The inspiring small business story of Blake Lively and TOMS Shoes

When Blake Lively told his college professor he wanted to start a small shoe company, he was told “you’re going to need a million dollars.” Other experts told him “retail was dead” and that “shoes are a crowded market.”

Did that stop him from pursuing his small business dream and create TOMS?

Heck no! In fact, it drove Blake even more to produce and sell his canvas slip-on shoes to the world.

By hiring interns off of Craigslist, his statement that “they didn’t know it couldn’t be done, just that it was fun to work together” underlines the spirit of small business entreprenuers who, despite all the odds, start something great. Now, with dozens of employees and millions of dollars of annual sales, Blake hasn’t rested on his laurels and has started a non-profit to donate shoes to children in impoverished countries in Africa.

Blake and company – you are an inspiration. Keep going!

TOMS started as a small business

Blake Lively (right) with one of his employee-partners.