Mar 17 2011

the one for one model [day 295]

Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes, was a keynote speaker this year at SXSW.  Not only was it incredible to hear his story, but just to hear the magnitude of positive change his company has created in the world.  Here’s the best part.  Blake made this statement at the end of his talk.

“From this day forward, TOMS is no longer a shoe company. It’s a one-for-one company.  Our next step is meeting those needs around the world.”

Yes, TOMS is now a one-for-one company.  In June, they’re launching their next product.  You buy one, somebody in need gets one.  It’s a for profit model, and an extremely successful one.  I have to say here that I would love to go out and buy a pair of TOMS shoes.  With my one year of no retail shopping, unfortunately that’s not an option.  If I buy them used, a person in need will not get a new pair of shoes, however, even in the secondary market, good can still be done.

  • If I get them at a thrift store, that money goes to charity.
  • If I wear them, I’m marketing TOMS and this one-for-one model.
  • If I buy them used, paying less than retail, I’ve saved money that I can donate to one of my favorite charities.

How else can we apply the 1-for-1 model?

I’ve been pondering this question for a few days now.  I don’t know how anyone can hear the TOMS story and not wonder how we can all be a part of it.  TOMS is obviously onto something here.  I have a few ideas of how this could be applied in other ways to benefit TOMorrow.   Continue reading


Jan 14 2011

11 rotary dial phones & 1296 gift cards [day 231]

A few years ago, in my “excessable” art show, I had a gift card rug made out of 1296 gifts cards from different stores.  The show was in July and I left the rug in the car a little too long in the heat, melting a good portion of it.

I recently used some of the gift cards in a video shoot.  I had to take them out and clean them up, as they’ve been sitting in my garage for years.  I’ve added a few to the collection, with thoughts of putting the rug back together.  Problem: no box tape and no retail shopping.  I need to get creative with the pile of cards.  I have a few ideas…

I did get creative with the pile of rotary dial phones that were used in the show.  I really had no intention of keeping them, but they’re just fun to have around.  I’ve used them for many photo shoots, video shoots and props.  Right now, they’re a permanent art fixture in my foyer.

Here’s some of the photos…

I know it’s crazy to keep all this stuff from my art show, but it’s not in a landfill and I do use it occasionally, or some of it, all the time.  I think I’ll hang on to the phones and gift cards for a while.  If I do get rid of them, I’ll make sure they go to a great home.


Dec 16 2010

what are you getting your kids for Christmas if you can't retail shop? [day 204]

I’ve been asked a lot, “…what are you getting your kids for Christmas if you can’t shop?”  Here’s the answer you’ve all been waiting for.  I can shop, it just has to be pre-owned things, so here’s the plan.

Half Price Books. I got my kids each a gift card for $10 from Half Price Books.  They have a lot of used books to choose from, although I do allow my kids to retail shop, but only with their own money.  They love used books as much as I do.

Right after making this purchase, we got the Angel Tree list from each of their classes at school.  We always participate, but this year, we can’t buy the things on the list.  Instead of buying things on the list, I gave the cards I bought for the kids, then replaced them a week later.  Hopefully the cards might encourage the love of reading and buying things used.

Game Stop. Game Stop also carries used items, game systems, video games and accessories.  My kids both have a Nintendo DS and and an old Gameboy.  They together have an old Xbox and a Wii.  The great thing is that they enjoy the old gaming systems as much as the newer ones.  As a matter of fact, one of my friends saw my son playing with his old, beat up Gameboy and offered to give him a DS he wasn’t using.  I, of course, explained that he has one.  My kids are not technology deprived.  I don’t buy the best and newest stuff, I encourage them to use what they have.  I bought each of them gift cards with $20 on them.

Thrift store. I bought them some clothes at the thrift store.  They know their clothes come from there, and that’s the norm in our family.  This might sem a bit odd.  It’s not that I want them to not experience Christmas like their friends do, but I want them to hopefully think of it a little differently than what they learn in our culture.  Besides, they’re boys and they could care less about clothes, as long as they have some to wear.  The younger one is a little bit picky, but overall, they’re pretty easy in that department.  I got jeans, t-shirts and pajama bottoms.  I also found a camo water bottle and a school planner, both of which the kids asked for.  I also found a few cool books for them too.  Oh yeah, I also bought myself a robe.  See?  Even I’ve been culturally trained that I must have a gift under the tree.

amazon.com. There’s some specific books they both wanted, so we went online, found them used and ordered them.  Yes, they know what they’re getting, but that’s how we roll.  We don’t wrap anything either, we stick it under the tree in the box or envelope it was shipped in.  It’s more economical and environmentally friendly.

I posted a Santa Claus flashback from my blog last year and added a little bit to it this year.  It addresses some of the questions about gifts, Santa and kids, questions that most of us ponder when Christmas planning.


Jul 14 2010

feedback and cool stuff from others [day 48]

No shopping yesterday AND I managed to avoid the grocery store.  :)  My kids and I went to see the Sno-cone Lady, then went to the library, and they actually wanted to sit there and read for a long time.  Wow, that was nice.  Much better than being in a store hearing, “Mom, can we get this?”  I guess I should mention that during prayer time last night, after my kids prayed for all of the needy people to have what they need, Joe did also pray for the new iPad he wants.  Oh well, at least he prayed for the important stuff before wedging in the electronics.

I received some good info from some friends yesterday, so that’s what I would like to highlight today.

Thrift store gift cards

Maria facebooked me that The Colony’s reSale shop has gift cards.  I shop (treasure hunt) there regularly and I had no idea they had those.  Here’s the link on their website, and they have a 20% off coupon!  If you are not in the north Texas area, check your local thrift stores.  What a great gift idea!  These could also be a good thing to carry around with your fast food gift cards to give out to homeless people.

Recycle your bras

Yes, that’s what I said.  Here’s the message Brenda sent…

Just heard about a company that recycles used bras! very cool. maybe you can include in your trash society blog. they area for profit company that also donates to women’s shelters, etc but theyare for profit….but still it’s cool, I normally throw mine away but they take the fabric and wire and remake them. the name of the company is bossom buddies or something like that …i believe they said they were from arizona.

Here’s the website… http://brarecycling.org/ I usually send mine to the thrift store, but I plan to send some here.  I suppose, that is, when I can actually part with the 7- year old tattered things.

Thanks you guys for sending this info!