“Chosen By Stephanie” is a new Women’s retail store in Pitman New Jersey offering an ever changing product mix… it’s literally a new store every week.
I went in thinking “ok, it’s going to be a nice women’s clothing retailer”.
But when I left 40 minutes later I realized… I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like this before. It’s an amazing store concept and marketing plan, run by an awesome couple; Stephanie and David from Washington Township.
In my Wednesday morning visit I saw customers streaming into the store, most were leaving with a purchase.. and Stephanie seemed to know every customer like they were a lifelong friend.
I’m an old man and I left from my visit genuinely mind-blown regarding the innovative shopping experience the couple has put together. Stephanie, David and the team make customers feel much more than just customers.
So keep reading and scrolling to learn why even this beer drinking, hack golfing, blogger guy walked away thinking… Chosen By Stephanie is something special!
Chosen by Stephanie is located in the heart of Pitman’s Uptown Shopping district, at 34 South Broadway.
A New Store Ever Week
Chosen By Stephanie in Pitman offers affordable, beautiful clothing choices for every woman’s shape and size, as well as affordable accessories including the popular Bogg bags!
Stephanie and husband David have put together a unique marketing plan of multiple ideas which mesh together perfectly to give customers reasons to return over and over again to purchase clothing and accessories.
The first twist to the store (there are a few) is that they put together basically a new store every week… new shirts, new jeans, new dresses, new accessories.
So you can understand how “Chosen By Stephanie” gets its name…. Stephanie is choosing different products each week to feature in the store. She really seems to know her customer base!
To get ready for the new week, the store is closed to customers on Monday and Tuesday, which is when the staff restocks the shelves and walls with that week’s new product choices.
And then once something sells out, its gone!
So come Wednesday morning the customers start rushing in to purchase from that week’s selection before they are sold out!
I visited the store this past Wednesday morning and honestly I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it!
The store is beautifully styled but not overly large, yet in my 40 minute visit there was a steady stream of customers coming in.. probably 8 to 12 in the store at one time including a line of women waiting for the dressing rooms.
And as we later chatted out front of the store… one after the other… happy customers exited with their new purchases as new shoppers filled right back in.
I seriously think 40 people moved through the store during my visit.. which is a customer per minute!
So let’s point out clearly… this was a WEDNESDAY! At 10:30am!!! In a store that opened only TWO MONTHS AGO!
Social Media Presence and Live-Stream Previews
But Mark… something doesn’t make sense. We get the interesting value in having new products every week but that doesn’t seem add up to that much customer activity on a Wednesday morning!
So let’s take a step back.
Chosen By Stephanie started out as an online retailer. Well they still are an online retailer, and the Pitman store grew from their success with online sales.
You can go to ChosenByStephanie.com right now to browse and purchase their merchandise, which ships right from their Gloucester County warehouse (or if you are local you can pick up at the Pitman store)
And how did the Foster’s drive sales to their online store over the years?
Developing a strong social media presence featuring Facebook Live Streams.
Stephanie and David have been doing Facebook Live Streams for years, with Stephanie out front showing products and trying them on… and David, staff members and others joining in.
The commentary is loose and friendly. Stephanie has a bubbly fun personality and David is absolutely a big part of the show. As Stephanie changes into the next outfit, David takes over and shows accessories and other products.
Their connection is clear in the videos, and you know that’s a big part of why people watch!
Sure the core goal of the video is product demonstrations, but the commentary keeps the viewers engaged… and occasionally the rest of the Foster family, employees or even customers will also come into the stream!
While I’ve never really been to an in-home product demonstration that women have been attending for decades, I imagine that the live stream experience is very much a more modern version of that home demonstration experience.
And while this is not a two-way video stream, Facebook does offer the comment/chat feature.
As an example the most recent stream from Chosen By Stephanie was done yesterday morning in the store and quickly reached 5,400 views, 200+ FB Interactions and 212 comments!
Keep in mind the viewers know exactly what they are getting from watching the videos… the goal is to sell products. So in that context 5,400 views in one day is even more amazing!
Comments range from product questions, shopping questions to just general compliments to Stephanie and the family “That is adorable! You look great in everything!!”
The Chosen By Stephanie – Community
So what started as live stream demos for the website, now also features the Pitman retail store offerings for the week!
Get it now? Shoppers are watching what is new in the store for the week, they realize that the items are limited supply and can sell out… so they want to get to Pitman as fast as possible!
To be clear the store is open Wednesday through Sunday and there will be awesome merchandise on all of those days…
But Wednesday morning turns into a “I have to get there and buy that outfit before someone else does!”
And maybe the most important aspect of the store’s success is that it truly is a community, and it seems that Stephanie knows every customer that walked through the door, and everyone coming in knew her, David and the family.
Stephanie has one of those big friendly personalities with a big smile that welcomes everyone she meets and just makes you feel like you are in a wonderful happy place!
Honesty It was like watching a movie filmed in the 50s of a small town American store where the store owners knew everyone in town… except the connection with Chosen By Stephanie is frequently started by and enhanced by… the live streams.
Via the livestreams customers followed along for Stephanie’s 4th child who was just born weeks ago! They get to see the Foster house on occasion. They get to hear David and Stephanie interacting, joking and sometimes playfully arguing.
Stephanie is very open about her challenges with weight and at one time was 300 pounds! She points out that no one’s body is perfect like Hollywood actresses, that everyone is beautiful… and when she’s modeling outfits she clearly is presenting them with confidence that here viewers pick up on, and gain their own confidence from.
It’s all very genuine from the heart, but it also makes this much more than just a clothing store.
Literally the Foster’s are becoming social media stars as much as they are business owners.
“We have people who have watched our streams from Rhode Island and Texas, and are driving to Pitman to visit the store and us!”
Chosen By Stephanie is another amazing addition to the Pitman Uptown district… which in my mind has become a South Jersey hot-spot.
It was also clear to me that as all those customers left with their shopping bags full, many of them were heading to the restaurants or other stores in Pitman such as the new Lucia’s Cafe, Merryman’s Pub, Martini’s on Broadway, Milkweed and more… I’d suggest you do the same!
Links and Location
Chosen By Stefanie
34 South Broadway
Website and Online Store
Facebook and Live Streams!
Facebook Community Group