Back in June, we posted that Belle Fiori would be a part of the new Nordstrom Grand Opening Gala this fall (click here to check out the super cute invites). The gala, which was a huge success, took place at the new Mayfair Mall location on October 21st. We were honored to collaborate with Nordstrom and design the custom gala invites this summer, and were even more thrilled to create custom floral arrangements for the event itself.

Check out a recap from the Milwaukee BizTimes below! We couldn’t be happier for the success of both Nordstrom and the local charities the gala supported. Flowers and a good cause? Belle Fiori is always happy to participate.


Nordstrom gala raises $190,000 for nonprofits

By Molly Dill

The event, which raised about $190,000 for three nonprofit organizations, attracted a sellout crowd of 1,800 at the newly constructed 140,000-square-foot, three-story space. It’s the retailer’s first full-line Wisconsin store.

From the lights projected onto the building reading “Hello, Milwaukee,” to the complimentary valet, to the hors d’oeuvres and champagne, Nordstrom spared no expense on the soiree.

While he was unsure about the cost of the event, Jamie Nordstrom, president of full-line stores, said 100 percent of proceeds from the $100/ticket event went to the selected charities.

“We sold out 1,800 tickets for this—part of it is the opportunity to raise a lot of money for some great charities,” Nordstrom said.

Those charities benefitting from the fundraiser were Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin; United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County; and the Milwaukee and Cream City chapters of The Links Inc., which works to combat educational, social and financial challenges facing children and families. The organizations will split the $190,000 proceeds three ways.

The national Links organization has a history of partnering with Nordstrom, which is how its local chapters became aware of the opportunity for a fundraiser, said Jacqueline Moore Bowles, Milwaukee chapter president for The Links.

“When we learned Nordstrom was coming to Milwaukee, we reached out,” said Deidra Edwards, president of the Cream City chapter of The Links.

“We submitted a request and because of our outstanding community service and commitment to youth in the community in terms of closing the achievement gap” the organization was selected, Moore Bowles said. “That was something that was important to them.”

There were about 100 Links members at the gala Wednesday, along with a number of prominent community members, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Wauwatosa Mayor Kathleen Ehley, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee president and chief executive officer Vincent Lyles, We Energies vice president of local affairs Thelma Sias, and Marquette University Bell Chair in Real Estate Mark Eppli.

Attendees dressed to the nines sipped cocktails and noshed on small scale appetizers ranging from sushi duos to mini caramel apples to tiny baskets of cheese and fruit. Nordstrom sales staff was on hand to give makeup tutorials, recommend jewelry and clothing, and bring out shoe sizes for customers, who browsed among the merchandise.

A live band played on one level, while a DJ spun tracks on another. Models posed on pedestals to display the latest fashions. And each attendee received a favor upon departure.

There are four fourth-generation Nordstrom family members on the Seattle-based retailer’s executive team. Jamie and co-presidents Blake and Erik Nordstrom were at the gala Wednesday. The family members attend the store opening galas around the country to introduce themselves to the community, Jamie said.

“These are the people in the community that are going to be shopping here, so what better way to get to know them than throw a party?” Jamie asked.