Interview with Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes

Had the chance to recently ask my good friend Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, a few questions. Make sure to check out the Choose Shoes Christmas Video here.
  1. Talk about the Choose Shoes campaign going on right now leading up to ChristmasWe looked back at the year, which was a tough year for many, and realized how thankful we all were to be doing what we're doing, and maybe that telling people about the impact of shoes in a child's life might make them reconsider their gift choices this year.  Choosing shoes is a statement against the same old presents and demands our gifts work harder. It's about giving, then and giving again to brighten the holidays for others. We knew we wanted to translate that "Choose Shoes" message into a cool viral video and the ideas just started flowing.
  2. Looking back over the last year, what stands out for you in terms of impact and influence? Since the launch of the AT&T commercial earlier this year, we have noticed a heightened awareness of the One for One movement and attribute the opportunity with more people getting involved. Having a nationally run commercial has reached an incredibly diverse and extensive group of people, attracting countless new supporters of One for One. We will be forever grateful to AT&T for the opportunity!
  3. What are you excited about coming up in the near future? We have a lot of really cool stuff for 2010, including exciting new collections, a big giving effort in Ethiopia to help with the prevention of Podo, and a huge plan around One Day Without Shoes on April 8th.
  4. Fill us in on the award you received recently from the US State Department. I was just in DC earlier this week accepting the 2009 Award for Corporate Excellence (for small to medium enterprises) on behalf of TOMS. The award, established by the State Department in 1999, celebrates companies’ commitment to corporate social responsibility, innovation, exemplary practices, and democratic values worldwide. It was such a humbling and surreal experience (still is!). Receiving the award just gives us more reason to continue with our work and get more shoes on children's feet!
  5. How can our Catalyst community get more involved with TOMS? Share our Choose Shoes video; Buy TOMS Shoes and share the TOMS story; Go Barefoot on One Day Without Shoes on April 8th, 2010; Share the TOMS Documentary; Host a "Style Your Sole" party and invite your friends, family and community to customize their TOMS Shoes; Stay connected and share the One for One movement.