It has been a wild ride for Toms Shoes, the company founded in 2006 by Texas-native Blake Mycoskie.
He launched the company with the modest goal of selling 200 pairs of redesigned alpargatas – style shoes in the U.S. For each pair sold, Mycoskie planned to (and did) donate a shoe to a child in Argentina where the style originates.
Back then, Mycoskie’s biggest concern was how the rocky roads left the children’s feet cut and swollen. Today, with more than 35 million shoes donated, Toms is operating on a much higher level.
The one-for-one shoe campaign quickly took off and Toms Shoes showed up in stores like Nordstrom. By 2011, the philanthopreneur had expanded his concept to eyewear. In 2012, the company began opening standalone stores which now exist in Los Angeles, Austin and on Nov. 18, Portland. This year, Tom’s Roasting Company began selling premium coffee to provide fresh water to developing communities.
But the milestone of the moment, the one everyone is talking about, is the Nov. 16 roll-out of Toms for Target. That’s right, Tar-zhay.
In September, Target announced the holiday collaboration which features more than 50 items priced under $50. The Toms for Target collection is available at all Target stores in the U.S. and online and includes the popular slip-on shoes, home goods and apparel for men, women and children.
Every Toms for Target apparel, accessory and home good item sold covers the cost to donate a blanket through the American Red Cross or one week of meals through Feeding America. As always, for each pair of Toms for Target shoes sold, a pair will go to a child in need.
The collection is a bit of a reversal for Target. After the 2012 Target + Neiman Marcus collaboration that tanked terrifically, Target laid low. Don’t remember a holiday collaboration last year? That’s because it didn’t happen.
In case you have forgotten as Target surely wants you to, the multi-designer collaboration with Neiman Marcus met an untimely end when they overstocked the overpriced and randomly designed goods, resulting in markdowns of up to 70 percent off by January.
Last year, instead of offering up a big designer collection, Target emphasized things like price matching, in-store pick-up and Cartwheel, their online savings program.
A return to holiday collaborations with Toms for Target could prove beneficial for both companies. As with all designer collaborations, it gives Toms an entry into the mass market, and it gives Target a chance to redeem themselves.
Toms is a company that is so far from the ostentatious display that killed the Neiman Marcus collection. Buying Toms always means you are helping someone less fortunate and during the holiday season, helping others is always in style.
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