Monday, April 9, 2012

Start Something that Matters

Have you heard of Toms shoes? I had heard about them, just pretty much knowing the "buy a shoe, give a shoe" sorta thing, but no back story about the company, idea or founder. When I saw this cover, I thought that the guy looked familiar but since I watch way too much crap tv, I thought it was probably just that I'd seen the guy on Oprah or something. Once I got a couple of pages into it I realized I recognized him from The Amazing Race, one of the early seasons I actually watched and from meeting him out in Vegas. His sister was dating a guy in my step mom's (step-cousin, cousin? who knows!) nephew's band and when we saw them in concert, both he and his sister were there. I need to go back and look at my pictures and the dates when I went out there, I'm wondering if this was before he took his trip to Argentina and saw the need for shoes or if it was after.

Toms stands for shoes of tomorrow's not because the owner is named Tom like I, and other, originally have thought. Blake went to Argentina for a trip and saw that the native Argentinian people were wearing these simple canvas shoes everywhere and found that they were not only comfortable but also versatile. On that same trip he also learned that the children in Argentina often went without shoes because their families did not have enough money to purchase them and that any donated shoes were not often in their size. By that time, Blake had already started quite a few businesses and when he saw the idea of the shoes and the need of the children he knew he had to find a way to combine the two.

Blake's idea was pretty brilliant and it was really interesting to read how everything took shape. Once the idea got out there it sorta took off. What started out as a sample set of 250 pairs of shoes to see if they could make it work turned into sales of over 10,000 just a few short months later! Imagine what a shock that would be but also how humbling to know that because of your idea, 10,000 people who could not afford shoes would now have a pair. Pretty cool, huh? Makes me want to get up off my lazy butt and do SOMETHING!!!!

Start Something that Matters

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