I was a Nordstrom Shoe Dog from 1989 to 2000. Even though I left the company, the lessons I learned during those years have stayed with me both personally and professionally. Blake visits were always fun, he really tested you on the business and really just by asking questions on the basics. One of his big things during a shoe department visit was to check on stock of black polish. He would comment “ let’s check your black polish, if someone misses a basic like this it always makes me wonder what else are we missing”. Needless to say I was always stocked. He was always genuine and kind to me which I appreciated. I’ll never forget him calling me out at a recognition meeting for working so hard and how much he appreciated that. Many years later in 2015 I got an email from him about the shoe dog reunion and I couldn’t make due to a birthday party and we went back and forth a few times but it showed who he was as a person. 15 years had past and it seemed like we were still family.
Here is the thread:
On Nov 27, 2015, at 9:10 AM, Nordstrom, Blake wrote:

I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to join us for a shoedog reunion dinner on Friday,
December 18. Thought it would be fun to gather a bunch of shoedogs to reminisce and tell old stories.
The reunion will take place at our Customer Experience Center in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood,
starting at 6pm with dinner a little after 7pm. Attire is casual.
If you happen to have any old photos, would love it if you could send them to me or my assistant
Ruth Haney (copied here) so we can put a few pictures on the wall.
I’m sure we’ve missed a few folks on the attached list, so if there’s anyone else you think should be
a part of this event, please let me know.
If you have any questions regarding travel or logistics, again please let Ruth or myself know.
I think it will be a terrific evening and hope you can attend.

On Nov 28, 2015, at 10:22 AM, Mike Normart wrote:

I would love to go but I’m hosting a holiday party of about 60 people that night, would love to come to the next one

On Nov 28, 2015, at 6:54 PM, Nordstrom, Blake wrote:

Thanks Mike, will miss you
Hope you had a great thanksgiving

On Nov 29, 2015, at 8:13 PM, Mike Normart wrote:

Well it was sure great hearing from you, looking at the list it looks like an all star event! I hope people bring lots of black shoe polish to honor your passion to ” stay in the basics”. I am the man I am today from my 11 great years at Nordstrom both in professional and personal experiences. I miss you and hope all is well, wishing you a very happy holiday season

Mike Normart
1989- 2000
427,429,422 & 425
Depts 26,36 and combined 36/20 floor

I’m humbled by your expression of kindness. I hold you in high regard for your efforts and results over the years
-The industry and the world has lost a great person and will be truly missed

Mike Normart