Tycoon Stories

Explore inspiring leadership stories from diverse backgrounds and industries on Tycoon Stories. Gain valuable insights, learn from real-world experiences, and cultivate your own leadership skills.

Blake Mycoskie, American Entrepreneur, Author, Social Entrepreneur, Blake Mycoskie Biography,
Business Social Entrepreneur

Blake Mycoskie: Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Visionary

Blake Mycoskie, born on August 26, 1976, is an American entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. He is renowned for founding Toms Shoes and co-founding the wellness program Madefor.

Blake Mycoskie

Early Life and Education

Blake Mycoskie was born in Arlington, Texas, to Mike Mycoskie, an orthopedic surgeon, and Pam Mycoskie, an author. He attended Arlington Martin High School and later graduated from St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin in 1995. A passionate tennis player from the age of 10, Mycoskie attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) on a partial tennis scholarship in 1995, majoring in philosophy and business. However, an Achilles tendon injury ended his tennis career, leading him to leave SMU and launch his first business, EZ Laundry. Catering initially to SMU, EZ Laundry expanded to service three universities, employing over 40 people and generating around $1 million in sales before Mycoskie sold the company in 1999.


After college, Mycoskie moved to Nashville and founded Mycoskie Media, an outdoor billboard company focused on marketing country music. The company quickly became profitable and was acquired by Clear Channel within nine months.

In 2001, Mycoskie and his sister Paige auditioned for Survivor but ended up competing in The Amazing Race, where they finished in third place. Following this, Mycoskie moved to Los Angeles and co-founded Reality Central, a cable network dedicated to reality TV. Despite raising $25 million and achieving moderate success, the network folded in 2005 due to competition from Fox Reality Channel.

Determined to continue his entrepreneurial journey, Mycoskie co-founded DriversEd Direct, an online driver’s education service, and Closer Marketing Group, a Santa Monica-based marketing firm.

Toms Shoes

In 2006, during a trip to Argentina, Mycoskie was inspired by the severe poverty and lack of basic necessities such as shoes for children. This led to the creation of Shoes for Better Tomorrows, later shortened to Toms. The company’s unique “one for one” model promised to donate a new pair of shoes for every pair sold. By 2013, Toms had donated over 10 million pairs of shoes globally.

In 2011, Toms expanded to include eyewear, with each purchase funding sight-saving treatments or prescription glasses through partnerships with organizations like the Seva Foundation. This initiative launched in Nepal, Tibet, and Cambodia, and Mycoskie emphasized the importance of addressing global needs over personal experiences.

Author and Public Speaker

Mycoskie published “Start Something That Matters” in 2011, a book advocating for social entrepreneurship. For each copy sold, a children’s book was donated, and Mycoskie used 50% of the royalties to support emerging entrepreneurs, later increasing this to 100%. The book became a New York Times best-seller.

Expanding Toms

In 2014, Toms launched Toms Roasting Co., which donates a week of water to communities in need for every bag of coffee sold. That same year, Mycoskie sold 50% of Toms to Bain Capital but remained the company’s Chief Shoe Giver. He pledged to donate 50% of his profits from the sale to support social entrepreneurship, with Bain matching his donation.


In March 2020, Mycoskie and Pat Dossett launched Madefor, a subscription-based wellness program designed to help users adopt sustainable habits through monthly kits focusing on different scientific topics.

Personal Life

Blake Mycoskie resides in Jackson, Wyoming. He divorced Heather Lang in 2020, and they share two children, Summit and Charlie. Mycoskie also supports Wubetu Shimelash, a young Ethiopian boy, financially for his education.

An avid golfer, fly fisher, surfer, and adventure athlete, Mycoskie enjoys rock climbing and polo. He is an investor in Urban Golf Performance and Athletic Brewing Company and participated in the Sexiest Bachelor in America Pageant.

Blake Mycoskie’s entrepreneurial spirit, combined with his commitment to philanthropy, has made him a pioneering figure in social entrepreneurship, continually striving to create positive global impact.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *