BREAKING NEWS: Shannon Smith’s day of good deeds in Sir Richard Branson’s shoes has sparked a Twitter shoeathon (#shoeathon) to raise money for Ascencia shelter for the homeless in Glendale. It’s happening Tuesday morning, January 22, 2013, and you can learn all about it in this post from Richard Branson on

Richard Branson Shoes

Richard Branson’s shoes. Photo courtesy of Shannon Smith and BeautySmith.

Please tell your friends and join the tweet-a-thon!! For every tweet hashtagged #shoeathon, Virgin Unite and Virgin Mobile will donate money to Ascencia. More details will be available at on Tuesday morning.

Shannon’s Story

Shannon Smith, a top beauty expert and friend of SMCLA’s, recently tweeted that for just one day, she’d love to be in Sir Richard Branson’s shoes.

Branson, billionaire entrepreneur, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, tweeted back, “Will send shoes!!”

Sure enough he did…along with a YouTube video stating that she must wear his shoes for a whole day or return them. Shannon chose to wear them on Christmas Eve and – after some “sole-searching” – she knew she was going to use her day in the spotlight to give back to the homeless.

Shannon donned Branson’s black-and-orange sneakers and went to work beautifying clients at her BeautySmith salon. Being media savvy, Shannon had NBC-LA’s TV cameras tag along, catching her last client, social media maven, Emily Crume.

Then, Shannon pointed Branson’s stylish kicks in the direction of the Glendale Winter Shelter to work with Mark Horvath of Invisible People. This is where the SMCLA connection played in.

For SMCLA’s December event, “Meet the Bloggers,” we donated all of our proceeds to Invisible People and asked attendees to bring items, like diapers and shampoo, that could be distributed in gift bags to homeless people by Mark’s group. Shannon was at that event and brought a bag of items to donate. Later, when she was trying to decide on the best way to reach out to the homeless, she thought of Mark and contacted him about participating.

Invisible People volunteers make gift bags for people in need. Photo courtesy Shannon Smith and BeautySmith.

Invisible People volunteers, including Shannon (at left), make gift bags for people in need. Photo courtesy Shannon Smith and BeautySmith.

“We served 80 homeless people food and gift bags,” Shannon reports. “This was made possible by countless wonderful people coming together to donate their time, money and gift items to Invisible People. At the shelter, we served a catered meal by Mimi’s Cafe (YUM!) and Hanes donated boxes of socks, which were included in the gift bags. Also, SMCLA donated all the proceeds from their holiday party to help make this night happen. It was a heartwarming event, and I personally will do more with Mark and his organization for years to come.”

Also helping to serve food were local social media luminaries and friends Marsha Collier, Calvin Lee, Hoda Diba, Lori Moreno, Curt Buthman and Bryan Moore.

Want more about Richard Branson’s shoes?

Video: “A Day In His Shoes,” Christmas Eve 2012

Check out Shannon’s blog post: “A Day In His Shoes – Sir Richard Branson”

Read the article in the OC Register: “Aliso Viejo woman spends day in Branson’s shoes”

To make a donation of time, goods or services, please visit Invisible People at