My MIL’s first pair of TOMS.


Our view as we waited in line to pay.  The line started to get longer and longer and longer.


Baby C tries out her new shoes.


My TOMS haul looks like a Christmas tree!


We were pretty close to the front. We waited an hour to get in.


My friend’s super cute haul.

My friend and I decided to check out Style Democracy’s first ever TOMS shoe sale at the Markham Fairgrounds.  TOMS is a company that creates shoes, bags, sunglasses, and other fashion accessories whose motto is “One for One.”  For every item purchased, they donate a pair of shoes, sunglasses, etc. to one of 60+ countries around the world.  This partnership between those who buy and those who receive not only improves the health of many, but also affects education systems, clean birth environments, safe water availability, and eye-care accessibility.  Their charitable work is one reason that I support this sale (plus, TOMS are cute and casual).

My in-laws helped with my little adventure by watching Baby C for a few hours (thanks, M+D).  There were moms there with strollers and I told some of them they were certainly brave.  I couldn’t imagine pushing a stroller in that hot stuffy venue while trying to get to the shoes.  Baby C wouldn’t be able to sit so nicely for the time we were there.  We arrived an hour before the sale started and there were about 30 people ahead of us.  Twenty minutes later, the line went long behind the first building, and by the time we went in (they were punctual and let us in at noon), the line had snaked behind two buildings.  As my girlfriend and I discussed, it was every woman for herself and we’d communicate by text.  All’s fair in love, war, and footwear.

We both didn’t know exactly which direction to go so when we walked in and followed everyone to the right, we found ourselves in a room with lots of baby, toddler, youth, and men’s selections.  Our game plan had been to find shoes for ourselves first (sorry, babies) because that was probably the most competition.  I quickly realized I should go to the next building so up the ramp I zoomed.  Apparently, my friend said she realized too when she saw my “little body walking away.”

I got to the women’s section and sure enough, it was TOMS heaven (sort of).  Every table was labelled with the sizes and just big boxes of shoes.  I walked quickly to my 5/5.5 and found a few things.  I just tossed them in my bag (given outside in line) and moved on.  I could try them on later even though I knew my size.  Different materials make for a different stretch when it comes to TOMS.  I went back to the kids’ area and found some toddler and youth shoes.  I wanted to get some for my girls and for my god-daughter’s birthday.  I was hoping for certain colours and styles, but it is a warehouse sale so I shouldn’t have been expecting much.  (I was hoping for the palm tree pattern they had on their header for the sale though.) They did say that the sale prices would go lower as the days went by, but the selection wouldn’t be as good.  I’m very happy I went on the first day.

Back I went to the women’s section and I decided to venture into Size 6/6.5.  Some ladies trying on stuff had really cute ones, but I think styles varied by size.  I found my size to be lacking in design while my friend thought the same of her section.  Some larger sizes had really unique styles.  My friend and I found each other again and we went back to the kids’ zone. We saw some ladies with their stuff and noticed the discards all around.  We began to look carefully and realized that sizes were just laying around everywhere.  Keep your eyes peeled and go check out the size, you could find a gem or two!  We saw some friends who dared this mass chaos and none of them seemed to have found as much as we did.  We lined up for over an hour (they need more cashiers and fans – it was pretty hot) and along the way,  I found another pair or two.  I texted my MIL and she was interested too so she got her first pairs of TOMS, a pink striped one.   I think that would be so cute on a cruise!

In the end, I think we were very happy with our haul.  TOMS for the next few years – we are set. I got Baby C a black crochet one (ha ha yes, all four girls in the family have them – twinsies x2), and then girls got some too.  I got myself a few pairs of classics and suede booties (too cute).  I was feeling philanthropic. 😛

Did you get out to the sale?  How was your experience?  Post your pix!

UPDATE: Lots of people on the FB event site were pretty angry last night.  Apparently SD closed the sale before 8pm because they had run out of shoes.  I’d be mad too if I had waited in line and couldn’t get in.  😦

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