The Workshop At Macy’s Announces 2019 Class and Expanded Alumni E-commerce Sitelet

Macy’s best-in-class vendor development program extends eligibility to LGBTQ and
Veteran-owned businesses
Vendor showcase open to the public to be held at Herald Square flagship on May 1

NEW YORK, NY – April 18, 2019 – The Workshop at Macy’s has provided emerging high-potential minority-and women-owned businesses with the tools to better succeed and sustain growth in the retail industry since its launch in 2011.  The program, one of Macy’s key initiatives in its commitment to creating pipelines for supplier diversity, has graduated more than 100 companies, many of which have gone on to establish vendor relationships with one or more Macy's, Inc. brands.  The newly launched Workshop at Macy's e-commerce sitelet gives customers across the country an opportunity to shop alumni collections and offers unmatched exposure for the designers.

Nearly 3,000 applications were received for the class of 2019, including several from newly added LGBTQ and veteran-owned brand classifications.  This year’s class is made up of 15 brands from seven states and Puerto Rico.  Mare Cheia, a swimwear brand by Lorel Torres, garnered all expenses paid placement in The Workshop after winning a Puerto Rico pitch competition created to support the economic rebuilding of the island.  Footnanny, an indulgent self-care line from Gloria Williams landed a spot after appearing on the OWN Network’s Mind Your Business with Mahisha.  Gunas New York, America’s first 100 percent vegan handbag brand by Sugandh Agrawal, secured a coveted spot by winning Macy’s category at the 2018 Independent Handbag Designer Awards. Rounding out the class are SUNDÃRI (women’s skincare), Parisian Pet (pet apparel), Solo Noir (men’s skincare), Frères Branchiaux Candle Co. (candles), Tayion Collection (men’s suiting), Jo Handbags (handbags), Fe Noel (women’s apparel), Chen Burkett (women’s apparel) Nager by Nic Hyl (women’s apparel), Mila Christina (children’s apparel) Earth’s Nectar (haircare), and MAIR (fragrance).  Full bios for the class of 2019.

The one week intensive guides participants through master classes including building brand identity, managing business relationships, financial management for sustained growth, high impact business conversations, maximizing assortment plan and production life cycle, and more.  The group will learn from a consortium of Macy’s leaders including President, Hal Lawton and Chief Diversity Officer, Shawn Outler in addition to retail leaders from Babson College, Facebook, Diverse and Engaged, and Carol’s Daughter.  

The Workshop at Macy’s culminates with a vendor showcase open to the public on May 1 at 6:00p.m at Macy’s New York Herald Square flagship.  Guests will be able to shop the participants’ collections and meet the designers. 

“Too often we see high potential talent leave this industry because they lack access to the resources needed to reach the next level of business success,” said Shawn Outler, Macy's Chief Diversity Officer. “We started The Workshop at Macy's to provide knowledge, resources, and tools that will help emerging business owners from minority segments achieve sustained growth and scalability.” 

In the years since its inception, several alumni of The Workshop at Macy’s have successfully launched product lines in select Macy's stores and on  The company has expanded on those offerings by giving customers a new way to shop alumni collections via The Workshop at Macy's sitelet.  Under the mentorship of the Multicultural Business Development team, the sitelet provides select Workshop alumni with an opportunity to gain real-world experience by selling their products on one of retail’s most trafficked sites.  Vendors learn how to engage with a large retailer and experience the full merchandising life cycle, ranging from the presentation of product, logistics, marketing, and sales analyzation.

“The sitelet is such a great opportunity to build on the success of our Workshop participants,” said Sherieka Smallwood-Morgan, Macy's Director, New Licensed and Multicultural Business Development. “It provides a unique platform for the participants to engage with a broader audience and gives them unparalleled visibility.”

The online shopping experience brings The Workshop at Macy's story to life for the Macy's customer by showcasing alumni talent and their distinctive products while driving sales and raising brand awareness for the participants.  Alumni designers currently featured on the sitelet include Thirty One Bits (jewelry), Alex Woo (jewelry), Eleven60 (plus-sized women’s apparel), Loly In the sky (footwear), Milanblocks (handbags), Mischo Beauty (nail polish), REBDOLLS (women’s apparel), That’s Smoooth (men’s skincare), and Verona Collection (women’s apparel).  The sitelet will be updated regularly with new vendors and merchandise. 

The application period for the class of 2020 will begin in early October.  Visit for more information and follow the conversation using #workshopatmacys.  

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About The Workshop at Macy’s

The Workshop at Macy’s is an exclusive retail-vendor development program designed to give select high potential minority, LGBTQ, veteran and women-owned businesses the tools to better succeed and sustain growth in the retail industry.  The Workshop at Macy’s was launched in 2011 to foster growth in the next generation of diverse merchandise suppliers. Conducted annually, this free program is a foundational element of Macy’s commitment to vendor diversity.  With more than 111 graduated vendors, The Workshop continues to create a viable pipeline of enterprises that will grow to become successful partners with Macy’s, Inc. and other retailers.   Macy’s, Inc. has averaged $1 billion in minority-, women-, LGBT-, and veteran- owned business enterprises purchases over the last four years, including purchases from some of our Workshop at Macy’s graduates.

About Macy’s

Macy's is America’s store for life. The largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M) delivers quality fashion at affordable prices to customers at approximately 640 locations in 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam, as well as to customers in more than 100 international destinations through leading e-commerce site  Macy's inspires fashion exploration and discovery through the most desired family of exclusive brands for her, for him, for the home, and via our dynamic mobile and social platforms. We know the power of celebration, demonstrated through decades of memorable experiences created during Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows, and celebrity appearances.  Macy's flagship stores – including New York City’s Herald Square – are internationally renowned and preeminent destinations for tourists. With the collective support of our customers and employees, Macy's builds community and helps make a difference in every market we serve, supporting local and national charities by giving nearly $50 million each year, plus 146,000 hours of volunteer service. For more than 160 years, Macy’s has, and continues to, make life shine brighter for our customers, colleagues, and communities.  

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Emily Hawkins