Start Something That Matters
Love your work, work for what you love, and change the world—all at the same time.
A visionary global leader, entrepreneur, adventurer and bestselling author, Blake Mycoskie is Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the catalyst behind the now-ubiquitous One for One® movement. He’s championed a forward-looking model for corporate responsibility and conscious consumerism, and continues to assist disadvantaged people worldwide—proof that you don’t have to choose between making a living, and making a difference.
“One of the most interesting entrepreneurs [I’ve] ever met.”— President Bill Clinton
Recognizing his ongoing commitment, Richard Branson recently asked Blake to join The B Team, a group of worldwide leaders which seeks to catalyze a movement of corporate executives who embrace a better way of doing business, both for the wellbeing of people and the planet. The youngest member of the B Team, Blake joins a group that currently includes Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and Muhammad Yunus, among others.
TOMS’ humble beginnings happened unintentionally. While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution was simple yet revolutionary—create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon evolved into the One for One business model, providing the powerful foundation for TOMS.
“Having Blake at our executive retreat was a great decision. His passion for doing something that matters was inspiring and engaging. No matter how seasoned an executive you are, Blake’s entrepreneurial approach to business is a true example for all of us.”— Chairman, NBC Entertainment
Over the course of its first five years, TOMS provided millions of new shoes to children through humanitarian organizations, donating different kinds of shoes appropriate for each community. But Blake recognized other vital needs and saw that One for One could be applied to more than shoes. In 2011 he launched TOMS Eyewear to help restore sight to those in need with every purchase of sunglasses and optical frames. In 2014 Blake launched TOMS Roasting Co., a direct trade, premium coffee line which helps provide clean water to developing countries and communities in need. In early 2015 came the TOMS Bag Collection, focused on safe births for mothers and babies through skilled birth attendant training and birth kits.
“Blake is the perfect speaker for your next meeting. He was insightful, funny, and had a fantastic rapport with the crowd. He connected with the audience with an open, conversational style that kept everyone engaged. Whether you want to hear about Tom’s, entrepreneurship, or doing good—he’s the guy you need.”— Andy Sernovitz, CEO, SocialMedia.org
To date, TOMS has given over 45 million pairs of new shoes to children in need. TOMS Eyewear has helped restore sight to over 325,000 people in need, and TOMS Roasting Co. has helped provide over 175,000 weeks of safe water to communities in need. As important as these gratis products and services, TOMS is committed to creating jobs through shoe production in developing countries around the world. It recently exceeded its goal of producing at least one-third of its giving shoes in the regions in which it gives, which currently span Asia/India, Africa, South America and Haiti.
In 2013, Blake recognized that the One for One movement had become bigger than TOMS and launched The Marketplace. Bringing dozens of socially conscious brands together on TOMS.com, The Marketplace offers both a platform for these companies to succeed as well as a destination for consumers to shop and give their purchases a broader purpose.
Mycoskie’s 2011 book, Start Something That Matters, quickly became a New York Times best-seller. Detailing his personal story, the book serves as a call to action for others to incorporate giving into business and turn their own passion and dreams into reality.
Mycoskie’s trailblazing approach to business earned him and TOMS the Secretary of State’s Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). He was also named on Fortune’s “40 under 40” list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.
“Blake was wonderful! He established an immediate and warm connection with our students, provided a genuine, heartfelt life story connected to business principles. An absolute cannot miss speaker. The best part? His message has been sustained and we continue to prosper from his visit!”Northwest Missouri State University
“Blake was outstanding! His message was stimulating and motivational from the entrepreneurial aspect, and inspiring and truly heartwarming from the humanitarian facet. His message was heard by individuals of all ages, from college students to retirees, all of whom were moved to hear of Blake’s desire to start a company in order to help those less fortunate. Who could have imagined that shoes could change the lives of so many people? In addition to speaking at the lecture series, Blake was also eager to spend extra time with a small group of college students in a one-on-one session. This was extremely crucial to these business students, as they heard firsthand what can be accomplished when you have a true desire and passion in your heart. The students learned that, in Blake’s case with TOMS Shoes, business doesn’t always have to be about making the most money; it’s also about helping to make the world a better place.”Bowling Green State University
“Blake was wonderful! Our attendees appeared to be very moved and inspired by his keynote—he received a standing ovation! His book signing was also very popular—we actually sold out of his book at our store! We were delighted he joined us and hope he would welcome coming back at a future conference.”Society for Human Resource Management
“When we first started looking for an inspiring and entertaining speaker who could appeal to our entire audience—adults and children of all ages—we knew we had a huge bill to fill. Blake Mycoskie exceeded all of our expectations. The adults in the audience, men and women who have had great business and entrepreneurial success of their own, found Blake completely engaging and were fascinated by the story of TOMS. The children and teens were all riveted and left excited and full of ideas for giving back. Blake is a natural storyteller—funny, passionate, and sincere. His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to philanthropy really resonated with our community of social entrepreneurs. Blake’s team was professional and easy to work with and helped the process run smoothly. I would highly recommend Blake Mycoskie as a speaker.”Venture Philanthropy Partners
In this visionary talk, Blake Mycoskie shows you how to succeed in a new era of relentless competition and heightened social awareness. Why is philanthropy your best competitive advantage? How do you make money and do good simultaneously? How are the two acts intertwined? At TOMS—a self-sustaining, for-profit company—the act of giving is the cornerstone of its business model, integral to its financial success. In a behind-the-scenes look at how it all works, Mycoskie shares counterintuitive ideas (“In tough times, give more!”) that you can apply to your own business.
His bold, winning strategies are proven, and have been talked about by Bill Clinton, the Obama administration, and the hundreds of thousands of customers that have joined the TOMS movement by buying a pair of shoes. Inspired, inspiring and most of all practical, Mycoskie presents a new direction for business, offering TOMS as his prime case study. After hearing him speak, you too will know why giving just makes sense.
How do you turn ideas into great businesses? And how do you create businesses that people love, and love to talk about? In this keynote, serial entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie shares his secrets for starting, growing, and sustaining new businesses. Before TOMS, Mycoskie ran a successful national campus laundry service, sold a media company to Clear Channel, and ran an online driving school featuring hybrid cars. Where did each idea come from, and what is the common thread connecting their success?
With infectious enthusiasm, hard-won lessons, and a generous sense of encouragement, Mycoskie lets you in on the proven tactics he’s used to become one of the new faces of American entrepreneurism.