By Robbie Robertson
Austyn Gunter came home one week and told her father, Claude, about a project she got involved in at Ole Miss.
She told her father that she had helped paint some shoes that would be going overseas to underprivileged children.
It wasn’t long before Claude started to investigate TOMS shoes and now he has the wildly popular and colorful shoes in his store, Claude Julian’s, located on the square in historic downtown Kosciusko.
“My daughter came home telling me about them,” Claude said. “I had some customers come in and tell me about the concept and I really liked the idea. I talked with a friend of mine at Reed’s in Columbus and he told me more about them. I really like the concept and decided to try them out.”
The concept is simple, for every pair of TOMS shoes, which retail between $45-$50, the company will send a pair of shoes overseas.
“I just thought it was a great idea,” Claude said. “People like to feel good about what they are buying and what they are getting for their money. This way they are getting a nice product and helping somebody else at the same time. I just thought it was a unique marketing strategy.”
Claude Julian’s is the exclusive carrier of TOMS shoes in Kosciusko and he currently only carries the women’s line.
Gunter said he has had the shoes about three weeks and the reception has been good so far.
“I just think in this day and time, that people are looking at things differently,” Gunter said. “I like to get involved in some different things and I thought this was different. I thought this was a win-win situation for everybody.”
For more information on TOMS shoes, you can go to their Web site at www.tomsshoes.com, where you can also register to go on one of the company’s shoe drops around the world.