Learning from TOMS!

By Jen Lewis

The thing that I chose to discuss from the Shoe Digest blog is this: "Discuss what you think we as a society can learn from a business like TOMS and the One for One business model." This is based off of a interview that a church convention had with the TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie. You can find the video at www.willowcreek.com.

First of all, we can never stop learning. Every event in life teaches us something, as well as every person we encounter, and yes - every pair of shoes we buy. The TOMS business model affects us in a different way, though. It takes two things we know (business + charity), and combines them. 

Since TOMS began, there have been several other organizations (Sevenly and Falling Whistles, to just name two) that function in close to the same way - but TOMS was the beginning. Blake saw a need, and he filled it. But he didn't fill that need by asking for money! He offered a legitimate product (a fantastic product), and a chance to help out a kid that needs a pair of shoes. 

Blake started something that has grown into a movement, a revolution and a worldwide fashion trend, and it's showing no signs of stopping. The One for One business model? It's giving others the chance to give. What could be better than that?

Business and charity don't need to be separate. A business can be profitable and still give away half their stock. TOMS employees can take trips across the globe to place shoes on a child's feet, and why? Because people matter, and they understand that. If there's one thing to be learned from the One for One business model, it's just that: people matter and giving matters, no matter what it looks like! 

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