Goose Lopez-Torres returned from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in 2009 with the faces of the children he saw and the images of their worn down, shoeless feet engrained in his mind. Little did he know that his next business venture would be a step in the right direction. “I vowed to make a change in the way I conducted my future business affairs, specifically speaking to the wasteful prospecting practices that I had engaged in for the previous 14 years,” said Lopez-Torres.
While settling back into his sales role at work, Lopez-Torres, an Orlando resident, was brainstorming how to meet with several long-term prospects that had ignored his meeting requests. And that’s when sending a single shoe with a note to his prospect asking, “What do I need to do to get my foot in the door?” crossed his mind as a final, last-ditch attempt at securing a meeting.
He purchased a $60 pair of shoes and had two packages and cover letters created and ready to ship to two prospects. But the images of the suffering and despair he had witnessed first-hand on his mission trip played through his mind. The packages weren’t sent and instead, Lopez-Torres went back to the drawing board with a different idea.
A New Business Model
In March 2011, Lopez-Torres and co-founder Scott Miller launched Complete the Pair (CTP), a business that connects job seekers with potential employers through meeting invitations in the form of shoes, which are donated to charity afterwards.
Complete the Pair, a Winter Park-based company, is the only charitable business model of its kind, said Chrissy Stallions, marketing director. “The fact that we pioneered a method of merging charity with business is very exciting to us,” she said. Its partnership with Soles4Soles allows CTP to not only assist others in making business connections but also provide shoes to people all across the world.
“My hopes are to change the landscape of how and why people come together in the business community. Cause-related meetings can and will make a difference worldwide,” said Lopez-Torres.