Buy a pair, they give a pair to kids in need

May 15, 2010, 6:30 p.m.

Santa Monica-based TOMS Shoes is changing lives as well as business attitudes. For every pair of shoes it sells, the company donates a pair to a child in need.

"The business model is so simple," said TOMS Shoes founder and CEO Blake Mycoskie. "For every pair of shoes we sell, we give a pair away."

Mycoskie started his first business at the age of 19. But it was his appearance on the reality TV show "The Amazing Race" that gave him a larger purpose. He says being on the show allowed him to see the world and visit developing countries.

"When we started, this idea was very radical and people couldn't believe that we were going to give away a pair of shoes when we sold a pair," said Mycoskie. "Now more and more businesses are looking to TOMS and seeing that we can build a sustainable for-profit business and help hundreds of thousands of people at the same time."

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