February 9, 2012
Montblanc has recently announced its first regionally-focused corporate social responsibility project with the Texas Children's Cancer Center and has created two special-edition bracelets to benefit the cause.
Through the partnership, Montblanc will help fund patient care, research and education to enhance the health and well-being of children with cancer. Montblanc, a writing instruments and accessories maker, has often partnered with national programs such as the Best Buddies International and the Princess Grace Foundation, but this is its first local endorsement.
“If you look at the brand, we are now more than 100 years old and during this long period of time we have supported children in their needs – it’s part of who are and what we do,” said Jan Patrick Schmitz, the New York-based CEO of Montblanc North America.
"We have done a lot in the education side and academic side, but children have needs in so many areas, so the values which the hospital brings are important,” he said. "There is so much awareness in the general public about the needs for adult cancer but there is so little for the smallest and most vulnerable of us and so we felt a very big need to raise awareness and funds [for the Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital].”
The Texas Children's Cancer Hospital is a Houston-based pediatric cancer research and treatment center dedicated to providing therapies and family-centered care to children from infancy through young adulthood with cancer and blood disorders.
Montblanc has designed two new bracelets to emphasize its personal connection to the Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital.
The bracelets are aimed at the affluent and ultra-wealthy Montblanc consumers.
The lower-priced bracelet comprises stainless steel and black woven leather in a simple single band form. The hospital’s triangular red symbol can be found on the clasp.
Montblanc’s Texas Children’s Hospital Bracelet costs $345 and the brand is donating $50 of each bracelet to the hospital.
The leather bracelet is currently available in the brand’s ecommerce store at http://www.montblanc.com and will be in most of Montblanc’s 34 retail locations across the country.
For those consumers who are interested in donating a higher amount, Montblanc has created one unique bracelet which will be promoted over the next few months during an on-going auction. Montblanc plans on closing the auction sometime in September, per Mr. Schmitz.
The bracelet has been handcrafted in solid gold and detailed with diamonds. It features the Montblanc diamond on its clasp in the shape of the iconic Montblanc star.
This item is valued at $50,000 and all proceed from the auction will be donated to Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital.
Time for a cure
Montblanc has not yet set a total donation goal, and nor has it limited the number of leather bracelets that will retail.
In fact, the brand feels that raising awareness for the Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital and the needs for pediatric cancer research is equally important.
“What is unique is really for the first time we have created a bracelet, [which is] a symbol of somebody’s support to the Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital and the fight to cure pediatric cancer,” Mr. Schmitz said.
“That is important because we are raising funds but we [also] really want to raise awareness for the work that this hospital is doing – it’s the leading institute for the research of finding a cure and treatment to pediatric cancer,” he said.
“We have really integrated this and the values which the hospital has are very much in line with our values and we are determined to bring awareness to their work.”
In the past, Montblanc has focused more on raising funds.
For example, the brand supported the efforts of an organization dedicated to helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities by donating 11 percent of its March proceeds to Best Buddies International last year (see story).
Additionally, Montblanc created a collection to honor Princess Grace of Monaco that included a jewelry set, timepiece and writing instrument which reflected the style of Princess Grace, while also donating $1 million to her namesake foundation in September (see story).
Montblanc is looking to raise awareness for both the bracelets and the hospital through various in-store events that will be announced over the coming months and press outreach.
“It is my personal vision to bring awareness and hone the message back that this is an area of clear need and the work that is done at the Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital is absolutely amazing," Mr. Schmitz said. "I want people to be more aware of the needs of pediatric cancer and the need to find a cure for our children who are the future of our country.”
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant at Luxury Daily, New York