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[READ] How Digital Startups are Getting Physical

STORY is all about creating experiences that bridge the gap between digital and physical worlds. Think less screen time, more face time. To that end, we work with digital partners like Perch Interactive that use innovative technology to enable in-person discovery. On the flip side a new crop of digital-first brands are using technology to create meaningful IRL experiences.

Take Nasty Gal, the fastest growing online retailer in the country. Since launching in 2006, it has become the online destination for fashion-forward girls. Last November, founder Sophia Amoruso broke new ground, opening the brand’s first brick and mortar store. “I’m learning a whole new skill set from this experience…there’s no time lapse,” she told WWD, noting that today’s customer looks for a brand to be wherever they are.

With that in mind, more brands are thinking “inside the box” about how to create meaningful offline experiences with the connected consumer. Subscription based services like crafting community Darby Smart, food kits for kids Foodstirs, and kids’ activities kits Kiwi Crate model an approach that begins digitally and ends with an IRL experience like crafting or cooking. On the opposite end of the spectrum, footwear brand M. Gemi begins with hand crafted goods and digitizes the experience, making it possible to shop shoes crafted by Italy’s most respected artisans.

Fact is: innovation isn’t always attached to a dot com. And more than ever, the most creative companies are finding ways to be where their audience is and create a connection that’s not WiFi enabled.