Meet Heather Mycoskie, wife of the Founder of TOMS, activist, mom, and the kind of person who makes you think twice about how to live life right and with purpose.
Our favorite part of having this blog is being able to be introduced to people like you. TOMS is a household name; and everyone loves wearing TOMS. But the power of TOMS extends beyond just form, design and function; TOMS represents a tenet that all of us at Helen Jon hold true to ourselves and in our hearts: How can we create value?
The Tao of Tom…
Let’s start with that - creating value. “One for One. Together there are no limits.” This seems to be TOMS’ way… The Tao of Tom and we love everything about it. You and your husband, Blake (the founder of TOMS), have such passion and heart. Your commitment to improving the lives of all living beings around the globe is powerful. Buy a pair of shoes; give a pair of shoes. Buy a pair of glasses; give a pair of glasses (or even a cataract surgery!). Buy TOMS coffee; give a week’s supply of clean water to someone in need.
Q: You and Blake are truly trailblazers. The philanthropic business model was pioneered by you. Tell us a little bit about how this came to be.
A: Spending so much time with Blake and other social entrepreneurs has allowed me to see firsthand the power of the space. Connecting a product to a cause you are passionate about is not only natural but very effective in raising awareness and funds for the need you are trying to address.
Q: What’s next? Do you anticipate expanding One for One?
A: At TOMS we believe that you can use business to improve lives. I think what’s so exciting about that is there’s so much opportunity to make great impact.
Q: “Come as you are; be who you are” defines the dress code at Toms. You have helped shape the culture at TOMS. What tips do you have on creating a positive work environment?
A: When you enjoy the people you work with and have fun together, it fosters a collaborative and creative work environment. It’s important to be open to one another’s ideas, and mutual respect is key. Because TOMS is a company with giving at its core, we’ve been able to attract some really great people who believe in the mission of wanting to improve the lives of people around the world.
Q: We all find inspiration in different places, and life continually evolves and surprises us. What is something that very recently has inspired you, made you catch your breath, or think twice?
A: I like to be in nature, hiking in the mountains, or sitting on the beach. Being able to experience nature through my son’s eyes has been incredible – even something as simple as a family hike inspires me to continue leading a life with intention.
Q: We love the necklace you wear that says “My Journey” on it. Simple and pure. With a purpose but not a fixed end-goal. That is life, a journey. It is up to us to determine how, where, with whom and in what way we create it. If you were to choose another single word - or even a quotation or mantra - what would it be?
A: “You are good enough.”
Q: “Compassion for animals is intimately linked to goodness of character.” We agree. Tell us more about your role as Founder of the TOMS Animal Initiative and how your life-long love for animals inspired TOMS’ initiative for protecting endangered species.
A: The TOMS Animal Initiative was sparked by my passion and love for animals. I wanted to create a platform to drive awareness and monetary funding for global animal conservation. Wearing product from the TOMS Animal Initiative not only helps a child get a pair of new shoes, but also helps endangered animals get protection, greater awareness and funding to organizations that are protecting them. Each year, we will launch a new Animal Initiative collection in partnership with an animal-focused charity.
Q: Motherhood… Now that your son Summit is here — he is almost 2! — how has life changed?
A: Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years – life before my son seems like lifetimes ago. He has blessed me by making me a mom and it is a responsibility that I cherish and has truly made me think about daily decisions and how our family is impacted. I believe in living life with intention and want to honor that for myself and my family.
Q: What is your best advice on how to manage life/wife/motherhood/work balance?
A: I believe in simplicity and listening to yourself. “Come as you are,” and if you approach things with your truest self, then you’re already tackling everything as best you can.
Q: We love the way you look. So natural and beautiful, with a beautiful inner glow. Has motherhood changed your personal style and/or TOMS’ designs?
A: I felt like becoming a mother led me into a more sophisticated range when it comes to clothes. It elevated my style and the overall choices I make when it comes to fashion. I am definitely more aware of my body than I have ever been. I love comfort and I love fashion, and am always on the hunt for pieces that are a mix of both. I know I’m going to be running around the house chasing Summit and then going to meetings or having Skype conference calls. It’s amazing what a beautiful yet comfortable outfit can do for your day and overall energy. And of course TOMS are designed with comfort in mind – and that’s a great thing for moms! I’m always able to run around and enjoy my days with my son Summit wearing my TOMS.
Q: You were raised in Salt Lake City and graduated from the Fashion Institute in NYC before moving to the west coast. Do you believe the way you dress reflects where you are more or who you are?
A: I’ve picked up a little bit from all of the places that I’ve called home - I would say my style is a bit bohemian, casual, and feminine-tomboy. I gravitate to wearing things that make me feel comfortable and express who I am.
Q: Where is the next place you want to travel to? If you could only bring with you one book, one album and one favorite beauty product, what would they be?
A: I would love to trek through Bhutan. The one book I would bring is “Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown; the one album would be “Prism” by Katy Perry; and, as for a beauty product, it would be Super Goop City Serum.
By being able to get to know you a little bit better, we feel a lot stronger in our commitment to do more, live purposefully - and joyfully. You, by example, show others the way. Outlook is vital. And you embody such a positive spirit, both serious and light-hearted, and up for adventure and firmly planted as well. We love this “journey” of yours and cannot wait to see where it takes you next!