When Banana Republic got started, in 1978, two former newspaper reporters, Mel and Patricia Ziegler, sold their re-sewn military surplus clothes at the Marin City Flea Market in California.
It wasn't until a few weeks later that they opened their first store, in San Francisco – a cozy 400-square-foot-space. It was called Banana Republic Safari and Travel Clothing (which was eventually acquired by the Fishers and their company, Gap Inc.)
That's what put Banana Republic on the map, two small business owners and a dream.
This is just one of the reasons we're proud to be one of the first national brands to team up with Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network to support Create Jobs for USA; this innovative initiative helps foster entrepreneurship by raising funds for community businesses. As these businesses get started and grow, they create new job opportunities that help Americans get back to work.
At Banana Republic, our focus is on workplace style, and it's our mission to help people fulfill their potential, personally and professionally. Finding a new job, or pursuing an entrepreneurial dream are incredibly meaningful life moments for almost anyone, and we're excited to play a role in making more of these moments happen in our country.
We'll support Create Jobs for USA by raising up to $1 million, through two shopping events. The first will be held April 19-22. Our customers will receive 25 percent off their entire purchase – both in stores and on the Web. We’ll donate 5 percent of total sales during each event, up to $500,000, to Opportunity Finance Network.
This gives both our sales associates and our customers a chance to help other people find jobs.
I know how devastatingly the financial crisis has affected the entire country. Every American, from individuals to businesses, should do their part to create positive change.
Just like Mel and Patricia did when, 34 years ago, they opened their doors for the first time.