Where to begin…..so much has been said about such an amazing human being.
The fact that Blake has passed away still seems surreal to me even after attending the beautiful tribute and celebration of life for him last Saturday.
My heartfelt sympathies continue for Molly, Alex and Andy and the entire Nordstrom family.
I first met Blake when he came to mange (old) store #1. It was my first buying job. Manager/Buyer of Kids Shoes.
Numerous statements said in his service made this feel like yesterday as so many of the memories flooded right back to me whether it was in my first buying role, merchandising, etc..
At the time I did not think anything of the lists that he would make as they were incredible learning tools (now looking back); those lists and articles he would send were just part of his DNA….. that was Blake.
Each interaction with him no matter how big or small was a chance to be better and grow in the business. He would ask questions that sparked creative solutions.
His passion for the business was so contagious and enthusiastic it was very easy to set the bar higher and have high expectations knowing that there is always room for improvement no matter if it was during tough business or stellar business.
There is always a way.
Here are just a few of the things I learned from him:
what it means to be a true merchant. In every aspect of my business be fully accountable; ranging from exceptional customer service; managing people; building teams; vendor relations/partnerships; servant leadership. Having attention to detail in everything and I mean everything. Being sure to have a plan for each day and be able to go home each night knowing what was accomplished and having a plan for the next day. Blake could help break things down to make it all seem so manageable and very doable.
He always had a helpful Blake perspective that I so appreciated and valued for years in all my various roles. Blake seemed to always have his pulse on every aspect of the entire company.
Anything to do with his family would bring a huge genuine smile to his face. When Molly would bring Alex to store #1 Blake would beam with joy holding his baby girl in his arms going down the escalator or walking the floors.
That was when I first recognized this was another strong attribute of Blake. Family meant the world.
He was such a proud Dad and I think Alex was his super hero. It was incredibly touching the way she described her Dad being her super hero.
Blake made us each better people in business and in life.
I hope we each “extend ourselves” daily in honor of his legacy and make him proud and see what a huge impact he had as he truly did “leave everything better than he found it.”