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Business

Santa Barbara Retailer Steps Up to Help Shoemaker Give to Children in Need

Dressed & ready's 'Style Your Sole' event contributes to milestone of 1 million pairs of TOMS shoes donated around the world

A Santa Barbara retailer hosted its third annual “Style Your Sole” event Wednesday to help a California-based shoemaker donate its 1 millionth pair of shoes to needy children.

Patrons at dressed & ready, 1253 Coast Village Road, who bought $44 TOMS canvas shoes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. were allowed to donate another pair to children. TOMS, based in Santa Monica, calls the program “One for One.”

Susan Pitcher, owner of dressed & ready, asked South Coast artists to decorate the donated shoes by painting them, and said she sees the event as giving back in multiple ways.

“Not only are we supporting TOMS mission to put shoes on the shoeless, but we are all supporting our local artists and retailers,” Pitcher said.

Artists involved in this year¹s event included Hank Pitcher, Seyburn Zorthiam, Blakeney Sanford, Paul Cumes, Lindsey Mickelson, Liz Brady, Jake Vantiger, James Malia, Paul Berenson, Sam Mott, Pyper Lyn Daves, Alana Guinn, Pamela Schiffer, Priscilla Fossek, Marcia Morehart, Brennan Grace and Karen Bezuidenhout.

By late Wednesday afternoon, 80 pairs of TOMS shoes went out the shop’s door.

Four years ago, Blake Mycoskie traveled to Argentina and found many children had no shoes to protect their feet, so he started TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair purchased with some new shoes given to a child in need.

Mycoskie returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by patrons who bought a pair of TOMS shoes.

TOMS imports shoes from around the world, but says it avoids makers that allow sweat-shop conditions. It also requires shoemakers to pay a fair wage.

Pitcher opened her Santa Barbara shop known simply as “dressed” in 2003 to bring high-fashion clothing to the area. Two years later, she opened an adjacent shop, known as “ready,” for emerging designers and to bring international designs to South Coast fashion fans.

Fusing the uptown style of Pitcher’s New York roots with the casual exuberance of Southern California, Pitcher says dressed & ready exude personality that is hip, sexy and feminine.

Noozhawk business writer Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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