WHOOPI’S OPENING PITCH: The 43 entrepreneurs who turned up Thursday night at Story NYC’s Pitch Night were floored to find Whoopi Goldberg among the judges. “The View” host befriended the boutique’s owner Rachel Shechtman after visiting the store for the first time.
The Oscar winner was so taken with Federika Tovar’s Jaguarundi multicultural bags that she offered her credit card to buy one on the spot. “The reason I’m here is I love amazing stuff,” she said.
The real reason was to help her fellow judges Shechtman and Cool Hunting’s Josh Rubin and Karen Day. They gave the thumbs-up to Hickies, $15 detachable plastic shoelaces. “Whether you’re shopping for Hanukkah or Christmas, everybody has sneakers. They’re just great for little kids or whoever,” said Goldberg, nodding affirmatively when the pitchman mentioned that CrossFit athletes have taken to the brand.
The actress was less pleased about why a cellphone cleaning product is needed — apparently smartphones carry more than 25,000 microbial germs, according to the pitchwoman. “Did you just say they have more dirt than a toilet?” Goldberg asked, eyeing the sheet of statistics in front of her.
While a marbles-inspired magnet game was intriguing enough for Goldberg to show her granddaughter Jerzey to play with, Goldberg was more fired up about Burgundy Assemblage bags and Inter-Pret.us unisex clothing. “You must make one for my size,” she commanded of Inter-Pret.us founder Derek Guillemette, referring to a black jacket with a gold-splattered pattern lining and antler clasps.
“I have a dopey question: Why didn’t you use the splatter in this?” she asked of a navy jacket with black Neoprene sleeves. Guillemette said, “The splatter? I do it in my bathroom and my bathroom is not big enough for the lining of this jacket.
“Can you tell I’m loud? I’m very loud. I would put the splatter on everything,” Goldberg said. One noticeably quiet observer was Mr. Cory, the nine-year-old owner of an all natural cookie business by the same name. The spritelike baker picked up his own adviser or, as he said, “something like that,” after meeting Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie at another Story Pitch Night. The underage baker said he started selling hot cocoa because he wanted to buy his mother a car. Did he reach that goal with a full-fledged cookie business? “Ellen bought her one,” he said of the talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.