We make a lot of products in house at Nordstrom, but we also sell a ton of different brands—all of which we love and think you will too. To decide which brands to work with, our buyers go to fashion weeks, visit showrooms, analyze the market and meet with vendors. Eventually they place orders.
Usually that’s how it goes. But recently our own Olivia Kim tried something else entirely: she received three-minute product pitches from independent brands, one after another, for three hours. She did this as a special guest for “Pitch Night,” a regular event at STORY in NYC—a retail space with aspects of a gallery and museum.
STORY’s Rachel Shechtman screened pitches beforehand with her team, and at the event she received pitches in person alongside Olivia, Tory Johnson (of Good Morning America) and pop royalty/rapper/free thinker Jaden Smith, with a group of STORY buyers nearby. Each presentation was three minutes on the dot, timed by Shechtman’s sister Jenny.
Olivia Kim is our VP of Creative Projects, with a background as a buyer extraordinaire. She oversees buying teams at Nordstrom for SPACE, a boutique for advanced/emerging designers, as well as the monthly themed experience Pop-In@Nordstrom.
At STORY, product pitches ranged from body-positive action figures and waffle irons in the shape of a computer keyboard to shirts for sweaty guys to wear to work. There was so much creativity on display! Many pitches made sense for us and especially the Pop-In world, which changes all the time.
Olivia was most fired up about Obama-featuring watches that said “Barack Around the Clock.” She left wearing one, so that’s a good sign for watch man Jack Goldenberg!
Jack Goldenberg, Tory Johnson, Jaden Smith, Olivia Kim
The event provided opportunity for independent brands and inspiration for Olivia and the rest of the judges. If you know a creative person in the New York City area who wants to pitch a product to media, retailers and the occasional surprise guest, let them know about STORY.