one for one

'm not an early adopter.  I like to hold on to old things until I'm forced to update.  When I was in high school I refused to read Harry Potter simply because everyone was doing it.  Ditto for watching The Simpsons.  I had my Nokia 6010 brick phone until 2012 and only gave it up because it got drenched in a downpour and the buttons eventually stopped working.  Instead of upgrading to an iPhone 6, I fixed the cracked screen on my old iPhone 4.  I got on instagram, pinterest, and twitter way too late in the game.  I'm still not sure what snapchat is.  But, I will say, that I'm trying to change.  When I was younger I thought I was being an individual and "going against the grain" by not being into what everyone else was.  Now, I'd like to be less of a stick in the mud and try things when they're new, not just when it's so late in the game that I'd be dumb not to join in.  

All of this is to preface the fact that I used to be super not into TOMS.  Like, up until two weeks ago.  Everyone I knew had a pair of those little floppy canvas TOMS shoes, and while I felt like (based on what I noticed from my friends' shoes) they fell apart a bit too quickly for my taste, my main turn off was just how ubiquitous they were.  I was all eye-roll-y about it all.  Yeah, TOMS, whatever.  What's the big deal?  So I brushed them off and slipped on my moccasins which had lasted me 4 years and still weren't close to falling apart.  But then, at TxSC CAMP I learned more, a lot more, about TOMS and felt a little stupid for not wising up sooner.  For someone who loves supporting clothing companies that are actively trying to do good in the world, I kind of totally missed out on this company who is kicking ass and taking names in this department.  After chatting with Bethany Joy Clark, the Marketing Director for TOMS at TxSC, I'm so excited about what TOMS is doing.  Her beautiful positive outlook and magnetizing joy and passion for changing the world through her work is so inspiring.  Seriously, you guys, my stone heart melted and I cried during her keynote speech at TxSC.

top(similar)/thrifted :: cardigan/courtesy of ruche :: boots(similar)/lulu e. bebe
leggings(similar)/courtesy of modcloth :: bag/toms

I'll stop fangirling in a sec, but I was most captivated by learning about their new bag line.  True to their one-for-one model, for each TOMS bag purchase, they're helping support safe births around the world by giving safe birth kits and training to birth attendants in areas of the world where infection due to unsanitary birth conditions causes death of mothers and newborns.  Those of you who have been around the blog might know why this particular cause is meaningful for me.  My grandmother was a nurse midwife in the 40's and 50's, doing exactly what TOMS is doing.  She started as a nurse midwife with the Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky, where nurse midwives would visit patients on horseback, which was the only way to access those folks living in the hundreds of square miles of backwoods country (if you've watched "Call The Midwife," just picture that, except instead of bikes, they rode horses, and instead of London streets, they covered hundreds of miles of woods).  Because of her experience in Kentucky and her public health degree, she was hired by the Territory of Alaska to construct a plan to combat the high rate of mother and infant mortality that was occurring during birth in the Alaska native villages.  She trained native women all across Alaska on safe birth practices, taking small planes, boats, and dog sleds to get to them, and she wrote and illustrate dozens of guides which were published by the Alaska State Health Department which were distributed to villages across Alaska, outlining safe practices for birthing babies.  

Alaska and Kentucky now have access to 1st world medical facilities, but TOMS is helping do exactly what my grandma did, in areas of the world which still desperately need clean and educated birthing, for the health of both the mothers and babies.  I think my grandma would be stoked (can grandparents be "stoked"?) to hear about the work TOMS is doing for women around the world.   Also, it just happens to be my Grandma's birthday today!  Happy 94th birthday, Grandma!

At TxSC, TOMS generously gifted every attendee one of their new waxed canvas backpacks, and now I'm giving one away to one of you!  Stay tuned for the giveaway later today!  And the winners of the ModCloth, ONA, and Blog(Design)Love 2.0 giveaways are below! Congrats ladies!