When Blake Mycoskie launched Toms back in 2006 his goal was to sell 250 pairs of shoes to his friends, take the profits and donate 250 shoes to kids who needed them. Since those early days running the company from his Venice Beach loft, Toms has done just a little bit better than Blake expected. Last week they announced the donation of their 10 millionth pair of shoes and committed to donate another 10 million in just the next 18 to 24 months. "To think that we have a number like 10 million is really amazing," Mycoskie told us.
Getting shoes to kids who don't have them not only helps fight disease but also allows kids to go to school where shoes are an expensive part of the dress code. Right now Toms is giving shoes in 56 countries around the world.
The company's unique business model allows them to give away one pair of shoes for every one they sell - "one for one" they aptly call it. Mycoskie told Breakout that running his company as a business as opposed to a charity allows them to keep having an impact on people in need without having to depend on wealthy backers to write checks. In fact, the company has never once had an outside investor. Instead it has grown organically from word of mouth, free press and social media.
Keep an eye on Breakout for a more in-depth profile of Mycoskie and his company next week.