TOMS' humble beginnings happened unintentionally. While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake's vision soon turned into the simple business idea that provided the powerful foundation for TOMS.
Over the course of its first five years, TOMS was successful enough in providing shoes for children in need. But Blake, having recognized other vital needs during his travels around the world, realized that One for One could be applied to more than shoes. He developed the idea for TOMS Eyewear in which for every pair of eyewear purchased, TOMS would help give sight to a person in need. One for One.
In the fall of 2011, Blake released his first book, Start Something That Matters, offering his own amazing story of inspiration, and the power of incorporating giving in business. He references other companies and individuals who have been motivated and inspired to integrate philanthropy into their profession as well as their personal lives. The book became a New York Times best-seller. More importantly, it is Blake's hope that Start Something That Matters inspires others to turn their passion and dreams into a reality.
From shoes to eyewear and now a book, Blake's unique approach to business has awarded him with numerous accolades. In 2009, Blake and TOMS received the Secretary of State's 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). At the Clinton Global Initiative University plenary session, President Clinton introduced Blake to the audience as "one of the most interesting entrepreneurs (I've) ever met." People Magazine featured Blake in its "Heroes Among Us" section, and TOMS was featured in the Bill Gates' Time Magazine article "How to Fix Capitalism." In 2011, Blake was named on Fortune Magazine's "40 Under 40" list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world. In January 2014, USA Today named Blake as one of 2013's "Five Best Communicators" in the world.
Before TOMS, Blake, a native of Texas who always had an entrepreneurial spirit, started five businesses. His first 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, Blake traveled the world and came within minutes of winning the $1 million dollar grand prize.
A few years back, Blake and Pat Dosset, former Navy SEAL, were on a surf trip, watching the ocean and waiting for the waves to pick up, when a question surfaced: How could they make the world better? The answer, they decided, was to start small—by helping one person bring their best self to the world. One by one, people living to their full potential would connect and enhance the lives of everyone around them.
Blake and Pat have created Madefor, a simple month-by-month betterment program that harnesses the proven power of neuroscience to elevate your mental and physical baselines while cultivating a mindset that allows you to achieve everything you are truly made for. They include leading neuroscientists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, life coaches, and wellness experts on their quest to help people discover that a better world begins with the best you.
Blake is an avid reader and traveler. 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 full of social-minded businesses and consumers.
- VIRTUAL APPEARANCE: FIRESIDE CHAT
Blake loves the flexibility of doing virtual appearances and the format is an interactive, moderated dialogue – instead of a more traditional presentation. The virtual Fireside Chat format offers attendees a more personalized experience since attendees have the opportunity to engage in a free-ranging discussion that hits upon the topics of highest interest to the assembled audience. The result is a truly one-of-a-kind, intimate experience with the pioneer of the One for One movement and an early adopter and strong evangelist of Conscious Capitalism. We welcome your ideas and suggestions for what you’d like to ask Blake about during the Chat – and here are a few topics to get you brainstorming:
•The importance of mental and physical well-being….and the power of incremental steps in building sustainable habits that transform your life.
•Self-awareness and reflection as a means of personal and professional growth
•Entrepreneurship – and the entrepreneurial mindset…..spotting opportunities and making the most of them
•Building your team – selecting the right people for the job
•Work and life – striking a balanced blend
•Creating a powerful brand
•Storytelling as a way to cultivate customer engagement and loyalty
- Start Something that Matters
- The New Rules for Tomorrow's Business: A Student's Guide to Making a Difference in the World
With the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, and the rise of social media, a new generation of socially conscious students - tuned-in, tech-savvy and ready to engage the world - has emerged on college campuses. And they're flocking to a new breed of businesses and social movements. With its unique One for One promise, the message of TOMS Shoes has swept campuses across the country. In this spirited talk, Blake Mycoskie relates his transformation from "typical business guy," motivated by just money and success, to the founder of TOMS Shoes, a company that advocates "doing good by doing well." For young people about to enter the "real world," Mycoskie will show that it is possible to go your own way, to achieve success without sacrificing your dreams, and to make a difference in the world -- all at the same time. In order to seize the day - Carpe Diem - one has to be familiar with the new set of societal and business rules facing young graduates. In exploring the elements that have contributed to the success of TOMS Shoes, Mycoskie not only shows students a model of sustainable business practice, he also inspires them to go out and create their own, based on their lives and passions.
- Madefor: Cultivating the Habits and Mindset Needed for Lasting Positive Change
Blake talks about Madefor, Blake and his friend Pat Dossett, former Navy SEAL, developed a personal betterment program that harnesses the proven power of neuroscience to elevate your mental and physical baselines while cultivating a mindset that allows you to achieve everything you are truly made for.
- The New Social Entrepreneurism
How do you turn ideas into great businesses? And how do you create businesses that people love, and love to talk about? In this keynote, serial entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie shares his secrets for starting, growing, and sustaining new businesses. Before TOMS, Mycoskie ran a successful national campus laundry service, sold a media company to Clear Channel, and ran an online driving school featuring hybrid cars. Where did each idea come from, and what is the common thread connecting their success? With infectious enthusiasm, hard-won lessons, and a generous sense of encouragement, Mycoskie lets you in on the proven tactics he’s used to become one of the new faces of American entrepreneurism.
- Conscious Capitalism and the Future of Business
In this visionary talk, Blake Mycoskie shows you how to succeed in a new era of relentless competition and heightened social awareness. Why is philanthropy your best competitive advantage? How do you make money and do good simultaneously? How are the two acts intertwined? At TOMS—a self-sustaining, for-profit company—the act of giving is the cornerstone of its business model, integral to its financial success. In a behind-the-scenes look at how it all works, Mycoskie shares counterintuitive ideas (“In tough times, give more!”) that you can apply to your own business. His bold, winning strategies are proven, and have been talked about by Bill Clinton, the Obama administration, and the hundreds of thousands of customers that have joined the TOMS movement by buying a pair of shoes. Inspired, inspiring and most of all practical, Mycoskie presents a new direction for business, offering TOMS as his prime case study. After hearing him speak, you too will know why giving just makes sense.
"When you put giving at the center of a business, something bigger than just making money, your customers become your biggest marketers. They're so proud of supporting your brand that they tell everyone about it."