Ethiopian Scarf Toms Shoes

I’m a fan of TOMS. It’s no secret.

I’ve talked about the company misssion, product design, awards won, and even given my analysis of the company’s continuing journey toward a lifetime of relevance.

A few days back I received a small package containing the scarf pictured above along with a letter from the company’s founder, Blake Mycoskie. The letter told a micro-version of the TOMS story and thanked me for being one of their best customers. The letter then went on to explain the enclosed scarf, which Blake was sending as an early holiday present (my first this year), which was “handcrafted in Ethiopia.”

Uncoincidentally, Ethiopia are the location for the next big shoe drop. TOMS has made it their holiday goal to give “30,000 pairs of shoes in Ethiopian villages where” my scarf was made.

A day later I received one of the coolest catalogs I’ve seen in a while, from TOMS. The whole thing was filled with stories about who they are, who they help, how they began and what they’re planning.

About that same time I came across this circulating YouTube video:

And then a post by Blake on The Huffington Post, further promoting the holiday goal to help Ethiopia.


The timed roll out of these interactions was clearly strategically implemented, but I’m in awe of the lack of complexity to the whole thing. And yet, each touchpoint brought me one step closer to contributing to the cause.

There is a clear focus on the issue at hand and that’s it. No bells and whistles or futuristic pipe dreams about what could happen when all the stars align. The message is simple,

For every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for one.

Focus on what matters.