TOMS Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie To Speak at FSC Convocation
More about Blake Mycoskie and TOMS Shoes.
LAKELAND, Fla. — (Feb. 2, 2010) Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS Shoes, will discuss his philanthropic-minded business at Florida Southerns next Convocation, which begins at 10:10 a.m. Feb. 17 in Branscomb Memorial Auditorium.
Mycoskie, an entrepreneur who had started five successful businesses before turning 30, had what he calls an epiphany while on vacation in Argentina in 2006. During his trip, he watched local children walk barefoot for long distances to get food and water and attend school because they could not afford shoes. He created TOMS Shoes and its one for one business model: For every pair of shoes he sold, a pair would be given to children in need.
Using the traditional Argentine alpargata shoe as a model, he developed a hipper and more comfortable canvas slip-on that has been featured in Time, Vogue, and Vanity Fair magazines. The shoes are now sold in specialty stores and upscale retailers such as Nordstrom, and the company and its purpose were featured in an acclaimed documentary at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.
Most importantly, Mycoskie has been true to his one-for-one promise. A year after TOMS Shoes started, Mycoskie and a small group of volunteers hand-delivered 10,000 pairs of shoes to Argentine kids. Since then, TOMS has donated more than 400,000 shoes to needy children from South Africa to Mississippi.
After Convocation, Mycoskie will join Florida Southern students and members of the local chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association to deliver shoes to children served by Lighthouse Ministries, the Salvation Army, and Lake Wales Care Center. The FPRA raised $5,500 to purchase the shoes, and FSC students and volunteers will help the children personalize them with paint, glitter, and other decorations at special Style Your Sole parties.