Me Too shoes felt a social responsibility to get involved in the Me Too movement through donations, activism
When shoe designer Adam Tucker founded his women’s footwear business in 1996, he wanted an inviting name that stood for inclusivity, so he settled on Me Too.
Now, 22 years later, the name of the brand, which echos the viral #MeToo movement that’s united women to speak up about sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the workplace, has become a renewed call to action for the family-owned business to support its female consumer.
But figuring out a tasteful way in to the conversation has been challenging, Tucker tells Moneyish.
“I woke up the day after the Harvey Weinstein news broke to so many text messages, Facebook messages and Instagram posts. People were like, ‘what are you going to do about this, man?’ I was shocked. Initially, I was like I can’t get involved, because people are going to think I’m trying to sell shoes based on this turn of phrase or take advantage,” Tucker, who owns the rights to the name, told Moneyish.
“For five days I said I’m not going to do anything, I don’t want people to get the wrong impression, but then I said if I don’t do something, that’s even worse.”
So he posted a #MeToo blog post to the website, telling customers they could not ignore the movement, especially since they share the same name.
“We felt helpless hearing about the horrendous circumstances and extremely traumatic events that had happened to so many people, strangers, family and friends alike, and we knew we had to do something about it,” the post read.
Tucker says his company received an influx of reader mail and messages on social media from women who were sharing stories of their own regarding harassment and misconduct in the workplace. Me Too teamed up with A Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization founded by “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” actress Mariska Hargitay that helps out victims of child abuse, neglect, sexual assault, rape and domestic violence. The brand vowed to donate 5% of each purchase on its website to the foundation from October 2017 and through the holiday season. Now, the company will join forces with Zappos For Good, a philanthropy program, to sell a few of their select shoe styles on the site and donate money in partnership with A Joyful Heart.
The movement has in some ways, given the shoe company more soul, and a platform to better connect with their consumer on social media. In October, the company put out a #MeToo post on Instagram with contact information for the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline. “You’re not alone, it is not your fault and there is hope,” they captioned the message. Followers thanked them for supporting the movement, and responded with emails expressing their own stories of sexual assault in the workpalce, and how they dealt with it.
The brand also posted a photo of Time Magazine’s “Silence Breakers” cover featuring women who spoke out about their harassment, including the likes of Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Taylor Swift. And on Sunday, they tweeted out a photo of Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra — all of whom have accused Harvey Weinstein of misconduct — taking the stage at the Oscars to commemorate the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
— Official MeToo Shoes (@RealMeTooShoes) March 5, 2018
The target Me Too shoe consumer are millennials through 65-year-old women looking for a comfortable shoe at an affordable price point (around $70 to $80 on average per pair). Their best-selling item is a ballet flat, a company staple that embodies the “real woman” image of Me Too shoes, Tucker says. The collection is available online at stores like Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor and DSW. While it’s unclear if taking a subtle stand for the women’s movement is directly correlated with a bump in revenue, from January 2017 to January 2018, Me Too shoes has increased sales by about 8% online.
Tucker hopes to collaborate with a celebrity who is moving the needle on the movement.
“The dream would be for someone with a bigger voice to partner with me,” Tucker says. “Reese Witherspoon represents total strength, smarts and what women look up to,” he says.
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