Blake Mycoskie figures he spends only about 10 days a month at home in Los Angeles. His job as founder and CEO of Toms Shoes keeps him on the move, visiting factories in Argentina and Brazil, meeting with overseas distributors, and delivering shoes to poor children in Argentina and South Africa. (For every pair of shoes Toms sells, it donates a pair; since its founding, in 2006, Toms has donated 60,000 pairs.) Because he wasn't spending many nights in his apartment anyway, Mycoskie recently decided to sell it and use the money to buy a boat. "I figured, why not have something I can also use for recreation?" he says.
Last year he shelled out $340,000 for a Hunter 45 Center Cockpit. It's a luxe 45-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom cruiser with leather seating and teak trim. The only snag: Mycoskie had no idea how to sail. Still, he managed to pass a sailing test after four months of studying sailing books and watching instructional DVDs. He sold many of his possessions before moving in last May. Because one of his goals is to sail more than 2,000 miles to Hawaii by himself, Mycoskie chose a boat that is designed to be piloted solo and can handle the open sea.
Though Mycoskie says he bought the cruiser to help take his mind off work, Toms is a presence on the boat. Mycoskie christened it the Alpargata--the name of the Argentine farmer shoe that inspired his company's line of casual slip-ons--and outfitted the boat with sails bearing the Toms logo, which is patterned after the Argentine flag.
"The kitchen is quite spacious, but I don't really cook. I do use the Brew n' Wave, which is half-microwave, half-coffeemaker. It's really kind of a cool gadget."
"I'm always thinking from a marketing perspective. If I'm sailing to Malibu, it's like a billboard going down the coast."
The Captain's Chair
"If I am in L.A., I won't go into the office until 11, because I don't want to deal with traffic. I'll do e-mail and phone calls from 6 to 10 right in my captain's chair. It's a nice, quiet space."
"The boat is my refuge. I turn on some Jimmy Buffett or Jack Johnson, and I really cheese out. It's a totally different life."
The Picture Frame
"On a boat, picture frames knock over and shatter, so this flat-screen TV is my picture frame. I have an Apple TV that shows a constant rotation of thousands of digital photos from my trips around the world."