NEW YORK – Tory Burch will launch a Tory Burch Foundation pop-up at the brand’s Meatpacking District boutique here on Tuesday. The pop-up will highlight the company and the foundation’s commitment to advancing women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship with weekly events and activations each Tuesday.
Among the activities are an #EmbraceAmbition photo booth and women’s wellness day. A wall in the store will feature 100 Years of Women’s Rights in the U.S., highlighting legislative advancements.
“When I started the company, my dream was to start a foundation,” said Tory Burch, chief executive officer and chief creative officer. “Social responsibility was in our business plan from the very beginning.” Since launching in 2009, the foundation has provided programs and funding for women entrepreneurs in the U.S. by providing access to capital, education and digital resources.
Throughout the month, leading up to its culmination on #Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, 20 percent of net proceeds from the sale of all Tory Burch apparel and accessories at the store will benefit the foundation’s mission to empower women.
Guests will be offered food and drinks made by women entrepreneurs from across the country who have benefited from the foundation’s programs, such as Kate McAleer from Bixby & Co. (healthy chocolate candy), Erin Uehara of Choco le ‘a (chocolate shop), Jordan Salcito of Ramona (organic wine spritz), Penny Stankiewicz of Sugar Couture (cakes) and Sashee Chandran of Tea Drops (tea).
The shop will also feature an assortment of foundation products, including Embrace Ambition T-shirts ($48), sweatshirts ($78) and bracelets ($30) as well as the limited-edition Tory Burch Foundation Seed Box ($98). This year’s selection in the Seed Box contains seven products from women entrepreneurs, including a scarf designed by Tory Burch in a key print of the season; Archer and Olive dot grid notebook; December Creative gardenia rose candle; Conscious Coconut coconut oil packets; Eu’Genia Shea lavender natural shea butter; Tea Drops Boost tea sprinkles, and TSF Botanicals rose geranium facial tonic. The Embrace Ambition Bracelet is made of silk and offered in six colors, featuring an engraved charm and a brass Gemini Link. One hundred percent of all net proceeds from these products benefit the foundation.
The pop-up will be kicked off Tuesday night by Laurie Fabiano, president of the foundation, who will interview three women entrepreneurs the company works with: Emellie O’Brien, founder of Earth Angel, Naa-Sakle Akuete, founder of Eu’Genia Shea and Pooja Bavishi, founder of Malai.
Elaborating on why she wanted to open a pop-up shop for the foundation, Burch said, “We have found that retail allows us to connect with our customer on a deeper level. We wanted to give our customers a three-dimensional, tangible experience with the foundation. It really brings to life our mission, which is to empower women entrepreneurs. It also is an opportunity to showcase our foundation products, including our Seed Box and our Embrace Ambition bracelets which we’ve seen really resonating with our customers.”
Burch said she’d like to see her foundation more integrated into her stores, but there are no immediate plans for rolling out the pop-up concept.
She said a core component is finding women entrepreneurs from underserved areas. “We have a deep network of nonprofits and community lenders from across the country who recommend women entrepreneurs from their local communities for the program. We want to ensure that we’re closing the opportunity gap, and not only with regards to gender,” she said.
As for what she expects the pop-up will do for the foundation and the company and how the applicant pool has changed since she started, Burch said, “The pop-up spotlights women entrepreneurship and has a tangible, monetary component to subsidize our programs. We hope the pop-up spurs dialogue and that more people understand that when you empower women you can transform entire communities. We haven’t seen any substantial change in the applicant pool though, interestingly, one consistent commonality is social responsibility. The vast majority of our applicants have a philanthropic component to their business.”
She noted that the foundation has distributed over $40 million in loans to over 2,000 women through its Capital Program sponsored by Bank of America and over half a million dollars in grants through its flagship Fellows Program. “And we’re just getting started,” she said.
Weekly events and activations include:
Made To Inspire: Nov. 6, Customize select products with hand-painted designs from artist Mison Kim.
Embrace Embroidery: Nov. 13, Customize select products with embroidered messages by Rachel Hearn.
Rejuvenation: Nov. 20, Manicures by tenoverten.
#Giving Tuesday: Nov. 27, Personalize any gift with an empowering note and keepsake pin.
The pop up is located at 38-40 Little W. 12th Street from Tuesday to Nov. 27.