Women Empowerment by Fashion Designer Tory Burch
This week for our Empowering Women post we are turning the Love Happens by KOKET lens on the charming and highly successful American fashion designer, businesswoman and philanthropist – Tory Burch and her Tory Burch Foundation created to support the empowerment of women entrepreneurs.
When describing her business drive and passion for women empowerment Burch says, “One of the reasons I wanted to start a company was to start a foundation that would benefit women and children. Social responsibility is part of our brand DNA. It’s not about charity. It’s about helping to empower women to help themselves. By providing resources and tools, we can level the playing field for women entrepreneurs, and helping them to grow their businesses benefits their families, their communities and, in turn, all of us.”
After working in PR and marketing for top fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang, Tory Burch launched her self-named lifestyle brand in 2004 with a small boutique shop in New York.
Famous for her preppy-bohemian tunic style, over the past 13 years Tory Burch has turned her brand into a global household name, celebrity favorite and gained billionaire status! Growing to over 100 freestanding stores, a presence online and in over 1,000 department and specialty stores Tory Burch has learned first hand the the obstacles women in business face leading her to launch the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009 which provides programs and initiatives to help women-owned small businesses.
The Tory Burch Foundation focuses on overcoming the three most prevalent challenges Burch sees women entrepreneurs face – getting access to capital, mentoring and training.
Money talks! In 2014 Burch started the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program (in partnership with Bank of America) to help solve what she sees as the greatest obstacle women in business face. Since its inception she has empowered nearly 1,100 women entrepreneurs with over $25 million in loans!
The foundation also offers Entrepreneurial Education in partnership with Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses program and Mentoring and Networking Opportunities.
In March of 2017 in honor of International Women’s Day and women’s history month, Burch and her foundation launched the #EmbraceAmbition initiative to reclaim the word ambition, which is often perceived as a negative trait in women, but a positive one in men. Celebrities like Julianne Moore, Yara Shahidi, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Anna Wintour can be seeing wearing #EmbraceAmbition T-shirts with statements including tough, powerful, bold, and ambitious across social media in support of this women empowerment initiative.
Burch also launched a line of bracelets for which 100% of the proceeds go toward empowering women entrepreneurs!When asked about her #EmbraceAmbition campaign, Burch told Vogue.com, “We must address the stereotypes that hold women back. If women are truly to achieve parity, we need to own our bold ideas, celebrate our aspirations, and embrace ambition. It comes down to owning your desire to grow and thrive or to make a difference whether it’s at work, at home, or through your actions and social responsibility. We tend to think about ambition as relating to the workplace, but your ambition can be to raise children with integrity or to make a difference by supporting a cause that you care about. Overall, my ambition is for all women to compete equally in business and in life.”
Thank you Tory for all the work that you do for women empowerment!