Blake Mycoskie is the "Chief Shoe Giver" at TOMS Shoes, a company that he founded in 2006 to provide shoes to impoverished children around the world. He has been a professional entrepreneur since his sophomore year in college when he founded a campus laundry business.
Previously, he founded Driver's Ed Direct, launched the advertising firm Mycoskie Media, worked as spokesperson for the online company GreenTiePoker, was CEO of Closer Marketing Group, and served as President of Phil Hellmuth Productions.
He has also had experience on reality television. He was the contestant for Tennessee on Fox's "Sexiest Bachelor in America Pageant" in 2000 and finished third in the second season of CBS's The Amazing Race in 2002. As a result, he launched an all-reality television network called Reality Central in 2002. Mycoskie studied philosophy and finance as an undergraduate at Southern Methodist University.
Question: What are your hopes for TOMS future?
Blake Mycoskie: I think that, with TOMS [Shoes], we’re at that stage that you get to, as an entrepreneur, where we’re just reaching, just beginning to really take off.
Even though we’ve been in business two years, we’ve given away 65,000 shoes, we’ll give away 200,000 shoes this year, we’re helping a lot of people. But I still think it’s just the beginning.
There are deals out there for us to do with big companies as partners where we could give away millions of shoes. And that scaleability; we have 29 employees today [April 2008]. A year ago, we only had eight employees. So a year from now, we might have 100 employees.
For me, as an entrepreneur, it’s really focusing on getting systems in place for this explosive growth that’s getting ready to happen and spending my time building relationships with CEOs and other companies that can benefit for participating in the TOMS Shoes model.
Recorded on: April 28, 2008