dug a hole in the mud... and is trying to climb into my lap. If you bought a pair of my hand painted TOMS, THANK YOU, and please be patient! You will receive them as quickly as humanly possible and hopefully mud free!

Thanks for supporting TOMS and therefore providing shoes for children in need all over the world!! May God Bless each and every one of you for your generosity!

Fondly, Pam Mycoskie (The TOMS Mom)


Lisa L. Anderson said...

Hey! I've known about TOMS shoes for a while now and I am a fan and supporter of the cause. I recently saw the AT&T commercial and was introduced to you, Blake. The 30 seconds to minute that the commercial takes really made me think a LOT about my life and my future and what I am going to do to help. I haven't figured it out yet but THANKS so much for the inspriation. You and your Mom are AMAZING!


PerfectMomentProject said...

I'm the opposite, Lisa. I keep seeing the AT&T commercial and have been thinking, "This is a better commercial for that shoe guy... Who is that guy?"
I too feel inspired to help... and first stop: I'm gonna buy a pair of shoes. Or two.

Nice job, TOMS Mom.

Anonymous said...

I've been inspired a while ago to bring hope and change to those less fortunate as you do. It wasn't until I heard about your business model, one for one, that I could finally wrap my mind around an idea and begin to move forward. I have been designing shirts and have some rad designs but have been at a stand still for some time now. I would really love any advice or just general encouragement you could offer.
My email is
I hope I can write you again to be a part of your next shoe drop.
Keep doing what you do and offering inspiration to those like myself who want to be a part of that change. Who want to bring hope to the hopeless.
Thanks Blake.

Anonymous said...

I was inspired some time ago to be a part of changing peoples lives. To bring hope to the hopeless. It wasn't until I heard about your business model, one for one, and your story behind TOMS that I felt like I could move forward. I have been in the same boat. Choosing the entreprenuerial route and always feeling like it was either making money or making a difference.
I have designed some shirts that I want to use the same model as you have with your shoes.
Any advice or general encouragement would be more than welcomed. It feels somedays like it's really not possible. Between the raising capital and negotiating with stores to carry the shirts, it can get a bit overwhelming. But I want to push forward knowing the reward is greater than any obstacle that presents itself.
If you get a chance, if you even happen to read this and feel like emailing me that would be great.

Thanks Blake,


supplies overflowing! said...

How funny! It really is a great commercial - more for your cause than for AT&T though.
It took a few viewings of the ad before I realized AT&T was even a part of the commercial!
Great work,Blake!

Jessica said...

what kind of paint pens do you use? can you purchase them at any craft/art supplies store??