Learning To Love TOMS Shoes

TOMS Shoes invited several Los Angeles area bloggers to a private night in their new space, a pop-up store on Abbott Kinney in Venice. I thought their entire space was adorable – of course, on top of informative. The girls in the store even gave it a bit of a family vibe and all were very enthusiastic about what their company was doing to expand their business – the success of which is integrated with their cause. It was really refreshing, actually, to see a company’s employees so stoked on the success of their company which each of them has had no small part in contributing. Snacks such as puppy chow (chex with chocolate filling), treats such as wrapped apple strudel, a cider punch, Honest Tea and Sapporo completed the welcome. Or maybe that was the free pair of TOMS shoes they gave each of us.

Founder Blake Mycoskie and Sole Surfer/Social Media Manager Caitlin were on hand to greet bloggers and I thought the story behind what the mission of TOMS is, was a great narrative used to fill the space. It was good to hang out a bit with Siel of GreenLAgirl too (and Dani from Mosaic, who works for TOMS!). Along the length of the store is the timeline of the company’s history on display, from recruiting interns on Craigslist to the launch of the pop-up store not a mile from where TOMS was founded.

If you don’t know already, for every pair of TOMS you buy, a child in need gets a pair of his or her own.

Podoconiosis is a form of elephantitis and a soil-transmitted yet easily preventable disease had people worn shoes to protect their feet. It’s rampant particularly in Ethiopia and the target of TOMS Shoes. Half-to-one million suffer from Podo while 11 million are at risk. So you can feel good each time you buy a pair of these stretchy and comfy kickers. The more you wear them, the more they form to your foot.

In addition to their basic model and all the variety of cloths, textures and colors available, they recently came out with a wrap boot. I’m not so much a fan but then again, how could a shoe company not embrace their own style boot? I stuck with a brown plaid pair of shoes that will go with my loungey and natural-toned moods. Range of pricing starts at $42 up to $65 for shoes and as much as $118 for their new wrapped boot. Vegan varieties are also available.

The store will be there only until the end of January so be sure to make a visit before they’re gone to learn more about the company and to donate a pair of shoes to a child while getting a pair of kicks for yourself. After all, it’s always fashionable to be humanitarian. (They have guys’ shoes too!)

TOMS Shoes Pop-up Store
1617 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
10AM – 7PM