5 minutes with Blake Mycoskie of Toms

I pretty lucky to have a job were I get to meet some very cool people, especially ones that I admire,  recently I met Blake Mycoskie founder of Toms a brand all about giving back. He is super inspiring…

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Photo Credit Chris Lew

Here I ask some questions and give you a little insight into his creative/business life and what makes Him tick.

Tell us how TOMS came about and when did it start? Back in 2006, when I returned home from Argentina, I told all of my friends and family, and pretty much anyone who would listen, about my trip: how I went to Buenos Aires to relax and learn to play polo; how I discovered the alpargata, a shoe that had been worn by Argentine farmers and polo players for more than 100 years; how I went on a volunteer “shoe drive” where used shoes were being collected from wealthy families and given to children in the surrounding villages; and how my goal was to create a for-profit business, not a charity, that would give new shoes to the children that I had met.

What did you do before Toms? What’s your background? I’m a serial entrepreneur. I started five other companies before I started TOMS, mainly in media and technology. I was just kind of burned out so I went down to Argentina looking for some time to relax, experience the culture, take it all in. But I wanted to do something more, and that lead to TOMS.

Where do you live? Topanga Canyon, California – tucked away in the mountains but close enough to the beach to surf every chance I get.

How would you describe the look/style of your space at home? Heather and I wanted everything to feel personal, layered, and evolved—nothing too designery. We are extremely connected to nature.

Where is your favourite place to holiday? Australia! I am never leaving this place. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

Favourite thing in your home? Our outdoor space is beautiful, peaceful, and where we spend a ton of time together as a family.

What are you loving right now? My new surfboard!

Coffee or tea? (And how you take it?) TOMS Coffee every morning. Americano.

What’s your favourite day of the week? – Mondays believe it or not. I wake up inspired and ready to start the week strong.

What’s your favourite thing to do on the weekend? Spend every chance I can with Summit and Heather. When I have a moment, I also enjoy golfing, fishing, surfing, and meditation.

Favourite street to shop in? It’s got to be Abbot Kinney in Venice. It’s where our roots are at TOMS and every time I walk down that street I remember the early days and it’s really sentimental for me. We also have a TOMS store on that street.

Favorite place to eat? Gjelina in Venice California. I am there at least once or twice a week.

Favorite places to shop? I buy something in every city I visit all over the world. My wardrobe is a collection of really unique pants, shirts, and anything that has a story behind it.

What are you reading/watching/listening to? I love business biographies like “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvon Ch- ouinard of Patagonia, “Losing My Virginity” by Richard Branson of Virgin, or “On- ward” by Howard Schultz of Starbucks. I’ve been inspired to create something really special at TOMS by reading books like these.

Favourite city? The best road trip I’ve ever taken was the drive down Chile from Santiago to Patagonia. While passing the most pristine countryside and glaciers, I came across an old rusted sign on the road that read “reducir velocidad” (“slow down”). I pulled over and took a picture because I thought it really meant something pro- phetic. I made 700 copies of that picture and sent it to my friends and influential people that support TOMS. People still tell me that picture sits on their desks and reminds them to slow down and enjoy life. I will never forget that trip or that city.

What’s your motto? It’s always been Carpe Diem, but for 2016 I started the year (our 1oth year at TOMS) moving towards Carpe Momentum.

Favourite meal? Sushi! Especially with good friends and family.

Any pets? 2 GoldenDoodles, Gypsy and Buddha

Favourite drink? An ice cold IPA

Your signature cocktail? I’ll try anything but I generally stick to an IPA.

Where’s your happy place? At home, early morning, with my beautiful wife Heather and 1 year old son, Summit

What do you collect? Vintage luggage

What/who inspires you? Malala Yousafzai and her work with the Malala Foundation.

What are you working on right now? It’s our 10 Year Anniversary of TOMS this year so we are busy planning for our birthday in May. We also have some really exciting news and partnerships to share this year, so we are heavy into planning around that. Stay Tuned!

What’s next? I am gearing up for our press tour in China in about a month or so. Heather might be joining me which always makes the travel more fun since we get some family time together.