7.16.2010

what do fashion & doing good have in common?

As I mentioned in my last post, I was invited by TheMotherhood to participate in "Do Good Day," sponsored by 77kids.  On Tuesday morning, I marched myself over to the American Eagle Design Studio in the pouring rain.  By "march" I mean I hailed a cab.  And it was one of those rare occasions that a taxi appeared when I actually needed it... for any New Yorkers reading, you know this doesn't happen often, much less in the rain. 

The day began with a good omen and only continued... at American Eagle, our team first met Sarah Hough,VP of Design, who gave us a tour of their "inspiration" wall.  AE designers are inspired by many things, including vintage shopping in Europe and LA and sifting through thrift stores and textile galleries in upstate NY.  A little something I didn't know: in the fashion industry, work is done a year in advance, so the designs I saw were for next year's "back to school" season-- photos here are from this year's collection.  Just call me a fashion insider... for all of 2 hours.  Let it be known I enjoyed every minute.

Side note: I love, love, LOVE that little77 (the 0-18 mos arm of 77kids) has partnered with companies like aden + anais (their muslin blankets are, in a word, FAB).  They're even color-coordinating some of their clothing to go with the blankets.  Hello, easy baby shower gift!


Next, we heard from Betsy Schumacher, Senior VP of Merchandising.  I have to say, I was really impressed by her.  A few things that resonated: as a mother of triplets, she calls the new 77kids stores a "labor of love."  She looks to be inspired by everyone on her team, (many of whom are parents themselves) and has a keen awareness of what's important to mothers & their children.  Kids want to feel confident in their clothes.  A mom wants to navigate a store with ease (strollers were kept in mind during the design process), and if her kids can be entertained at the same time, all the better.  The new stores (locations found here) have interactive juke boxes, modern photo booths and computer screens where kids can see themselves in 77kids outfits.  Fun!  77kids is also committed to giving back, which is how the whole idea of "Do Good Day" was created.  Of course, there's a bottom line that needs to be met as in any other business, but 77kids is striving to be more than that.  And I kind of love that about them.

When our team left the studio on our "good day" activity, the sun was out and shining.  I said a silent "holla!" as we set out towards Grand Central Station, armed with dollar bills, cards with easy "pay it forward" ideas, and gorgeous sunflowers & gerber daisies from floral & event designer StoneKelly.  Our plan was to hand out these items to our fellow New Yorkers.  Jaded, rushed, I-won't-crack-a-smile New Yorkers.  This was going to be interesting.

Photo courtesy of
Kim from Mom In The City
Now, the down side of all this is that shortly after we arrived at Grand Central, I had to leave and head to my real job.  But before I left, I witnessed Emily from TheMotherhood passing out dollars to a group of construction workers, and I only wish our cameras had been ready at that moment!  While the rest of the group successfully handed out our "good day" items, I trudged to work, handing out dollars & "pay it forward" cards in route.

It's a funny thing to approach a stranger and see the suspicious look in their eye turn to one of vague interest, and then (for the most part) appreciation.  I handed out dollars to subway riders, and on the way home from work, to women pushing strollers on the street, my local UPS man, the clerks at my grocery store.  The next day, I asked Nanny A to pass some out to her friends at the park.  Today, I left the remaining dollars and cards in obvious places around my office.  Just call me one of Santa's elves. 

What a fun day.  I'm so grateful to have had this experience with TheMotherhood and 77kids.  And most importantly, to have done just a little bit of good along the way.

3 comments:

Samantha said...

That sounds like such a fun day, and how awesome that you got the opportunity to participate! I love the concept, and 77Kids sounds like it does a lot for kids and giving back to the community.

Lindsay Wells said...

So cool! I'm excited to see the clothes at the store they're opening in Raleigh!

Brandie said...

You guys had such a great day!
So did all the dollars you left around the office get found yet? ;-)

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