Before launching OM Matters, I did a lot of research to figure out what I wanted to do with the next phase of my life. I was fortunate to be able to take the time to figure out what I really wanted to do. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to start something that matters, that makes a positive impact on the world. So one of the first things I did was get on line to try to find other people and companies that I could model. Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver at TOMS, was that model and he actually wrote a book about how to do it! I knew I was on the right track. I ordered his book, “Start Something That Matters,” and read it in a few hours.
The Toms Story
I knew this was going to be a great book when the first quote in the first chapter was my favorite quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In 2006, while on vacation in Argentina (I love Argentina) Blake had joined a volunteer group that traveled to small villages and gave shoes to children who otherwise went barefoot. He realized that being barefoot exposed the kids to sores and infections. He wanted to do something to help these children. So he started TOMS, an acronym for “Tomorrow’s Shoes.” Blake’s vision was to create a shoe similar to the popular Argentinian shoe, called the alpargata. For each pair of shoes sold TOMS would give a pair of shoes to someone in need.
One for One Business Model
They sold 10,000 pairs of shoes the following summer and then went back to Argentina to give shoes to needy children in the villages outside of Buenos Aires. Blake and his small team handed out the shoes themselves. They were overwhelmed with such emotion and satisfaction of seeing the joy in the children’s faces which gave them the drive to make TOMS the success it is today. The giveback component was a huge factor in the success of the company because it makes people feel that they aren’t just buying shoes, but are a part of a movement that makes a positive impact on the world.
TOMS One for One business model has expand beyond shoes into coffee, eye wear and bags that help communities all over the world. TOMS is truly doing something that matters!
The TOMS story inspired me to emulate this business model. The book discussed 6 key attributes to starting something that matters. The first trait discussed was the power of stories. “A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers and opens doors.” Stories resonate with people more than facts do.
At OM Matters, our story is: We are passionate about inspiring people to bring mindfulness into their every day lives and about helping at-risk youth. We give 10% of the proceeds from our line of eco-friendly yoga clothing to sponsor yoga for at-risk youth. Through our yoga wear and the events we sponsor for at-risk youth, we encourage us all to be healthier and happier and to have a conscious awareness that our every action makes a difference.
Our intent is to create a business that exemplifies the philosophies of yoga beyond āsana (the physical practice). We spend every day thinking of new ways we can live in this manner and share it with you.
We hope this story inspires you to do something that matters too!