By now, you've probably heard that TOMS gave our 1,000,000th pair of shoes on a historic trip back to Argentina. Several weeks have passed since this Shoe Drop, and yet, I still find myself not only in a state of absolute joy and gratefulness, but also in disbelief. When I had the idea for TOMS 4 1/2 years ago, my goal was simply to help the 250 kids that I met while traveling on vacation. That simple One for One model that I founded TOMS on was nothing more than an idea, a project, a what if? I didn't know anything about shoes, or fashion or philanthropic giving. All I had was a feeling that this is something I must do.
But that simple idea attracted some curious customers, great retail partners, and some very very talented people who all together have helped me transform my idea into not only a company, but a movement, and because of that, one million pairs of shoes have been given and a new way of thinking about business has emerged. And through it all, I have been blessed with a new family, my TOMS family, that I now get to share so much love and joy with.
The trip has inspired me in new and unexpected ways. Every night we sat around the campfire and shared not only our thoughts from the day, but also from the past four years. Hearing how this journey has affected everyone from my first intern and employee, Jonathan, to our AT&T and Gowalla contest winners made me realize that TOMS is about much more than placing shoes on kids' feet. TOMS is about a mindset, a gateway into a new type of thinking, and as my friends from AT&T say, it's the opportunity to "rethink possible" - which is what I hope my words and observations will inspire you to do. So, starting today, I am going to re-commit myself to sharing this amazing journey we're on through this blog. I hope that you will join me.... and share your comments, questions and love.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these pics just about say it all...