If the concept of another pop-up shop makes you yawn, be prepared to get excited about the genre anew; Marketing and retail consultant Rachel Shechtman (the innovative marketing mastermind behind projects at Gilt, Tom’s Shoes, Bliss, Kraft, AOL and others) is at it again, this time launching her biggest retail concept yet. STORY: A 2000 square foot store located on Manhattan’s 10th avenue, STORY is “a retail space that has the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store.”
Every four to six weeks the space will switch up its merchandise and interior design around a different story-based theme. STORY follows in the footsteps of Shechtman’s last project A Startup Store, which for six weeks exhibited merchandise from six online startups including Birchbox, Baublebar, Quirky and others. Shechtman followed A Startup Store with a second beta exhibit, Coffee Common, in which became a pop-up gallery space for a group of underground coffee roasters.
STORY is now Shechtman’s permanent space, which debuted this month with the theme of LOVE. For four to six weeks, STORY will sell more than 500 products around the single theme of love, with projects for sale from brands like TOMS, Baking for Good, Vosges Haut Chocolate, Dylans Candy Bar, Loud Love Jewelry, Eberjey, Lafco, DL&Co and more. In addition, services, events and interactive elements will help round out the STORY experience.
Partnering with STORY is the recently re-launched lifestyle and dating site Nerve.com, which served as the inaugural sponsor and will be hosting a series of events in the space throughout the month. Other collaborators in STORY include the artist and TED Prize winner JR, who covered the store’s windows prior to its opening; renowned designer Stefan Sagmeister, who developed the store’s iconic logo, and “facebook for architects” site Architizer, which will advise and curate the design and reinvention of the space to align with each theme.
While she’s a busy woman (to say the least), we were able to catch up with Rachel for a few brief questions about the project:
Do you think you can describe STORY to the uninitiated?
STORY is a space that has the point of view of a magazine, it changes every 4-6 weeks like a gallery and sells things like a store!
STORY is transactional storytelling for both brands and consumers. For consumers we seek to create an environment that isn’t just about consumption, but presenting dynamic content and creating community. And for brands, we integrate their story in a meaningful and relevant way.
How will it relate to LOVE?
This is a six week conversation about love, not one day of the year about pink and red roses, from Feb 1st – March 12th. Our debut story, LOVE, is about brands we love, things we love and those people we love. We have a section called love GIVING which sells from TOMS Shoes, PACT Underwear, Baking for Good, Article 22 and Charity Water. In our love SWEETS we feature Vosges chocolates, Dylans Candy bar and Fine x Raw Chocolate. Love MEMORIES is expressed with a photo booth for people to take their pictures and not only walk away with prints but email and upload them from the store IRL to Facebook. We will have a myriad of events such as a reading from TED speaker and NY Times best-selling author Chip Conley who will give a talk and launch his book Emotional Equations.
Will it remain in the same space?
Yes! We have a long term lease to last years and years.
How has the public reaction been to STORY so far?
Amazing! A few successes thus far – We doubled our projections in our first month. We have neighbors who come in weekly and range from nine-year-olds to sixty-year-olds. Customers are eager to both share their personal details to receive information on our upcoming stories and also pitch us with ideas and products which is equally exciting and meaningful.
Have you done anything for NYFW?
We are planning dynamic and fun things from NYFW September ‘12 to support emerging design talent and celebrating well-known brands, as well as exploring the role technology plays…stay tuned!