In 18 months, Rodes For Him and For Her will celebrate its 100th anniversary as a boutique in Louisville. It’s a milestone worthy of much recognition, but it’s not the only reason Rodes deserves praise.
Aside from its top-quality merchandise and service, Rodes has been dedicated over the years to many charities throughout the community.
“Rodes has been a family owned business since 1914 and supporting our local community through its charities is the most rewarding part of who we are,” said Rodes Marketing Director Fred Teale. “We are committed to supporting the community that supports us.”
Most notably, Rodes has been involved with the Triple Crown of Running, sponsoring the second leg of the race, the Rodes City Run 10K. Established in 1981, the Rodes City Run is one of the oldest road races in the region. On June 2, the Triple Crown of Running donated a record $171,862 to the WHAS Crusade for Children. The Rodes City Run, itself, contributed $53,000 to the cause.
“(It’s) all about sponsors,” Teale said. “If we didn’t have really good sponsors that donated money or time or product there’s no way we could do this. (And we had) participants that also donated online.”
“In November, we do Gilda’s Night,” said Teale. “This past year (it was held) at Rodes, (around) 350 people were there. This November, it will be at Bittners. We alternate sites. We raised $344,000 for that. … We’ve raised more than $1 million in seven years.”
In April of this year, Rodes hosted Derby Divas. The store was able to raise more than $98,000, which Thorntons agreed to match with an additional $100,000, all benefiting the Norton Cancer Institute Breast Health Program.
“We’ve hosted a lot of other smaller (charity events) or participated (in them),” Teale added. “A lot of our customers are on committees and boards for fundraising events. … We’re involved in The Voice’s Best Dressed, so we’re involved with a lot of those things indirectly.”
Through its philanthropic efforts, Rodes has proven it cares not only about making its customers look their best on the outside, but also about making them feel good on the inside by helping the community. It’s certainly an admirable trait, and perhaps the secret to the success of a 100-year-old business.
“We get a lot of direction from our customers and they all have needs and so we try to help out as many as we can,” Teale said. “These three major (fundraisers) that we do, they’ve just been a part of our culture. We were downtown since 1914 and (off Brownsboro Road) since 2006, and we’re in our customers’ backyard. We’re really a part of the neighborhood and part of the community.”