I met Blake, the TOMS Shoes founder…

…and totally forgot to tell you guys about it until now, so sorry.

That’s me on the left, Blake on the right!

It’s no secret that I love TOMS Shoes. I’ve owned so many pairs that I can’t count how many I’ve actually had. I have so many that I have summer only TOMS that sit in my TOMS Shoes reserve back in Ontario until sunshine hits. I have so many TOMS that I’ve had to leave pairs in Guatemala.

I keep this pair of TOMS unworn and on my shelf. They are signed as a going-away present by members of the Toronto MOB and the Free The Children/Me to We offices.

When Blake came to Vancouver for a TOMS Shoes launch event at Holt Renfrew, one of my best friends Alyssa got word of his appearence and sent me a bbm with the details. A frantic bus ride a few hours later we ended up in his presence. He’s a chill dude, totally in the middle of tons of TOMS promotions, but was nice enough to take time to sign my flag.

I felt like I was at the launch party for the Abercrombie of grassroots movements. Beautiful Holt Renfrew staff members were wearing my primary choice of shoe as they served me hipster bottled cola out of a little red wagon as we hung out next to designer jeans. There was carmel kettle corn that came in little TOMS bags, a TOMS dj, a TOMS air hockey table and TOMS pillows.

I love TOMS for their simplicity, comfort, and that they give a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you buy. Because of their partnership with Holt Renfrew I know that more shoes go to more children in need but I left with feelings that the TOMS Shoes experience was becoming a little less personal and thoughtful. The personal touch of giving you a TOMS flag and a TOMS sticker with every purchased seemed to see a little less special and I felt that people who were buying TOMS didn’t even know the company values that made them special.

After all of the glitter and glam of TOMS being launched in Holt Renfrew stores that evening, I didn’t stop giving my TOMS back at home the love and attention they deserve. I’m still a TOMS Shoes fan and I’ll still support their mission of giving shoes to those in need. I hope the message of that reaches the masses that now wear their shoes.

1 thought on “I met Blake, the TOMS Shoes founder…

  1. Natasa

    I was in some store with my mom and sister in west van and these toms were 140$ and my sister fell in love with them. Needless to say, winter season is here, it seemed pointless to buy them and they were quite pricey for what we can afford so we moved along. Pretty sure she’s still sad about it. So I was randomly researching something and stumbled on a webpage about it today and went to their website, discovered their awesome ‘movement’ (and that they were affordable online) as they like to call it and got sucked right in because thats incredible. However, like you, I hate getting sucked into things that everybody likes and has no idea what they mean. I dont like amount of advertising involved nor how people get duped into things because “they’re doing something good”. Thats just another sales tactic. But in this day and age, what isn’t? I think Toms is great, and while they are just trying to make a profit like every other manufacturer out there, I am impressed.

    I liked your blog because you acknowledged that people buy or buy into things and have no idea what it means and I like that you tried to raise a bit of awareness about both what Toms does and how people are no better than sheep.

    In case it makes you feel better, and even though it is a small matter, its okay to identify with things, even if others try to take it from you and turn it into something its not supposed to be. Like aritzia does everyday, like cool hunters do, etcetc. As long as you know what you stand for, its all good 🙂 🙂

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