Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TOMS Launch Party In Wicker Park

           Hey Radbabes! I have so much to catch you up on! On December 3rd I had the opportunity to attend a launch party for the opening of TOMS's first Chicago store in Wicker Park. I had so much fun and will definitely be shopping there again!
      The store was decorated with cheerful signs and inspiring photos. The vibe in the store is very laid back and very positive, they designed it to make anyone feel welcome inside and that is easy to tell. The TOMS's team is so nice and friendly. They are very committed to the company and to helping others which is what I look for in a brand/store.
      Attention shoppers: this store is not a typical shop filled with merchandise, but it is also a coffee shop, does it get any better then that? Anyone can walk right in, grab a hot latte, and relax! Trust me, once that coffee kicks in, I guarantee you won't be able to help yourself from shopping the rad merchandise in the store. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, with every bag of coffee purchased, TOMS will provide one week of clean water to a person in need. How amazing is that?!
           For those of you who don't know, TOMS is a one to one company. This means that for every product sold, they donate an item to countries worldwide whose people are suffering. TOMS is dedicated to supporting individuals who are in a less fortunate situation. For every pair of shoes that is sold, they donate a pair to a kid in need. They also sell eyewear, and every pair of glasses they sell improves one child's eyesight. As I previously mentioned, TOMS launched their roasting company.  When you purchase an item from TOMS, it not only benefits you, but also many others across the world. They have given more than 35 milion pairs of new shoes to children in need and helped restore sight to over 250,000 people in more than 60 countries.
           I was SO impressed with the TOMS store and the new holiday collection. Especially in Chicago, it is necessary to have a pair of shoes that can endure the cold weather. For this holiday season, TOMS came out with many new designs including: boots, shearling lined slip-ons, slippers, and traction on the soles of their shoes. They have a women, men, and kids line. I was so surprised with the variety of shoes they offered. For women, they have the classic slip-on shoe, a lace up high and low top sneaker, knit boots, slippers, wedges, and sandals in all types of styles and fabrics. For men the offer dress shoes, boots, class slip-ons, and lace up sneakers as well. TOMS are extremely versatile and can be worn for almost any occasion. My favorite shoe was the Black Leather Snake Women's Paseo sneaker. They are a mix of edgy and chic and I would definitely wear them everywhere!
            In addition to their shoes, they also sell a wide variety of eyewear. They have reading glasses and sunglasses for both men and women. Every pair is so trendy and comes in an adorable case that is also protective. I instantly fell in love with a pair that are round and had a tortoise shell frame called the Charlie Rae Blonde Tortoise Gold, they are perfect for any sunny day and match everything!
To go with their positive aesthetic, they sell the softest t-shirts ever with a variety of sayings and styles. My favorite t-shirts said Carpe Diem, Give Today, and Dark, Bold & Spicy. These t- shirts are comfortable and sweet, but match with their shoes as well.
           Not only does TOMS practice the one for one program, but they take extreme pride in their attention to the children they are donating to. They understand that these kids live in places that flood or have a lot of water damage. They designed a line of shoes that will withstand a water region, and that they can walk around in water without ruining the shoes. They offer a rain boot as well as a rubber slip on shoe. I had the chance to speak with a member of the TOMS team and she had some great insight- she expressed to me how they realized a fashion or wedge boot would not do them any good in their harsh climate. "We pay very close attention to the needs of the kids", she explained. (Maria Boschetti)
           TOMS has four stores right now: Venice, Chicago, Portland, and Austin. They are planning on expanding however, and are looking into building a store in New York and other popular cities. Everyone at the event was super welcoming and I had a fantastic time! They even gave everyone an awesome bag filled with coffee, info on the company, and a pair of sunglasses with a case! I was beyond excited. I am so happy they are here in Chicago and will be sure to revisit the store again soon. Make sure to check out the online store at www.toms.com or a store near you!

Stay Rad!
-Jesse Richter

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