Meet Blake Mycoskie

Philanthropist/Entrepeneur and Founder of TOMS Shoes

A Brief Bio of Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie grew up in Texas and graduated from St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, TX in 1995. His heart was set on becoming a professional tennis player and he was awarded a scholarship to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. However, an injury to his Achilles tendon during his sophomore year ended his dream of playing professionally. As he told a group of high school students at his alma mater,“Sometimes our greatest setbacks turn out to be our greatest opportunities.”

Since he could no longer play tennis and was on crutches, Blake began a national laundry service for college students during his sophomore year. He was a philosophy major who admits he had no business experience or expertise, but it seems he had a God-given knack for it. He went on to start an online poker website which was successful enough to be sold for a pretty profit. He started a billboard business that he also built and sold. He and his sister, Paige, competed in the reality show on CBS called “The Amazing Race” and finished second place.

As a result of being on “The Amazing Race” he visited Argentina where he came upon some young women doing a shoe drive for the poorest children in the country. If they didn’t have shoes, they could not go to school. Once again, the entrepreneurial juices started flowing and TOMS Shoes was birthed in 2006. His business model was to make and sell traditional Argentinian farmer shoes (which he had started wearing while in Argentina) and build the cost of another pair of shoes into the price point so he could give away one pair of TOMS Shoes to people in need with every pair of shoes he sold.

 

In 2009, TOMS Shoes gave away 300,000 shoes around the globe.
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