The Entrepreneurs, Part 2: TOMS Shoes and Frontera Foods

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The Entrepreneurs, Part 2: TOMS Shoes and Frontera Foods (43:00)
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Blake Mycoskie had four companies under his belt when he got his best idea yet: create a shoe company that gives away one pair for every pair sold. This CNBC program shows how Mycoskie used his business sense and budding celebrity status to grow TOMS Shoes into a global brand, while donating over 115,000 pairs of shoes to children in need. Also featured is Frontera Foods, brainchild of celebrity chef Rick Bayless and entrepreneurial mastermind Manuel Valdes. Their mission to educate Americans about the diversity of Mexican cuisine evolved into a hugely successful brand identity. Business reporters Lauren Sherman and Steve Dolinsky provide commentary.

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Segments in this Video - (37)

1. Celebrity Factor (00:53)
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In today's business world, the celebrity factor can create the kind of business that puts a young company on the map. Rick Bayless is an acclaimed chef, and Blake Mycoskie is trying to capitalize on the billion-dollar footwear industry.

2. Skyrocketing Success (00:56)

In less than three years, Blake Mycoskie has grown Toms Shoes into a company expected to bring in $13 million in sales. When a celebrity backs a brand, the brand is golden.

3. What Is Toms Shoes All About? (00:47)

Toms Shoes are a fashion statement with funky fabrics and a California vibe. Mycoskie took a traditional Argentine shoe and redesigned it. For every pair of Toms Shoes sold, the company gives a pair away free to a child with no shoes.

4. Toms Shoes Story (01:55)

A stint on "Amazing Race" gave Blake Mycoskie a desire to return to many of the countries they had visited. In Argentina, he sees how many village children have no shoes. He gets an idea about how to supply the children with shoes.

5. Argentinean Shoe Inspiration (00:59)

During his trip to Argentina, Blake Mycoskie picks up a pair of alpargatas, a rope-soled canvas slipper. Certain he can improve on the concept, he redesigns them and improves their quality.

6. First Toms Shoes in America (01:01)

With 250 pairs of shoes to sell in the U.S., Mycoskie uses the profit to return to Argentina with the same number of shoes for village children. The name "Tom" comes from the word "tomorrow."

7. Boutique Sells Toms Shoes (01:03)

A boutique owner likes Toms Shoes and offers to sell his first batch in her store.

8. Publicity and Big Sales (00:58)

In 2006, the LA Times runs a story about Toms Shoes. Mycoskie sells 2200 pairs by mid-afternoon of the same day. He contacts all the buyers and returns to Argentina to figure out how to get the shoes made.

9. Business Model (01:16)

The Toms Shoes business model is simple: for every pair of shoes sold, one pair will be given away free to a child with no shoes. Only one Argentinean shoemaker believes in Mycoskie's dream.

10. Business Goal: Sustainability (01:18)

Mycoskie believes in his long-term goal of sustainability, that is the prospect of a continual supply of shoes for the poor. His friends argue profitability and try to dissuade him.

11. First Free Shoes (01:21)

Toms Shoes generates lots of media buzz. Soon Mycoskie is able to return to Argentina with his first shipment of 1000 free shoes. Each pair of shoes is placed by hand on the children's' feet.

12. Hansen Band and Toms Shoes (01:41)

The Hansen Band partners with Toms Shoes and sponsors barefoot walks for their concerts. Their goal is to walk 24,000 total miles, the distance around the world. The Hansen brothers deliver their first free shoes to children in Africa.

13. National and International Business Growth (00:60)

The Hansen brothers make Toms Shoes a presence at their concerts around the world. Independent shoe stores nationwide pick up Toms Shoes. The shoes are available in 8 countries (as of film time).

14. Non-Profit Side of Business (00:54)

Toms Shoes non-profit side is called Friends of Toms. The shoes given away by the non-profit prevent many diseases of the foot that are preventable by wearing shoes.

15. Brand Building (01:33)

In less than three years, the company many thought could never survive, Toms Shoes has undergone rapid growth and turns a profit.

16. Profit Margins (01:02)

Toms Shoes saves money on advertising and then uses that margin to make another pair of shoes that the company gives away for free. Mycoskie's latest creation if the polo wrap boot.

17. Vegan Shoes (00:46)

Another idea from Toms Shoes is the idea of "going green." It has developed a line of eco-friendly vegan shoes exclusively for Whole Foods Market. The company will still rely on the celebrity factor to create its goal of sustainability.

18. Ralph Lauren Collaboration (01:02)

Ralph Lauren collaborates with Toms Shoes in a limited edition partnership. Mycoskie hopes to bring on more celebrity fans of the shoes, as this leads to more media coverage. The strategy for free publicity is working for Toms Shoes.

19. Word-Of-Mouth Advertising (00:59)

Blake Mycoskie serves as the company's No. 1 pitch man. He continues to sell the Toms story. Word-of-mouth is the best marketing. Mycoskie is on the road much of the time.

20. Katrina Victims Get Shoes (00:46)

Toms Shoes opens up its shoe drops to anyone who wants to volunteer. Children in the Hurricane Katrina area receive free shoes and then design them with marking pens.

21. From Business to International Movement (00:48)

Will Toms Shoes go out of style? Blake Mycoskie considers new angles to the business. He sees beyond the company and believes he is now part of am international movement.

22. Entrepreneurs: Mexican Cooking (00:56)

Rick Bayless whose show "Mexico - One Plate at a Time" has brought him fame is driven to bring the delights of Mexican flavors to the public.

23. Mexican Cuisine (00:59)

As a student traveling in Mexico, he falls in love with the cuisine. He marries and lives in Mexico for 6 years, studying the nuances of cooking.

24. New Frontier of Mexican Cooking (00:58)

In 1987, Rick Bayless opens his first Chicago restaurant, the Frontera Grill. Bayless takes a familiar food like salsa and makes it seem completely new. For patrons, the experience was like none other they had experienced.

25. Birth of a Company (01:06)

A patron, so excited about the salsas at Frontera Grill, urges Bayless to bottle the products. In 195, Valdes approaches Bayless with a business plan. Each puts in start-up funds to start Frontera Foods.

26. Business Minds (01:03)

Two business minds, one creative and the other business-oriented, strategize how best to bring Frontera Foods products to the market. The chef works with a culinary consultant.

27. Handmade Salsas (01:04)

Frontera Foods introduces five salsas, just like the ones made in the kitchen of Frontera Grill. The problem is to find a food manufacturer to make products that have always been handmade.

28. Product Manufacturer (01:23)

A small manufacturer in Houston, TX, can make Frontera Foods products from fresh ingredients. It is a perfect marriage of production company and product distributor. In June 1996, the first Frontera salsa products roll off the production line.

29. Quality Control (01:32)

Each week, Rick Bayless and his crew go through each of the salsa products and try them for their consistency, flavor, visual aspects, and more. The company is going for an upscale, gourmet style

30. Television and Marketing (00:56)

It was difficult for Frontera Foods to get name recognition outside the Chicago metro area. Other celebrity chefs started first on television and then marketed their own products. Bayless and Valdes decide to produce a cooking show for PBS.

31. Premier of Mexican Cooking Shoe (01:06)

In the spring of 2000, "Mexico--one plate at a time" makes its premier. It is soon PBS's top-rated cooking show.

32. Mass-Market Competition (01:12)

Frontera salsas proved to be best sellers in Whole Foods Markets around the U.S. Now, Frontera wants to go up against mass-marketed products made by the likes of Tostitos and Pace.

33. Frontera Foods' Success (00:60)

Name and face recognition has brought success to Rick Bayless's Frontera Foods products. Today, Frontera Foods has more than 100 different products.

34. Riding the Success Wave (01:03)

Celebrity chef Rick Bayless is at the top of his game with a hit show, a national product line, and two restaurants praised as among the best in the world. He and his business partner have even greater dreams.

35. Fast Food at Macy's (01:04)

Rick Bayless and Manuel Valdes find a willing partner in Macy's, a company that welcomes the idea of Frontera Fresco, a fast-foods operation featuring chef Bayless's food. The concept is an instant hit with customers.

36. Sustainable Growth (00:45)

Can Frontera Foods sustain its phenomenal growth pattern? The challenge is to keep the idea fresh in the minds of consumers.

37. Product Development (01:37)

For a small company like Frontera, product development is essential. The company devotes 3.5% of its gross sales into new product ideas. Frontera introduces a new line of soups.

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