The Innovator Reimagining the Retail Experience
As a fourth generation entrepreneur, it’s no surprise that Rachel Shechtman has excelled as a business woman. When launching her Manhattan-based STORY, a unique shop that is part gallery and part retail store, Rachel decided to approach the concept like a tech startup. The plan was to overhaul the boutique every six to eight weeks with a new editorial point of view. “I called it a startup store beta because my whole idea was grounded in the concept that, if we’re the same people who live online and offline, why aren’t we reinventing new business models in a physical world business based on behaviors that were coming out of the digital world?” Rachel says. She believes thinking outside the box and taking chances is part of her DNA. “I don’t know what gene is labeled for discovery,” she says, “but it’s hardwired in me.”
Opening STORY in 2011, just when shoppers were taking most of their business online, was a risky move. But the immersive experience — which Rachel describes as, “an ever-changing retail concept that brings a new theme to life every couple of months, through a mix of new products and events for all ages” — proved to be a huge draw for consumers and a huge success for Rachel. She sold her revolutionary business to Macy’s in 2018, serving as brand experience officer during the transition. These days, she’s bringing her expertise to interactive toy store Camp as a member of the Board, and in October 2022, she was named (the first) Entrepreneur in Residence for the Brooklyn Museum. She’ll be working on new ways (retail and other) to engage visitors leading up to the museum’s 200th anniversary.