The Shoe Fits: Floral TOMS Help Local Nonprofit

TOMS and Shabby Chic design new floral wedges and classic slip-ons to benefit the Upward Bound House.

Shabby Chic was already working with the Upward Bound House to furnish and decorate a unit at the nonprofit's shelter in Culver City when it approached TOMS to design a new line of the popular shoes.

"We thought it would be really great, given TOMS' propensity for giving back, to tie in this additional opportunity," said Kimberly Muroff, Shabby Chic's senior director of business development.

The result was a chance for shoe-lovers to buy trendy floral cork wedges ($75) and classic slip-ons ($58) this spring, and feel good wearing them. OK, you probably feel good wearing any TOMS shoes. Now there's extra incentive.

A portion of proceeds from the sales benefit Upward Bound House, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit that's addressing homelessness on the Westside by providing transitional shelter to homeless families and the elderly. And as usual with every purchase, TOMS, which is based in Marina Del Rey, will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

Creative Director Amy Hoban told Harper's BAZAAR that Shabby Chic pulled from the company's print archives for the bolder pattern on the Alpargata classic slip-on. The vintage and cottage-style florals are Shabby Chic's most iconic print and put on all types of its housewares, from bedding to shower curtains to towels to furniture.

That's what adorns one of the units in Upward Bound House's emergency shelter in Culver City. Muroff said she was inspired by the nonprofit's mission, and as with TOMS, it seemed a perfect partnership.

"Shabby Chic is a home furnishings company... Upward Bound is a home-focused organization," she said. "One of the reasons that we were drawn to TOMS, even though our brands are focused on two different things, was the spirit that is there—the casual comfort that can still look great."

Muroff said the Upward Bound House is receiving a significant portion of the proceeds, but would not disclose the amount.

The classic slip-on sold out Friday morning on toms.com. Both styles are available in the TOMS store on Abbot Kinney and at the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture Store on Montana Avenue.

Elizabeth February 25, 2013 at 01:32 AM
I think this isn't as positive an event as it would seem. There are critics who suggest that Toms does not always choose the most needy communities for its "shoe drops" and that it does not work with local small businesses that also make or sell shoes, in effect competing with local shop owners for customers who in some cases may be able to purchase their own shoes


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