Last week at an event introducing Tory Burch’s eyewear line, Annika and I had a chance to talk to the designer herself. While it was interesting to hear about the clothes and accessories from the woman who created them (and pick out a pair of glasses to take home), we were most excited to learn that part of the reason Tory wanted to start a company was so she could eventually have a foundation to help other women. Now, she’s made that dream a reality with the recently launched Tory Burch Foundation.Tory’s a working mother herself, and she noticed that many women in the U.S. need financial help to make their small business dreams come true, especially with the economy as it is these days. And, Tory told us, a larger percent of people who could benefit from microfinance loans who have access to them is greater in developing countries than it is in our own. So, Tory has partnered with ACCION USA, a non-profit microlender, to provide microfinance loans to women entrepreneurs in the United States who want to start or grow their small business. The first women to receive loans will be selected shortly, and they won’t just work in glamorous industries like Tory’s.
To raise money to provide these microfinance loans, Tory is designing a whole range of products featuring a sunflower logo, and more items will be available online and in her stores soon (a new charm bracelet will be coming out next month, in time for the holidays). It’s nice to see someone who’s been so successful helping other women get their businesses off the ground with financial assistance and support. Pretty cool, Tory. Even cooler than your ubiquitous medallion-adorned ballet flats.