Rachel Shechtman's latest retail narrative edited by Cool Hunting
For her third "issue", Rachel Shechtman has turned her magazine-style boutique—aptly called Story—into an homage to New York. The shop changes concept every four to eight weeks, and the latest inventory is a selection of Big Apple goods co-edited by Cool Hunting. The finely selected stock is set to the backdrop of Jill Malek custom "coffee stain" wallpaper, cityscape murals by Chris Dent, presented by the AOL Artists initiative, and student-shot photos from the NYC non-profit Salt.
With "Love" and "Color" as the first two issues, Shechtman continues to explore themes that are universal in concept but niche in execution. With each issue the Chelsea space becomes a new place of wonder, and each table or shelf serves as a narrative that unfolds before your eyes. Story "New York" is packed with goods by some of our favorite makers, such as Jill Platner jewelry, food selections from New York Mouth, a rotating assortment of custom Milk Made ice cream flavors sold by the pint or cup for the first time and exclusively at Story (since until now it has been an online subscription-only offer), crates from Quirky making their debut, 3x1 jeans and denim solution, an assortment of Baggu sacks, Scott Thrift's annual clock The Present (available for pre-order at Story), Julie Rofman bracelets and more.
We recently caught up with Shechtman at Story to learn more about her endeavor. Read more about our collaboration and her unique take on retail as well as more images in the slideshow below.
How did you link up with Josh Rubin and Cool Hunting?
Through mutual friends. We heard about each other for a while and I think we tend to like similar things. We live a block away from each other in Chelsea, and we have complementary sensibilities—and I think different skill sets that also complement each other. So, as I was launching this new concept of retail as media and Cool Hunting is kind of the guru of all things culturally inspiring online, it seemed like the perfect partner for our first-ever co-curated edition.
How does each issue differ from the next, and what are you thinking about when choosing a theme?
It's a combination of factors. First and foremost I ask, "is the product relevant to the story?" And then after the answer is "yes", I think, "what are interesting brands and products that work?" One of the most important things that's important to me for our experience as a brand is that whether you're nine years old or you're 70 years old, or whether you want to spend $5 or $500, there's something that appeals to all of those people and their sensibilities, but within the context of one story, and that it makes sense so that it's not just about one demographic or one audience. Of course some people like "Love" better than "Color" and some people like "New York" story better than "Love", but you know, as long as they are able to relate to each experience, that's the most important thing to me.
How long is each issue up?
Four to eight weeks—it depends on the issue. The September issue will be four weeks. It also depends on theme. We're also doing a lot of different events for the "New York" story. We're going to do skill-share classes with New York Mouth, which includes a pickling class and how to make hard candy. We're doing other interesting events, like a dinner party hosted by Malin +Goetz here. And then we're going to hopefully have some musical performances.
I also want it to be interactive and have community, not just be about people who necessarily buy. For example, we have this amazing kid's brand, Ode, and she just emailed us, and she liked our idea and said she wants to sell in our store. If a magazine has editors and then contributing editors, our contributing editors are either our fans that make things and want to sell them in the store, or customers who come in and want to have events here. We're trying to make it as interactive as possible. The other special thing we're going to do is a lemonade and tattoo stand on the weekend, and for the first time ever we're selling pints of ice cream from a company that is otherwise a subscription only service.
What happens when you sell out of an item?
Sometimes we re-order it and sometimes we let it sell out. One thing that's important to me is adjacencies. It's no different than when you're shooting a picture in a magazine spread, if you take an item out of its context in real life and in a physical space, how can you tell its story? By putting old brands next to new brands, and sexy brands next to classics, and just kind of mix it up.