Posted by: benherst | January 5, 2010

Profile: Blake Mycoskie – Part 2/4

Part 2:

TOMS’ simple slogan and principle is “One for One.”  Specifically, for every pair of shoes that is sold, a pair is given to a child in need.  The shoes are inspired by the traditional alpargata footwear that Blake observed during a polo vacation to Argentina in 2006.  On the same trip, after witnessing villages full of impoverished children who were unable to afford shoes to protect their feet, Blake – a college tennis player who dropped out to focus on his college laundry service startup – vowed to utilize his entrepreneurial spirit to make an impact on the world.  His vision morphed into a company with a social mission – to eradicate the soil-transmitted podoconiosis disease through shoe giving.  TOMS was started as a for-profit company, free from dependency on donations of time and money, for the sake of long-term sustainability.  True to his word, Blake returned to Argentina one year later for the first “Shoe Drop,” where he and his team hand-placed 10,000 pairs of new TOMS shoes on the battered feet of suffering children – the first pair of shoes for most.  To date, Blake has delivered 300,000 free pairs to children in countries all over the world, including the United States.  For his work, Blake has been honored by the Clinton Global Initiative, invited to economic policy meetings with President Obama, and given the Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence – recognizing the global corporate citizenry of American businesses – thus adding TOMS to a list that includes several multi-billion dollar companies.  These accolades recognize the inspirational impact that Blake and his initiative have had on American commerce.  Consumers may now give and receive with the same purchase, a novel concept that is redefining traditional views of the model of philanthropy.

To Be Continued…

Blake Mycoskie and a TOMS shoe.

Posted by: benherst | January 5, 2010

Profile: Blake Mycoskie – Part 1/4

Over the next four posts, I will be profiling one of my idols, Blake Mycoskie. To learn more about a truly fascinating man, read up and stay tuned.

Part 1:

Blake Mycoskie lives on a sailboat anchored off the Los Angeles coast.  His company has been placed in the same category as Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, General Electric, and Ford Motor but you will not find it anywhere near the Fortune 500 list.  In fact, it only has 48 employees and gives away half of its inventory.  Blake is the founder of TOMS Shoes, Inc. – though his official title is “Chief Shoe Giver.”  Due to its unique business model, TOMS has been surging in the face of a dismal fiscal year for the retail sector.  The company’s name is a contraction of “Tomorrow’s shoes,” a fitting concept given the cultural mission that Blake and his company pursue.

To Be Continued…

Blake Mycoskie with children in Argentina.

Posted by: benherst | December 26, 2009

Apple Tablet thoughts

Recently, all the buzz in the tech world has been about the rumored Apple “Tablet” that is supposedly to be unveiled in late January. I am amazed by the varied predictions that the internet’s blogging world have come up with regarding this intruiging mythical device. One can only speculate about the Tablet’s functions and benefits. At this point, it is commonly acknowledged that the device will have significant online capabilities, but what else? Also, I am somewhat confused as to what commercial market this rumored device will define/redefine. However, the only thing I am truly concerned about is its price – whatever it is, I want one!

Apple Inc.

Posted by: benherst | December 24, 2009

First Wintergreen Ski Trip of the Season

Today saw the sad ending to a massively successful ski trip up in the snowy mountains of Virginia. For two solid days, I shredded my face off on the gnar pow of Wintergreen Resort. Skiing is one of my favorite sports and I always jump at the chance to travel up to my family’s slopeside condo at Wintergreen. This particular trip was especially rad considering that Wintergreen had just received 36 inches of fresh pow.  SICK!

Slopes on Monday's milk run

Posted by: benherst | December 18, 2009

Rules for Real Men #2

Rule #6:  If you dont play air guitar during the solo of “Stairway to Heaven,” something’s wrong.

Rule #7:  Everything can be solved with a simple Google search.

Rule #8:  Never pair a four-in-hand with a spread collar.

Rule #9:  No man Mapquests the same place twice.

Rule #10:  There’s an app for that.

Rule #8: Never pair a four-in-hand with a spread collar.

Posted by: benherst | December 13, 2009

The Movement Concert Review

As I mentioned earlier, I went and saw The Movement perform live at Cat’s Cradle last Friday.  Overall, the show was pretty good.  The band had a great vibe, though the crowd was a little less substantial than I was expecting.  Nevertheless, I had a great time.  Here are some pictures I captured:

Posted by: benherst | December 11, 2009

Rules for Real Men #1

I would like to take my blog in a new direction. Therefore, I am beginning a series of posts detailing various “Rules for Real Men.” Hopefully, this will eventually be a long list of rules to live by. Here’s post #1, tell me if you like it: 

Rule #1: You will never time your intermittent windshield wipers just right

Rule #2: Jai-alai is one of the coolest sports ever. 

Rule #3: When it comes to luggage, men don’t pull. 

Rule #4: Being vague is almost as fun as doing this other thing… 

Rule #5: No talking at the urinal. 

One of the coolest sports. Ever.

Posted by: benherst | December 11, 2009

The Movement Concert – Chapel Hill, NC

Tonight I am going to see a band called The Movement play a show in Chapel Hill at Cat’s Cradle. Though the band is relatively unfamous, I enjoy their sound. It has a predominately reggae feel, but with rock and hip-hop influences. Also, many people are surprised to learn that they are white. That being said, it is sure to be a fun show and I’ll post pictures later.

The Movement

Posted by: benherst | December 5, 2009

UNC vs. Kentucky Preview

Coming off a huge home win over Michigan St. this past Tuesday, the UNC Tarheels look to upset the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington this Saturday. Coached this year by John Calipari, the #5 Wildcats feature an explosive asset in freshman point gaurd John Wall, who actually went to high school in Raleigh, NC and was heavily recruited by Roy Williams at Carolina. However, if UNC wants to win this matchup, they must shoot the lights out – much like they did against Michigan St. This game is sure to be a battle between two of the most respected basketball programs in the nation.

John Wall

Posted by: benherst | December 5, 2009

“Home Alone”

While watching TV recently, I happened upon the movie “Home Alone.” Since it is one of my favorite movies of all time, I naturally had to watch it again. I remember back when I was eight or nine years old and I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I would sneak up to the third floor of my house and watch it without my parents knowing (they disproved of the violence and scary burglers for their young sons). I thought that when I got older I would not find the movie as entertaining as I did when I was young. Nevertheless, I realized that I found it to be equally – if not more – outrageous and funny. I laughed twice as hard than I one did when the clumsy “Wet Bandits” would catch a paint can in the face or slip on the ice. “Home Alone,” in addition to being a personal favorite, is a truly enduring movie and I hope that I never find it to be not humorous. Also, the McAllister’s house was in my old neighborhood when I lived in the suburbs of Chicago and I remember often walking past it.

Home Alone

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