Established in 1941 as a family-run artisanal producer of fine leather goods, the company has grown to more than 500 corporate-owned stores in North America, plus a sizable international presence.
The company’s headquarters are still in the original Manhattan loft that used to house the workrooms, and their success is based on interpreting classic American style.
“We are a successful company, and we owe it to our surrounding communities to give back,” says Felice Schulaner, human relations executive for Coach. She also adds “We want the world to be a better, brighter, more positive place.”
The Coach Foundation, which was started in 2008, has developed two major initiatives to empower women and educate children. Through this foundation, Coach has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to various groups.
In Chicago, they’ve worked closely with the KIPP Foundation, which runs several well-regarded charter schools, and their new initiative will involve more than 400 Coach stores adopting a classroom in their immediate community and developing a relationship with the students and teachers. Their employee initiative also allows employees to nominate organizations to receive grants. Last year, the foundation received 82 nominations from employees and donated $200,000 to 24 nonprofits. Also of note, if an employee holds a position of leadership or is a board member of a nonprofit for a year, Coach will donate $5,000 in the employee’s name to that organization.
While a global corporation, Coach owns several retail stores in the area, including Michigan Avenue, Westfield Old Orchard and Northbrook Court.