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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TOMS in NOLA

TOMS hosted our first Shoe Drop in New Orleans yesterday. As with our US Shoe Drops we held this past fall, we brought markers for the kids to draw on their shoes and get their creativity flowing. We were set up right next to the playground, which was really cool to see all the kids running around, decorating their shoes, and having such a care-free afternoon. They created masterpieces with hearts, flowers, Spiderman, and polka dots, and some enlisted us to help draw, too.

Its refreshing to get outdoors with a group of kids, run around and play football and basketball, fit them into a fresh new pair of TOMS and just let all worries melt away. As soon as you're there, it doesn't matter how old or young you are, what you own or what you don't... you get a chance to simply enjoy good company and a positive environment. Every Shoe Drop is special like that.

These kids were incredibly gracious, and we all really appreciate the school's hospitality. They brought us booklets filled with thank you notes the students had created themselves which we'll take back to HQ and share with our staff.



I'm incredibly impressed with the KIPP school program, one that challenges students with an intense curriculum. These students are not limited by their culture, their financial situation, or upbringing- they have equal accessible opportunities that steer them towards success. The progressive academic environment is reflected in these quotes and phrases all over the school... I'm thinking of putting up similar signs up at TOMS to remind us to follow wisdom that is really relevant at any age and at every organization.



Friday, April 10, 2009

My Masters Moment

Two months ago AT&T approached us wanting to feature TOMS in an ad campaign. We could not have been more excited and grateful, but to find out weeks later that the ad would premiere as part of the Masters telecast was truly an honor.

Golf has always held a very special place in my life. At the age of 12, my dad taught me the game, and some of the greatest days of my childhood were spent battling my brother Tyler and my Dad for dollar skins as the sun would set. Being golfers, I don't have to tell you about the smell of freshly cut grass and the sense of possibility standing on that first tee. Celebrating good bounces, accepting bad ones, believing in the club you have chosen and committing to the shot are lessons golf has taught me that transcend all aspects of my life and business. And the greatest part... the 4 hours away from reality we experience after that first tee shot. I have always made it a priority to get away to a place where I can relax and have time to think. For much of my life, golf has provided that opportunity. In 2006, that same quest took me to Argentina where, for the first time, I was introduced to often overlooked inequities that lead to the idea for TOMS Shoes.

My hope is this is just the beginning. I envision a future where our One for One model is expanded through partnerships with other great companies and opportunities which allow TOMS to truly create a better tomorrow for our customers and the children we serve. Our debut on the Masters telecast will prove to be a landmark moment for our One for One movement and, without a doubt, a memory everyone at TOMS will cherish forever. Thank you ATT!

I want to dedicate this special weekend to those people with whom I have shared precious memories on the links over the years. To my mentors Carl Westcott and Jack Crosby, two men sharing an incredible love for golf and entrepreneurship. And to my longtime golfing buddies Joseph Robertson, Steven Patak, Jimmy Leach, Art Ryan and Andrew Palmer. To my mother Pam and sister Paige, who come along just enough to remind us it’s only a game. Finally, and most importantly, to my father Mike and brother Tyler, who are the greatest golfing partners a man could ask for. Each ball struck, bet won or lost and 20 foot putt made is a blessing we all share.



Watch the TOMS AT&T commercial at www.TOMSshoes.com!

TOMS Limited Edition Facebook Gifts

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Learn more about the gifts HERE, and purchase one in Facebook's Gift Shop.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

TOMS Celebrates 200M Facebook Users

In the past few weeks, TOMS has set some pretty steady records- we had our 100,000 customer come through TOMSshoes.com, we hit 10,000 fans on our Facebook page, and now Facebook is celebrating a pretty amazing milestone of their own.

Today, the 200 millionth user signed up for a Facebook account. I was incredibly honored when TOMS was approached to help them celebrate by partnering in a unique opportunity: the gift application on Facebook allows users to purchase and send virtual teddy bears, corn dogs, cupcakes, and other crazy icons to their friends within the network. Facebook has chosen 16 organizations who have each created 2 special gifts for this 200 million celebration- and the proceeds will be going to the organization's cause (Friends of TOMS, for us).

We brainstormed for hours on what to include as our 2 gifts- from sailboats to pancakes to a Vagabond van or a mountain of shoes, and ultimately chose 2 gifts that will share the TOMS One for One movement: a shoe with a parachute attached- a playful reference to our Shoe Drop program, and an image of one of our new spring styles. Both gifts are available RIGHT NOW on Facebook, and as an added bonus, TOMS is offering a $5 coupon for every one who sends a gift AND everyone who receives one. Jump over to Facebook and start sharing the One for One movement with your friends!



We're stoked to see Facebook celebrate this milestone with giving, by bringing together some great organizations, and encouraging all 200 million+ users to support a better tomorrow.

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

Blake,

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
http://twitter.com/eyecube
http://eyecube.wordpress.com/
Insight, Innovation & Ideas

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Exciting news...tonight I'm being interviewed on CNBC's "The Entrepreneurs" hosted by Donnie Deutsch at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET. This is so exciting for TOMS and I keep thinking about how we got here all thanks to YOU sharing the story of TOMS.

So thank you for continuing to spread the word -- here are three ways you and/or your company can get involved NOW in the TOMS One for One movement!


1. Email your entire contact list. Every journey starts with a single step (or email).
2. Participate in the One Day Without Shoes. Yes, on April 16th, socks only in the office. To find an event in your area check out One Day Without Shoes.

3. Help keep TOMS Vagabonds on the road by sponsoring our next Vagabond Tour, pretty please! They need gas, food, lodging (or free sandwiches!).


Or just email blake@TOMSshoes.com your idea, there is a good chance it will be well received.

Thank you in advance for your support. I look forward to hearing all of your wonderful ideas!

Carpe Diem,

Blake