Working for Nordstrom, on two different occasions, I got to know Blake, the Nordstroms, and many whom felt like family to me. Nordstrom felt like home. When I left to pursue a start-up, I told them I’d be back, that I wanted to retire from a company like Nordstrom. Nordstrom made me a better person. Their emphasis on kindness and treating employees and customers well made it so easy to work there.
I was travelling with Blake once and we stopped by a store for lunch. The line was long. Customers were waiting, and the staff was hustling. Blake got out of line to help. He cleaned tables to turn them faster and handed out menus so customers could look at the menu while waiting. He was always there to support his people and his customers.
I remember being at the airport one morning, getting cut-off by a driver. I had a moment of road-rage, and felt myself heating up and my hand wanting to slam on the horn. I stopped myself. “What if they are a Nordstrom customer, the customer is always first”… “What if they were a Nordstrom colleague, someone I’m trying to build this business along-side of. And at work, we respect each other …” I stopped myself, and remembered everyone has their reasons, their stories, their bad days. What stuck with me is that it wasn’t ME that calmed me down. It wasn’t my parents’ voice. It was being a Nordy, that led me to do the right thing and stay calm in that moment.
Nordstrom made me a better person. Blake was a gem. His magnetic smile, kindness, calmness won me over. He always had an answer. He made things easy. He made things possible. He supported us. We all felt like it was OUR company. I still feel like it is. Blake, thank you for touching my life. We are all so fortunate to have known you.