Thursday, April 30, 2009
Today we celebrate Blake Mycoskie for the success of his creative endeavor - TOMS Shoes.
A world traveler, Blake came up with the idea for TOMS Shoes during a visit to Argentina. While there, Blake found two things: a shoe he adored - the Argentinian alpargata - and thousands of children without shoes. His business goal is to fix the latter with the former.
TOMS Shoes (short for "Tomorrow's Shoes") is a company that operates with a rather extraordinary business model. That is, Blake's ambition is to give away a pair of shoes for every pair he sells - "one-for-one" - to a child in need. What seems an unlikely feat, has turned out to be both productive and profitable.
Blake returned to the U.S. to start his operation. In 2006 Blake constructed a couple hundred pairs of his ideal shoes in his apartment and sold them to a single Los Angeles, CA boutique. Customers quickly bought Blake's cause, and, most importantly, his shoes. The press reported his success at the local boutique. The next day orders were made for over 2200 pair of TOMS.
Blake has since achieved recognition among the stars. You'll now find celebrities, and the like, sporting TOMS world wide. Blake admits his struggles in the beginning with retailing his shoes at approximately $40 while production costs were nearly $9 a pair - making total cost roughly $18 in order to keep his "one-for-one" promise. Blake, however, has since expanded the variety of TOMS shoes with prices now ranging from $35 to $75. The success of TOMS Shoes has brought licensing deals with the likes of Ralph Lauren and Whole Foods.
And Blake has kept his promise. According to the TOMS Shoes website, the company has given away over 140,000 pairs of shoes.
Blake is a true hero of capitalism. His self-interest (helping shoeless children) spawned a corporation that benefits all. From a single apartment and single-employee venture, Blake built a company that employs over 50 individuals world-wide, offers a unique product that consumers actually want, and sponsors a very successful and worthwhile charity. Cheers to Blake!
Blake Mycoskie's Blog
written by Travis Wiseman posted at 8:28 AM
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