About the author
Blake Mycoskie is an American entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. He is the founder of TOMS Shoes. He attended Southern Methodist University on a Tennis scholarship but left during his sophomore year after an Achille tendon injury ended his tennis career. He launched his first business, EZ laundry, an on-campus dry cleaning service.
He focused on SMU to get his clientele and expanded to $1 million in sales. After college, he founded Mycoskie Media, an outdoor billboard company focused on country music. It was later sold to Clear Channel nine months after launch.
He competed in the second season of The Amazing Race and finished in third place.
He co-founded a cable network, Reality Central with Larry Namer, a founder of E Entertainment Television. For the company, he raised $25 million from venture capitalists. The network failed in 2005 after Rupert Murdoch launched the Fox Reality Chanel and outbid Reality Central for advertisers and programming.
Mycoskie then launched DriversEd Direct, an online driver’s education service, which offered behind the wheel training in hybrid and sport utility vehicles, He created Closer Marketing Group, a marketing firm based in Santa Monica to promote the company.
After seeing the poverty in Argentina, he founded Shoes for Better Tomorrow, a for-profit business that gave new shoes to poor children. For every pair of shoes sold, the company donated a new pair of shoes. By 2013, the company had donated over 10,000,000 shoes to people in need. The shoes were sold around the world in more than 1000 stores.
His book, Start Something That Matters, is a New York Times bestseller. 100% of the royalties from the book provided grants to entrepreneurs. For every copy of the book sold, Blake Mycoskie promised to give a copy to a child in need.
In 2014, he launched TOMS Roasting Co, offering coffee sourced through direct trade efforts in Rwanda, Honduras, Peru, Guatemala, and Malawi. Mycoskie pledged to donate a week of water to people in need in supplier countries for every bag of coffee sold.
In 2014, Blake Mycoskie sold 50% of TOMS to Bain Capital. He now serves as Chief Shoe Giver. He pledged to donate 50% of profits from the sale to help with social entrepreneurship and other causes.
He is married with one son.