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.

    UPDATE 7/10:
    We are proud to share beautiful and exciting Black owned and made brands with you - the orders have been placed, the goods are on their way. See a sneak peek
    here. This will continue to grow. 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

    UPDATE 7/10:
    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 more Black and BIPOC leadership and senior management is our goal. We are working on a chart to highlight representation across all departments, and our goals for meeting at the very minimum U.S. Census Bureau percentages on Black and BIPOC identifying population company wide. This will be shared on our pledge page once the retail stores have opened.

    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 return to work, we are rolling 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 7/10: As of now our stores are still closed. We will be hiring a retail-specific 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 7/10: Inspired by the Art Smith Scholarship Fund, we are working on setting up a scholarship fund for BIPOC (with a focus on Black) students in partnership with an accredited jewelry design program. We are almost ready to share more on this announcement. The first scholarship cycle will be awarded using remaining funds set aside for donations from 2019, and is an ongoing initiative that will be part of our annual fiscal planning. We are working on a program for professional development and apprenticeship opportunities for both Catbird scholarship recipients and BIPOC students.
  • 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.

    UPDATE 7/10:
    We’re going to get back to posting, sharing, building up a more inclusive visual world of Catbird. We've spent the past weeks auditing the on-model photography on product pages, and are also learning more about the nuances of representation so we can do better. We will be updating the suggested reading list inside our candle boxes with Black and BIPOC authors. We are building up a list of
    external Black vendors and creatives to work with when we are back in the swing of things (photoshoots, events). We are also recreating our in-house modeling program to make sure it is fair and equitable. A DE&I consultant will also be helping us with this.
  • 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 7/10: We have met individually with employees across every department and level for the past three weeks, alongside exploratory calls with DE&I experts, so that employee insights into communication, employee resources, and inclusion can be focused initiatives for our new DE&I consultant. The search for the right candidate is in process.

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.