A self-described “accidental consultant,” she helped Bliss Spa, Gilt Groupe and Toms Shoes with strategic marketing before opening Story, an unconventional boutique in West Chelsea. Designed to be like a magazine, Story’s theme changes every four to eight weeks, with the interior and merchandise getting a complete overhaul. New York Story, for example, bowed last week and features a smorgasbord of New York-made accessories, jewelry, gifts and locally-made food. The Web sites Cool Hunting and New York Mouth are among the sponsors for New York Story. Cool Hunting also helped curate the selection.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s StyleMint label, BaubleBar and Joor are among the previous partners. (As of September, sponsorships will range from $75,000 to $175,000.) Shechtman noted many alliances have stemmed from friendships such as the one with Cool Hunting’s Josh Rubin. Another friend, Tom Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, helped Shechtman set her course. “Blake said to me, ‘Enough with this someday stuff. You’ve got this idea for a store. Do it,’” said Shechtman, who features his label.
After she persuaded graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister to work on her logo and branding, he suggested the company be called Story.
Having lived in the neighborhood for 12 years, Shechtman committed to a 10-year lease for the 2,000-square-foot space at 144 Tenth Avenue. About 1,200 shoppers visit the store on a typical weekend day and Story should break even this year. E-commerce will be introduced this fall and five stores will bow in the next three years, with another New York location, Los Angeles and London being on the top of her list.
Shechtman, who continues to consult with AOL and other companies through her Cube Ventures business, said a few department stores have approached her about developing Story-inspired merchandising in their stores. Recently named among the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, Shechtman will speak at next year’s National Retail Federation conference in New York.
“In the past 20 years, there has been incredible rampant growth in digital and technology,” she said. “But let’s face it, other than Apple, Build-A-Bear and maybe Lululemon, not a whole lot has changed in the physical retail store. J. Crew is nailing it with product. But in terms of experience, not a lot has changed.”
Customers are welcomed by an iPad-armed greeter who uses Lightspeed POS to record e-mail addresses and any purchases they should make. Most Story shoppers spend between $50 and $80. Accessories from TM1985, the label started by Ralph Lauren alumni Tielor McBride, are popular, as well as Baggu bags, Jill Platner bracelets and Malin + Goetz products. To avoid markdowns, all goods sold in Story are taken on consignment. When an item sells out, Shechtman said she is happy to spread the wealth. “If I’m out of a product, I will tell you another place to get it,” she said. “Collaboration is the new competition.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye