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What is Blake Mycoskie’s Net Worth?
Blake Mycoskie is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and author who has a net worth of $300 million. Blake is best known as the founder of the Los Angeles-based company Toms. He is also known for competing in the second season of the reality television show “The Amazing Race.” Among his other ventures, Mycoskie co-founded the cable network Reality Central and the subscription wellness program Madefor.
Early Life and Education
Blake Mycoskie was born on August 26, 1976 in Arlington, Texas to author Pam and orthopedic surgeon Mike. As a teen, he went to Arlington Martin High School, and then to St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, from which he graduated in 1995. Mycoskie subsequently went on a partial tennis scholarship to Southern Methodist University, where he majored in both business and philosophy. After sustaining an Achilles tendon injury in his second year there, his tennis career came to an end. Mycoskie then left SMU to create his first business, EZ Laundry, which provided the school with its first on-campus dry cleaning service. EZ Laundry went on to expand significantly, employing over 40 people and servicing two other universities. Mycoskie later sold the business to his partner in 1999.
Following his departure from SMU, Mycoskie moved to Nashville, Tennessee and founded Mycoskie Media. A billboard company focused primarily on marketing country music, it was profitable within a short period of time, and was purchased by Clear Channel within less than a year.
“The Amazing Race”
In 2001, Mycoskie and his sister Paige applied to be on the reality television competition show “Survivor.” However, someone on that show’s production team informed them about another new show called “The Amazing Race.” The Mycoskies decided to pursue a team spot on that series instead, and ended up competing in the second season in 2002. The pair ultimately finished in third place behind separated couple Tara and Will and lifelong friends Chris Luca and Alex Boylan. Following this, Mycoskie moved to Los Angeles.
First Los Angeles Companies
After moving to Los Angeles, Mycoskie co-founded the cable network Reality Central with E! Entertainment Television founder Larry Namer. Launched in 2003, the network planned to air both original content and reruns of reality programs. It was only a moderate success, however, and folded in 2005 following Rupert Murdoch’s launch of the Fox Reality Channel. Steadfast on moving toward entrepreneurship, Mycoskie subsequently collaborated with the founders of TrafficSchool.com to launch DriversEdDirect, an online driver’s education program that also provided training behind the wheel. To market the service, Mycoskie formed Closer Marketing Group, which focused on viral marketing and brand development.
Inspiration struck Mycoskie when he was on vacation in Argentina in 2006. There, he met a fellow American who was working in a volunteer organization providing shoes for underprivileged kids. Mycoskie ended up spending many days traveling with the group from village to village, witnessing how shoeless children were afflicted with infections, blisters, and sores. Returning to the United States, he founded the company Shoes for Better Tomorrows, which originally specialized in selling shoes similar to the Argentinian Alpargata. Through the company, Mycoskie is credited with creating the “one for one” model of social entrepreneurship, in which one item is donated for each item that is purchased. Eventually, Shoes for Better Tomorrows was shortened to Toms, and in 2011, expanded its collection to include eyeglasses. Using the “one for one” model, every pair of sunglasses purchased resulted in the donation of prescription glasses or ocular medical treatment to those in need. The Seva Foundation was contracted to administer the program, which started in Cambodia, Nepal, and Tibet. Today, Toms also designs and markets coffee, handbags, and apparel.
In 2014, Mycoskie launched Toms Roasting Co., which provides coffee sourced via direct trade in such countries as Honduras, Peru, Guatemala, and Rwanda. The company also uses the “one for one” model by providing safe water to families in need in coffee-producing areas for every purchase of a bag of coffee. Also in 2014, Mycoskie sold 50% of Toms to the private investment firm Bain Capital; he used half of the profits to create a fund to identify and promote social entrepreneurship and various other causes.
Among his other work, Mycoskie penned the book “Start Something That Matters,” which was published in 2011. Drawing from his experiences with Toms, the book focuses on the merits of social entrepreneurship and the “one to one” business model. For every copy of the book sold, Mycoskie donated a children’s book to an underprivileged kid; additionally, the royalties were used to award grants to fledgling entrepreneurs. “Start Something That Matters” was a New York Times-bestseller in the business and advice categories.
Along with Pat Dossett, Mycoskie created the subscription wellness program Madefor in early 2020. The program aids users in taking on sustainable health habits, and offers monthly hands-on kits that help to cultivate positive lifestyle changes.
In 2012, Mycoskie married Heather Lang. The pair had a son named Summit and a daughter named Charlie before divorcing in 2020. Additionally, Mycoskie serves as a financial benefactor to a young Ethiopian boy named Wubetu Shimelash.
A lover of the outdoors, Mycoskie is known to avidly surf, golf, fly fish, rock climb, and play polo. He is an investor at Urban Golf Performance.
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