TOMS Shoes Founder Launches New Wellness Company to Help Combat the "Stress of Modern Living"
TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie thinks you can change your life in just 10 months.
That’s the length of the wellness program he launched this week with friend Pat Dossett. Madefor helps participants adopt positive mental and physical habits that can lead to healthier, happier lives. It was created using evidence-based research and scientific principles to help people stick to lasting change.
And Mycoskie’s decision to start it is based on his own history. After stepping down as CEO of the multi-million dollar shoe company TOMS in 2015, Mycoskie, now 43, realized he was burnt out and unhappy.
“TOMS had been successful and I had all these great friends, a great son, but I felt stressed out and always digitally distracted, like I could never give my full presence,” he tells PEOPLE. “I felt like I had checked every box that my parents and society told me to check and I still was waking up in the morning, not having that much energy, not feeling that great, asking myself, ‘What is all this for?’ ”
The entrepreneur immersed himself in psychology, physiology, neuroscience and other health-related subjects on his quest to detox from stress and distraction.
One thing he knew for sure was that he still wanted to help other people, a common theme in his businesses. TOMS, for example, used a “buy one, give one,” model to donate more than 86 million pairs of shoes while helping to provide restored vision to 500,000 people and 450,000 weeks of safe drinking water to developing communities, according to his Madefor bio.
It was on vacation that Mycoskie chatted with Dossett about their mutual desire to give back.
“Blake and I both like this idea of serving bigger causes and doing things that matter,” Dossett tells PEOPLE. “I really wanted to do something that was going to make a difference for people, because if you can help people meaningfully connect with their ability to bring out their best, then it’s going to make the world a better place.”
The pair spent the next two years working alongside life coaches, clinicians and scientists from universities like Harvard and Stanford to craft the Madefor program.
Each month, participants receive a kit delivered to their homes with a book, a tool (like a water-tracking bottle) and a “challenge card” outlining steps to tackle one of ten health habits: gratitude, nature, rest, breath, connection, fuel, hydration, vision, clarity and movement. The kits also include details on the science behind the habits.
The program’s monthly cost is $95, or participants can get an annual subscription for $750. Madefor also offers scholarships and a pay-what-you-can option for the program.
“We never want cost to be a prohibitive factor to someone signing up,” Dossett says.
And while it may sound old-school to track activity or sleep with a pen and paper, that’s the point of the program, say its founders. Mycoskie and Dossett don’t want participants to be distracted by the never-ending scroll of phone apps and social media.
“We’re all kind of dealing with the stresses of modern living, they’re real, and they’re not going away,” Mycoskie says. “So to have some natural things that we can use to help counteract some of that stress is important.”
With additional reporting from Wendy Naugle