Blake mycoskie is dating glenn meldrum dating
It’s the season of giving, and Blake Mycoskie – founder and chief shoe-giver at TOMS – is coming to Charlotte’s Knight Theater for a discussion about the power of giving as it relates to the business world, presented by The Learning Society at Queens and Bank of America.
A visionary global leader, entrepreneur, adventurer and bestselling author, Blake Mycoskie is the catalyst behind TOMS’ now-ubiquitous One for One® movement.
He was also named on Fortune's "40 under 40" list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.
Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, TOMS 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 was also named on Fortune’s “40 under 40” list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world.
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 well-being of people and the planet.
To just see if this will work like because you could have come back to the US and people would have said about these or you could have sold them all and then and then what yeah it was definitely a I try to stress this to people I mean of all the businesses that I started this was the least business of the business and that's the irony of all of it was like okay there's 250 kids in this Village I want to come back by Christmas and give them all a new pair of shoes so I'm going to go sell these shoes and I'm a come back and then we'll figure out what we're going to do like it was not a business it was clearly like this is a way for me to kind of stay connected to this amazing feeling I had helping these kids and an excuse to come back to Argentina which I'd totally fall in love with and and that was it and I still did the driver's ed business I'm still kind of have my normal life as an entrepreneur this is kind of be my side project in my kind of own personalno fun philanthropic experiment and so when you came back to tell a how did you sell the shoes I mean first I die so I kind of got some friends and my sister and girlfriends and stuff to can I buy them and they luckily they like them they thought they were cool and they were different and they like the style and they love the idea that they're helping someone what is the charge for him if it originally price was in a 37 bucks and so I sold a few pairs that way and then I got some people local people in La that worked in PR that I had met through friends of friends to help me try to get the story out there cuz it was a really interesting story and at the same time they knew some like kind of cool trendy kind of fashion store.
Like the carry stuff that no one else has in this is clearly that and so my first account was a store in La caught American Rag I went in there with a lily a backpack full of shoes some pictures of the kids that we had helped in Argentina and you know the girl's name is Courtney she was a shoe buyer and a shirt that she isn't really like them and then I told the story and then she just loved it and she's like this is totally unique this is totally ass she asked me how many pairs I had to sell and I said we'll look at Star 250 I've sold about 30 pairs of 220 a below website that sell him as well and so she took I think like 85 Pairs and put a Lotus play in the window at American Rag and that was our it was our first big account from one of the funniest and most amazing Hearts the story and really, turning point all of it was this woman Booth more who was at the time and the leading fashion writer for the LA Times she was in the store American Rag and heard about the story and she asked for my information she contacted me and She interviewed me so did interview at or the story you knowa picture of one of the shoes and the next Sunday it was like on the cover of the calendar section Daily Times and that day we sold 2200 pairs on the website that I only had like 80 pairs of my apartment and stacks of shoes 2200 Paris what did you do or I kind of freaked out I also did what I think let entrepreneurs do in a time of dire need to start putting as many ads for interns on Craigslist as I could and I got this like small army of interns to help basically be customer service to email and call all these people let him know that there was no chance that they're going to get their shoes in the four days or 5 days of the website promise there's going to be more like maybe a couple months are you no longer because I had to go back and make them in Argentina and you literally had to hop on a plane and go back to tasks like 3 days later after I get the insurance set up with likestop Sim phones of my apartment I said okay I'm going back to make these shoes I took the article because I knew they would never believe me and I literally grew to Buenos Aires took a taxi to this guy's house Juan Torres who is making the shoes in his garage Force the time how to lay her meet me there and I walked in and with the little Spanish I knew I said something like a muchos Zapatos mas rapido and yeah I know we just got cranking and one called some friends over and other people who knew how to make the shoes and we got a little kind of small little Factory going in this old barn down there and after a couple weeks we got to work make about 0 a week out of this little operation so I took you for weeks 2200 see you have 2200 pairs of shoes being made in Argentina at and did you did you ship them back did you like stuff than in suitcases like a jackwe literally just let me know it was like we put them in like big boxes and and they flew back with me on American Airlines in the cargo area they're playing see what kind of LAX with giant boxes of shoes you race back to your apartment in Venice Italy right with interns and we started shipping an option bought like so did you have boxes made in and look professional or was it just like me just the shoes in a in Lookout padded envelope yeah basically until we got the UPS guy to actually come to our apartment and pick up every day was great we don't have to like take him all the way to the to the place and so I'm sorry we're running shipping the stuff out of the apartment every day and and then because of that I'm getting more doors online and we started talking more stores that mean you are like on a roll already at this point right and then the next big break was we got a call from Vogue magazine and and thatfunny thing about that was I had just seen the movie The Devil Wears Prada Meryl Streep you know playing Anna Wintour and that see how challenging she is to Anne Hathaway's character and when I got a call from Bogue to come to New York to meet with them I was horrified wanted you to come there to meet them because well I'm the one interview me and it did read the LA Times article so I see I went and interviewed me and then later they did a photoshoot in Venice and next thing you know we're in Vogue and when were in Vogue it just all kind of exploded it loaded yeah everyone the crazy thing is that people just assume like we were like a real company when we are in Vogue and so we were getting calls from my stores all the country even a celebrity starting to catch on to that was also the benefit of thing of being in LA and that it was just such a radical idea like no fashion company your shoe company has ever like giving something away every time they sold it and I think that naturally appealed tocertain celebrities in and they also like me wearing things that other people don't have in like it's new and so so we just started like without any work on our own we just started seeing celebrities wearing the shoes in this reading Photograph by the paparazzi and then it started showing up in things like People magazine and US Weekly and okay and now the craziest moment for me was when I saw a stranger actually wearing the shoes that was about three or four months later I was actually in New York trying to sign up some new stores this is right before Vogue came out as long as I was going to that airport to fly back to LA and actually wasn't wearing my shoes I was wearing a pair of running shoes anyways I'm at American Airlines checking in using the kiosk and the girl next to me she probably mid-thirties she's wearing red pair of tops and this point like the only people I ever seen where your shoes are like my get my parents my friends my interns made my neighbor you know and I was so excited me like yours like a total random person wearing a pair of shoes so of course you had to talk to her so I said is we're doing the checking as excuse me I said that I couldn't help but notice these shoes you're wearing these are really cool what are they and she like look at me and she goes out there Tom's Tom's Shoes this is like the most amazing comp in the world I might not really tell me about it when I bought this pair of shoes they gave a pair to a child in Argentina and I like I had to tell her I am right and so I said well actually you know I'm actually Blake II started Tom Jack dead silent you know like like like she just can't believe it and then she doesn't trust why did you cut your hair and now it's her main question in the fighting was why should I cut my hair why she knew I live in a boat all the stuff was because of at this point now you know we're on Facebook and where you know we're promoting on You Tube and she had not just been a customer she diedonline in like learn everything she possibly could about the business and it just really started to kind of like in my mind from a entrepreneur and mathematical standpoint be a quote this could get dick is ugly everyone who bought a pair of TOMS new more less knew that when they were buying a pair you guys would give a pair to a child in need me and you're only days I think that's the primary driver of why people bought Tom's the shoes were frankly not that good a quality they didn't last as long as we had hoped they would I mean you know they were different they were stylish excetera but the giving was at the huge huge driver in the early days I'm like three years behind everybody else and I think the first time I heard about Tom's was a 2009 this commercial that I saw guess what happened so I was doing a lot of media about Tom and so I think I was doing a CNN interviewthe woman asked me she said how in the world do you run your business cuz I just got back from Ethiopia and they giving trip and she's like you're on your Ethiopia last week you were and you know Argentina fries before that any of this fast-growing business like how are you running this company and being in all these places we are giving out these shoes and I held up my Blackberry at the time which I had and I said this is the key I said I can literally approve designs take orders you know to everything from this and I can do it for me theopia and someone who worked it be bdno at agency who AT&T was our client saw that interview and they thought man this guy uses AT&T this is the best commercial we get everything and thankfully I did they called me up Nathan I said okay well we going to talk to you about an idea we have for a commercial my name is Blake and I'm the chief should give her at Toms shoes they went with us on a real giving trip and Uruguay when you went infind out she was going to be heading out shoes they filmed us in our office I need a network with great coverage because for every pair of shoes that we sell week everything was just a real toy legit and they made it into a very different type of commercial for AT&T but it just hit a nerve with people that was a turning point that made that turn Tom's from like kind of this this fashion nice thing to a major shoe company yeah I mean that was a turning point cuz now I mean your millions and millions of Americans Lilly's for seeing our story multiple times throughout the week on different shows and commercials and now it's just driving the business in an incredible Way by this point had you I mean I'm I'm assuming you you hired a team to help you run this growing business right cuz you are probably doing like what kind of gravity were you doing at that point we remain we did the first year in businesslike 15 million in the fourth year we went to like 60 million why do we went from basically from 0 to 450 million dollars in sales on an annual basis in like 7 years you know I think to The Weeknd the fastest growing shoe company in the world that's insane yeah it was in say what did you find to be the most hardest thing about growing so quickly you know but after that commercial and after you just started like going gangbusters mean you had to choose making Usher and even I mean even until just I would say recently is the last two years making the shoes has always been the hardest part for us because none of us were shoemakers none of us were you know production people I mean it was all just different people I met along the journey that you had a passion for you know for helping kids and doing something disruptive and having fun in like and so the discipline of being great making shoes is always besomething that we've struggled with and we really just recently in last couple years gotten better at something to happen around 2011/2012 you decided to just take a step back from from from the whole company just so I can drop off the map is it so why the business was was becoming pretty corporate pretty kind of bureaucratic we had you know the leadership team that we had built that was you know maybe not running it the same kind of way that we used to in the same passion and I didn't feel connected to the mission of TOMS and a 10 I was questioning like is it something with the rest of my life or like my other entrepreneur gigs is it time to go and do something different and until I just thought the best thing for me to do which I've always found is when I'm struggling is to see how to get away and going to be alone and take some time and and I did that what did you do did you get you just like go take a hike now I'm at the Austin Texas where are original Love Austin and I just got married and my wife and I decide to move to Austin for a year if the company became super corporate and you are kind of disillusioned what happened to make you want to return to It ultimately I realized it was more to be done you know I like the we had bigger Ambitions than what we had accomplished before and I felt like we could use our model to help more people with more products I had enough new things that kind of get my energy again you know it was just time for me to come back and is really my wife actually she recognized that I was kind of getting into a depressed day in Austin and I just realized I was gone that I loved it like I missed it I miss the people I missed being in it missed the challenges yeah I seen you refer to Tom's as a movement rather than a business obviously you know there's some people are cynical about that and then they say oh that's just that's just Blake use it you know yet he's just using that as a way to generate more interest in this business butyou know I think I think that the movement part I really felt that when our customers are engaged in the the effect that they're having with your business and that may be buying a pair of TOMS as the first step or maybe it's the 10th step and their desire to be more conscious consumers in humans and so me that is more of a movement of a way of thinking that it is a business transaction like you mean you you've read and I know about you know over the years people have said looking out this might sound like a great business model but actually times is disrupting markets in these countries and and that should not helping alleviate poverty and you know they're actually creating other problems I mean try some of those criticisms are there some to them right yes I mean that the first and kind of mostprevalent criticism has been like okay if Tom's really want to make a difference in the communities they would not just focus on a they would focus on job creation and that criticism was really difficult to hear it first because frankly I just didn't know how to address it like I agreed with it you know yes in theory you would be amazing to create a bunch of jobs in Kenya but I mean how in the world am I going to figure that out like everything else going on but ultimately back in 2018 there was no 12 actually we made a pledge to manufacture as many shoes as we could and the countries that we give in and today we're manufacturing over 40% of our giving shoes in countries like Kenya Ethiopia India you lots of different places where were also giving so was that was that a direct response to your critics or sort of like saying you know what you're right it was it was and it was a it was a humbling experience and when we we had a Express Employment ability and say okay we don't have to do this for and try it and we start small we scaled has moved on and it's actually been you know now it's something that we pride ourselves in as part of our business debt that the idea of the buy one and then we'll give one to somebody need really you know you guys are crazy you are credited with really starting to Smiley probably weren't the first they were probably other companies out there doing this but you know you did this on a very big scale and since then a lots and lots and lots of companies have follow that model Warby Parker and others and it's been good for business actually been really really good yeah I mean I think of all the things we're most proud of Tom's is like the Legacy that we've created and in this model has become not just irrelevant Tom's but with lots of companies around the world and it's encouraged even companies to be on the one for model to incorporate giving more into their actual business model and not just a check that they write at the end of the yearyou know to a non-profit how about like the Arc of your career right I mean the laundry business for college students and the outdoor advertising company and the reality TV channel Anthony the driver's ed school I mean very different from what you did with X write like that very very different think that you could have done Tom's without without doing all those previous companies I don't think Tom's would be worth as today if I hadn't had those experiences the thinking behind Tom's was always there but it was always something that was more in an order of make money first help other second because that's how every other business person I've ever known had done it now I never had a rat about anyone that was helping people as they were building the business and I think that Tom's is is like my soulmate a business like I mean it's like I get to be creative I get to findmeaning in that you know I recognize it the amount of wealth that now my wife and I were responsible for was far more than we would ever think about spending In Our Lifetime and so we made a conscious decision to take half of it and in committed to investing in social entrepreneur so that's a big part of my life now is actually investing in the Next Generation as a way to solve problems that that we are faced with and so that's been a huge blessing and all this as well Blake mycoskie founder of TOMS Shoes by the way Toms has given away more than 70 million shoes in 70 countries around the world back in 2014 Blake sold the company to a private Equity Group up until then Tom's had never had a single investor to people call you Tom all the time would you do you say yeah sample people say hey Tom at the airport I'd turn around because if they said hey Blake cuz I know that talking to himselfand please do stick around because in just a moment and hear from you about the things your building but first a quick thanks to one of our sponsors are table whether you're building a product finding your very first customers or scaling your business airtable is powerful enough to keep your team on track get in credits today by signing up at builthey thanks so much for sticking around because it's time now for how you built that and today were updating story from 2017 about Gamers gift is a non-profit co-founded by Dylan Hill when he was a student at UC Davis yeah so our biggest thing right now is bringing virtual reality the headsets to Children's Hospitals assisted living facilities and people with disabilities this idea goes all the way back to the fifth grade when Dylan's best friend Chris was diagnosed with cancer and had to spend months in the hospital I would visit him every single day and what I saw was my friend was no longer the kid that I knew and my solution was to bring the video games because I knew that those would make him smile Chris eventually did get better and Dylan stay friends and that experience always stuck with me and I remember looking back on it as well those video games really helped us so anyway fast forward to senior year in high school Dylan is now doing volunteer work in his spare time but he's not all that happy with it I volunteer to the food shelter and instead of spending time with the homeless I was in the back packing backs and then obviously all these things they help but it would just wasn't rewarding and Dylan kept thinking about the video games maybe there was some way he can use them to tell people so one day me and Chris were doing a little random Googling and Dylan said hey I wonder what it would take to start our own charity and we googled how to start a nonprofit and we saw wow this is simplified into six stops first make an LLC and then skin touch with a franchise tax board sexually some of the stuff does not sound so simple but eventually Dylan got his mom to guarantee a bank account for their nonprofits and they became a 501 c 3 I think we probably Google every single line on the tax paperwork because we had no idea what a lot of it meant but I mean we have the internetnow we can figure out anything after they got it sorted out Dylan and Chris started to raise money to buy video games and VR headset first they sold baked goods door-to-door family got some donations to an online service stent they were starting to visit hospitals and other places in California sharing VR and games with children and adults there for example there was this man Dominick Cruz living with cerebral palsy and he's always wanted to drive a race car now he's only able to communicate by moving his head up or down but we can put a headset on him and we can pushes his wheelchair around his living room and we can emulate him driving a Formula 1 race carlet's still inhale who co-founded Gamers gift along with his friend Chris Betancourt now a lot has happened since we first brought you that story Chris has leukemia returned in October of 2017 and his prognosis was not good so Chris came up with a bucket list things he wanted to do before he died and Dylan wanted to help on that list beat the world record Chris and Dylan wanted to register the most bone marrow donors in one day the world record was 2976 so Crystal and launched a social media campaign and they got 3715 people to register and they got something else something they didn't really expect a match for Chris two months later Chris had a bone marrow transplant and today he's cancer-freeif you want to find out more about Gamers gift check out our Facebook page and hear the previous episodes head to our podcast page how I built this. Org of course if you want to tell us your story go to build. Org and thanks so much for listening to a show this week you can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and why you're there please do give us a review you can also write us at HRBT at NPR.