Do Me A Solid: TOMS Give Shop

A few weeks ago, we were invited to check out a creative holiday pop-up shop that wasn’t all about sales, shopping or spending money. The TOMS Give Shop was instead about giving back to all of the people that have supported the charitable company since its inception. And with the recent, tragic news from Connecticut, we thought we’d share a positive story about helping children, especially at this time of year.



The Give Shop was held just a hop, skip and a jump away from our office, so we headed over after work one day to check it out. Inside, we found an adorable set-up of activities and information about the work that TOMS does, all themed in a spirit of the holidays.



There, you could have a photo taken with some amazing props (reindeer antlers, Santa aprons, ugly Christmas sweaters and more), which you’d then bring over to another station to make your very own snow globe.

Abby and Natalie.


Natalie makes a snow globe.



There was a spot where you could fill out a pledge – something that you planned to do more of or be better at in the new year, in exchange for a small gift from TOMS.

Write a pledge – and stick with it.



There were tasty drinks, cupcakes and spots to sit and read all about good stuff that’s happened with TOMS since the company began in 2006.

You know we love a good DIY cupcake.



You very likely know what the TOMS mandate is (in fact, we’ve mentioned it on here before), but here’s the background: founder Blake Mycoskie was travelling in Argentina when he noticed that many of the children he saw were barefoot. TOMS was born, with the basic premise that with every pair of shoes purchased, another would be given to a child who needed them. Within his first year, Myscoskie returned to Argentina with 10,000 pairs of shoes to distribute – a pretty healthy start.


Since then, TOMS has donated millions of pairs of shoes to children in more than 40 countries around the world.


They work with humanitarian organizations that have a long-term presence in the country they’re giving to, and don’t give once and leave. Since children grow out of shoes, they work to establish relationships that allow them to continue providing shoes to a community. They work with local businesses to make sure they’re not negatively impacted, and children who receive TOMS get them as part of a bigger health and educational program.



Most importantly, they’re pretty rigourous about ensuring that no children are involved in manufacturing their shoes, and hire third-party sources to verify that there is no child labour and everyone receives fair wages.


Fun fact: there is no Tom that inspired the name. It’s a shortened form of “Shoes for a Better Tomorrow”.


For more about how TOMS gives, check out their Giving Report. They also host the annual “One Day Without Shoes” event to raise awareness about their work, details of which are here. They’ve also recently launched the One for One Movement with eyewear, providing glasses for people in need.


All images courtesy of Rooftop Agency

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A visit from…Shopgirls Gallery Boutique

Even though we’ve already posted our holiday gift ideas (part 1 and part 2) with gift ideas from our fab clients, we still wanted some more for our best girlfriends, moms and sisters. We invited clients Michelle and Ashley from Shopgirls Gallery Boutique up to the fourth floor to give us some more great ideas for our holiday gifts. You can never give too much! 
 
We came to visit the rock-it promotions ladies up on the fourth floor, and brought some of our favourite things from our shop with us. We take great pride in our collection of cute clothing, fun home items and gorgeous little decor pieces. Plus, we only feature Canadian artists and designers. 

Toronto Buildings Napkin Set by Avril Loreti, $16 each

The holidays can sometimes drive people to drink (or eat too many cookies, cakes, slices of mincemeat pie…you know). Not just for celebratory reasons, but often as an escape from the over-crowded shopping malls, where you manage only to pick up impersonal gifts that leave you and your wallet feeling empty.

These gifts show you’ve put a little thought into someone’s personality and will make giving more fun than receiving. Everything at Shopgirls has an interesting back story. Come in and ask us to share them with you! An interesting story is so important when purchasing something one-of-a-kind.


Tansy & Co.‘s desk clocks are a much cooler way to count down the minutes to 5 p.m. than your digital computer clock.

 Desk Clocks featuring original photography from Tansy & Co., $55

We love how fuzzy and warm Rachel F.’s recycled fur hats and earmuffs are. Plus, you can feel good about wearing them (or giving them).

 Recycled fur accessories by Rachel F., from $65 

This glass decanter is a visually interesting way to serve wine, and is a good idea for the hard-to-shop-for person (like the in-laws that literally have everything). 

Balance Glassworks Decanter, $180

This key necklace is handmade and one-of-a-kind. Perfect for your best friend or sister.  

Multi-key Necklace by Ashley Winnington-Ball, $240

And, to wrap up your visit (pun intended), we carry lovely hand-crafted stationary and will wrap your purchase for free. If you can’t make it to the store, shame on you. (just kidding.) You can shop online to find exactly what you’re looking for.  
We have so much fun picking and choosing the items for our store, and sharing them with rock-it was even more fun. Who doesn’t love giving a gift that will elicit gasps of appreciation?  Happy shopping!
Shopgirls Gallery Boutique
1342 Queen Street West, Toronto
416-534-7467