Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Founder
Blake Mycoskie is the Founder of TOMS and the brains behind the brand’s One for One® model.
The model, which serves TOMS’ mission of using business to improve lives, was created to promote corporate responsibility and conscious consumerism. And so, for every pair of shoes sold, TOMS would provide a new pair to a person in need.
The idea for a for-profit business with giving at its core came from a trip to Argentina in 2006, where Blake saw the hardships faced by children without shoes, from a lack of basic protection to the inability to attend school. Later, Blake would extend TOMS One for One model to address other vital needs, such as eye care and safe water, which was achieved through TOMS eyewear and coffee sales.
Since its launch, TOMS has partnered with countless organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, Partners in Health, The Red Cross, Everytown, Faith in Action, March for Our Lives, and others.
And Blake’s simple idea? It’s grown into a global movement, impacting over 100 million lives to date.
In 2018, Blake announced a new era of TOMS giving, with the company donating $5 million to organizations across the United States that are working to end gun violence—the largest corporate donation ever made to this cause. In addition to the donation, TOMS developed a nationwide campaign enabling Americans to voice their support for Universal Background Checks through postcards delivered to Congress. In February of 2019, over 730,000 postcards were distributed by hand to Representatives throughout Washington D.C. Just 15 days later, the House passed H.R.8—a bill requiring background checks for all firearm sales.
Blake’s trailblazing approach to business has earned a myriad of accolades.
In 2009, Blake and TOMS received the Secretary of State’s Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). In 2014, Richard Branson asked Blake to join The B Team, a group of worldwide leaders that support and promote a better way of doing business, advocating for the well-being of people and the planet. In 2015, Harvard’s School of Public Health accorded Blake its Next Generation Award. The award honours individuals under 40 whose leadership and commitment to health as a human right inspires young people to make ‘health for all’ a global priority. In 2016, Blake was awarded the Cannes Lion Heart Award, which honours a person or a company that has made a positive impact through the innovative use of brand power. Additionally, Blake and TOMS have been featured in several publications, including Inc., Time and Fortune.
In 2011, Blake’s book, Start Something That Matters, became a New York Times best-seller. Detailing his personal story, the book serves as a call to action for others to incorporate giving into business and, more broadly, to invest in their passions.
In 2015 Blake founded the Social Entrepreneurship Fund, which invests in innovative and socially-conscious companies that exist to create change. To date, the fund has invested in 15 for-profit companies in industries ranging from technology and education to food equality.
Before TOMS, the Texas native started five businesses. Blake’s first business was a successful campus laundry service, which he later sold. Between business ventures, Blake competed in the CBS primetime series The Amazing Race with his sister Paige. Together, they travelled the world and came within minutes of winning the $1,000,000 grand prize.
Blake is an avid reader, traveller, and golfer. He is passionate about inspiring young people to help make tomorrow better, encouraging them to include giving in everything they do. His hope is to see a future driven by socially-minded businesses and consumers.