June 12, 2020

To our Catbird community, 

We are a small, independent business that has always aimed to punch above our weight to create a positive change, but we have been regrettably passive for too long.

The brutal and heart-wrenching murders of our neighbors and fellow citizens have shone a light on the systemic racism that Black Americans have been facing every day for hundreds of years. To everyone in our Catbird community, and especially to our Black friends, colleagues and customers: I see you and I promise to do everything I can to actively make Catbird an anti-racist organization. 

Here is a pledge: 

  • OUR OFFERINGS: We will place a specific and active emphasis on supporting and promoting Black business owners through 3rd party offerings: jewelry designers as well as beauty and home. This has been lacking for too long.

    We are proud to share these beautiful and exciting Black owned and made brands with you: A.M. Thorne, White/Space, The Best Kind, Aesthete Tea, b. Free, Trade Street Jam Co. and KNC Beauty. We are committed to building long-term relationships with each designer as this list continues to grow. Submissions and suggestions are always welcome!
     Submissions and suggestions are always welcome!
  • HIRING: In two years, we went from 26% to 40% BIPOC and 7% to 17% Black by being intentional. Out of new hires in the past two years, 46% are BIPOC and 22% Black. We will continue this trend in all roles, departments and management levels and proactively identify areas where we are falling short

    An audit of representation by department and function was completed, along with projected team growth across each department. This allows us to have established metrics in place when recruiting, so that Black and BIPOC representation across the board grows both short term and in longer phased planning as we scale. Hiring and retaining more Black and BIPOC leadership and senior management is our goal. To do so, we are evaluating our hiring process and expanding our recruitment reach with the support of the Black In Fashion Council.

    For every $1 earned by white employees, $1 is earned by underrepresented groups within the same role and experience level at Catbird. The goal is not only to maintain equitable pay, but to create fair and equitable senior management level and higher salaried positions for BIPOC talent.

    We have always matched our pay to what others in our industry pay and gone above our industry with our benefits package. However, we want to attract and retain the best talent and be better than the jewelry industry. As our teams returned to work, we rolled out pay increases for all entry-level employees in retail, fulfillment, customer service, and production roles within our company and in turn leveled compensation within those departments accordingly.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE: We will continue to examine and work to prevent any negative customer experiences. As a response to listening to our customers we started semi-annual Implicit Bias training and revamped our hiring processes. We are actively looking at other tools to make sure everyone feels welcome and included. 

    UPDATE FALL/WINTER 2020: As our stores very slowly reopen, we will work with our diversity, inclusion and equity consultant to ensure all new training and resources to reduce bias are sustained, and that bias is understood on both an individual and organizational level. This will not be a one day training twice a year, but ongoing anti-bias work that takes place outside of workshops - it will be rooted in our hiring, onboarding, in day-to-day check-ins and honest discussions.
  • GIVING: We will explore new partnerships with nonprofits who directly highlight and empower the Black community as well as deepen our existing long-held partnerships with the ACLU and Women’s Prison Association.

    UPDATE FALL/WINTER 2020:The Catbird Scholarship for Diversity in Jewelry Arts will award $25,000 each academic year to an incoming freshman in Pratt's Jewelry Design program, beginning in Fall 2021. We are proud to partner with Pratt, our Brooklyn Navy Yard Neighbor and an institution with a demonstrated history of inclusionary principles and purposeful diversity outreach.This partnership will only grow, as we build on our funding and explore new channels with Pratt professors, the career center, and current students to create professional development, apprenticeship, and mentorship opportunities. Our in-house jewelry studio is developing a mentoring program; more to come.
  • CREATIVE: We will use our platform to amplify Black voices, not only in our own photoshoots but also in moodboards, the quotes we use, social media and all creative assets. Book club choices, panels, vendors, events, pop-up locations, long and short term partnerships will be examined to make sure we are taking all opportunities to support and elevate the Black community.

    We were honored to work with Free Arts to help launch the Met150 x Catbird Collection. We commissioned six artists in their teen arts program to create a work inspired by their personal history. We celebrate their perspectives, ones that will shape the future of art. As promised, the Catbird reading list found inside our candles boxes has been updated with Black and BIPOC authors who write richly of their New York experiences (it’s a New York themed reading list!). We are exploring the many ways Catbird can continue to partner with BIPOC artists well into the future through various collaborations, partnerships, and promotional campaigns. It’s nothing short of hope inducing to think about the ongoing and new conversations with creators and collaborators we’ve been having for our 2021 planning. We can’t wait to share it with you first.
  • LISTENING AND LEARNING: We will create clear opportunities for our own BIPOC employees across all departments and levels to let us know how we are doing, how we can support them in their growth and success.

    UPDATE FALL/WINTER 2020: Our diversity, inclusion and equity consultant is in the onboarding and assessment phase; we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work, together.

We are here to do the hard work for deep, long lasting and cathartic change. We are here for the long haul. This is the beginning. We will report our progress to you.

We love and miss you and can not wait to see you again.

xo rony

On Monday, June 1 we donated the following to organizations at the forefront including:

$15,000 to the ACLU
$15,000 to Black Lives Matter
$15,000 to the NAACP
$2,500   to The Marsha P. Johnson Institute
$2,500   to grassroots movements and bail funds

Please consider joining us in learning about and supporting these organizations fighting racial inequality.