YWCA USA has been selected as this year’s nonprofit partner for Treasure&Bond, the Nordstrom give-back brand that supports nonprofit organizations that empower youth. When you buy the Treasure&Bond brand, your purchase will support YWCA’s TechGyrls program, which helps young girls learn about, develop confidence and self-efficacy in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). We’re thankful for Treasure&Bond/Nordstrom’s support in our programs and helping girls build confidence and skills for success in the future! Here, we ask them about their history, the Treasure&Bond brand, their work with nonprofits, and why they selected YWCA’s TechGyrls program as this year’s nonprofit partner:
The founder of Nordstrom, John Nordstrom, came to this country at the age of 16 from Sweden. Can you tell me how a young immigrant, with $5 in his pocket when he got to our shores, managed to launch a massive department store chain many of us enjoy shopping at today?
The Nordstrom story has humble beginnings. We were founded back in 1901 by John W. Nordstrom, an immigrant from Sweden who made a bit of money during the Klondike gold rush in Alaska. When John eventually decided to settle in Seattle, Washington, he partnered with his friend Carl Wallin to open a small shoe store in downtown Seattle. Sales from their first day in business weren’t all that impressive, but they believed they had the right business approach: provide exceptional service, selection, quality and value. The idea resonated with customers and the business grew.
Today, we’re a leading fashion specialty retailer, with more than 350 stores across the U.S. and Canada, along with a growing online business through Nordstrom.com, NordstromRack.com, HauteLook.com and our personalized clothing service TrunkClub.com, which has seven clubhouses. Next year, we’ll be opening our first store in Manhattan.
Though a lot has changed, and in the world of retail our customers’ definition of service is constantly evolving, one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing our customers the best possible service, selection, quality and value. It’s the foundation of who we are and we believe it’s the key to our success in the future.
What prompted Nordstrom to create the Treasure&Bond give back brand? How many years has Nordstrom been running the give back program and how much money have you donated?
Treasure&Bond started in August 2011 as a Nordstrom-owned boutique in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. The store offered a wide mix of merchandise, from apparel to accessories and home décor, but what made it truly unique was the business model: 100% of all profits were donated to charity. We closed the doors of the store in August 2013, after donating more than $200,000 to dozens of impactful charities in New York City.
Though the store was closed, the philanthropic spirit behind it was one we wanted to keep alive. That’s why we decided to launch the Treasure&Bond brand – a collection of great-looking merchandise that gives back by donating 2.5% of net sales to nonprofits that empower youth. Since launching the brand in 2014, we’ve donated more than $1.4 million to organizations including: Girls Inc., Girls on the Run, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Though the Treasure&Bond brand has only been around for a few years, the idea of giving back is not new to Nordstrom. We know we have an important responsibility to support the communities that do so much to support us, which is why we give millions of dollars each year to organizations that are helping to meet some of our communities’ most pressing needs. The majority of our giving is focused on organizations and programs that care for kids and empower youth.
How do you pick your non-profit partner each year?
There are so many organizations doing great work to empower youth, which is why the Treasure&Bond nonprofit beneficiary rotates regularly. Each of our partners has focused on providing essential services that empower young people to achieve their full potential – whether that’s through mentorship, leadership development, education opportunities, or helping them develop other skills that will help them in the classroom, at home and beyond. Because we serve customers in so many different communities across the U.S. and Canada, we’ve partnered with organizations that have a presence in many of those locations.
What prompted Nordstom to pick YWCA’s TechGyrls as your nonprofit partner this year? Why do you think it is so important to engage young girls in STEM/STEAM programs?
In addition to its strong presence in both the U.S. and Canada, we know that YWCA offers an important network of resources to thousands of young girls. We’re particularly excited to be able to support their TechGYRLS program, which encourages girls and young women to strengthen their abilities and confidence in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Each of these fields are areas where women are significantly underrepresented, and we believe programs like TechGYRLS are essential in closing those gaps. Helping girls develop the interest and talents to succeed in these fields not only opens up new worlds of possibilities for them, it’s good for our communities and strengthening our businesses – including our business here at Nordstrom.
How do you let your customers know about the give back program? Will they be able to learn about YWCA’s TechGyrls program in the stores?
Details on the give-back element of Treasure&Bond can be found in stores (through signage), on the products themselves (through messaging on the packaging) as well as on the brand’s online site: Nordstrom.com/Treasure&Bond. We also regularly communicate about Treasure&Bond, along with our other community support efforts, through NordstromCares.com.
What types of products make up the Treasure&Bond collection?
Treasure&Bond has a laid-back, classic Americana aesthetic but with a reworked, lived-in twist. This summer and fall, customers can expect to find lots of easy-to-wear pieces that can be worn alone or layered for an effortless, casual look – soft tees, worn-in button-downs, breezy dresses and tanks. The brand is rooted in denim, so customers can always find a great selection of must-have denim favorites. Treasure&Bond accessories for women feature scarves, jewelry, belts and hats that complete the urban-cool layering aesthetic.
Though the brand initially started Women’s apparel, thanks to the overwhelming response we’ve received from customers, we’ve been able to expand our Treasure&Bond offering substantially. Today, customers can shop Treasure&Bond in Women’s, Men’s and Girls’ apparel, Women’s and Girls shoes, Soft Accessories, Jewelry and Hosiery departments. We’re excited to expand the brand again this fall to include Boys’ apparel.