Kathleen Ruiz is looking to create partnerships.
The former senior vice president of partnerships and media for Hudson’s Bay Co. and vice president of marketing for Saks Fifth Avenue has created KRW Consulting.
The New York-based firm will work to connect companies in industries ranging from entertainment and philanthropy to technology, fashion, hospitality, automotive and travel.
“The focus of the company will be to help brick-and-mortar and real estate developers create theater and excitement to drive foot traffic into their locations,” Ruiz said. “It’s partners needing partners — whether finding an art exhibition, testing a new smart TV, booking travel or even pairing an agent showing homes with an interior decorator — nothing is off limits. It’s the art of bringing the right partners together.”
Ruiz, who left HBC at the end of June, said she is working with a luxury retailer she declined to name as well as “several tech companies and some charities.”
She said during her 25 years in the industry, she was privileged to work with some of the brightest minds in retail including Karen Katz of Neiman Marcus and Richard Baker of HBC. “The common trait they all had was passion,” she said. And they taught her that if you love what you do, you will succeed. “So I thought this was my time.”
“Kathleen has built strong relationships with many key partners over the years,” said Stephen Sadove, former chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc. “Her authentic approach and ability to create a unique experience through partners is what sets her and KRW Consulting apart from others.”
Ruiz said that “with all the complexities and changes in the industry, I believe there’s a niche to focus on partnerships and building businesses together that will surprise and delight the customer.”
Over the course of her career, Ruiz said she is most proud of the work she’s done with charitable organizations such as the Entertainment Industry Foundation and the Breast Cancer Alliance. “When you can help make a difference, those are the ones that stick in my head,” she said.