Q&A

Interview: Heather Mycoskie talks about awareness for animals and fashion

Heather Mycoskie is married to Blake Mycoskie, who founded TOMS. They have an adventurous 2-year-old son Summit, and two golden doodles dogs Gypsy and Buddha. Heather is the creator of the TOMS Animal Initiative, which aims to raise awareness and funds to support global animal conservation. We talked to her about her love for animals, about fashion, and about combining family and business.

You’re the Creator of TOMS Animal Initiative (TAI) at TOMS. What does a day in your life look like?
I have always loved animals and over the years have become incredibly passionate about raising awareness in support of protecting species that are endangered. My role as the Creator of the TOMS Animal Initiative is to identify which species we will support and which organization is the right fit. I work closely with our Giving Partners who are on the ground and have a deep understanding of the vital needs of these endangered animals.

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Our first partnership was in 2013 where we worked with Oceana and Discovery on the TOMS Shark Shoe.   Now in our 4th year, we have teamed up with WildAid to raise funds and bring awareness to the endangered Giant Panda. With each partnership, I work with our design team to create a special edition alpargata which is the classic TOMS shoe. This exclusive product is part of our One for One business model with every pair purchased, a shoe is given to a child in need and a portion of proceeds is given to our partner in support of their conservation efforts.

The TOMS x WildAid Panda Collection

The TOMS x WildAid Panda Collection

As a busy mom how do you combine motherhood with your career?
I take a moment to really slow down and be mindful of what I am doing. Whether I’m in the office working or am spending time with my family, I consciously work on being entirely present and focusing on the task at hand. In addition I always keep an on-going to do list so all ideas are written down on paper. This allows me to remain focused and gives me peace of mind.

What is the best part about being a mom?
The best part about being a mom to Summit is how much love, joy and light he brings into our lives each day. He is growing up so fast and I am doing my best to soak up every moment and cherish each day with him.

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What inspires you most in life and where do you find creativity?
I am inspired by people who are constantly working to better themselves and the world. My husband and my friends set such a great example of this by doing small acts daily to help make the world a little bit better. I have learned from them that giving does not need to be a grand gesture but can be as simple as smiling at a stranger or offering a helping hand. I also find inspiration in nature so as a family we like to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

How would you describe your own personal style?
My style is a mix of fashion and function. I am drawn to special clothing pieces that allow me to feel comfortable, chase my very active son around, and be presentable for a meeting all in the same outfit. I normally pair my TOMS with jeans and then a chic blouse; I like being able to wear my favorite fashion designers without having to sacrifice comfort.

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What advice would you give working moms who struggle with stress, a busy job, and family, career and time for yourself?
Although it is always a work in progress to prioritize myself, I understand the importance of taking time to reflect and with that I like to be outdoors either hiking in the mountains or sitting on the beach. I am lucky to have a very supportive family who steps up to the plate when my life gets busy. I also practice transcendental meditation and The Hoffman process to help keep myself and my life balanced.

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Anniek den Boer

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