Sunday Safari Ft. Maria Palma
By Michal Edelman Tepper & Daniella Fischel On November 10, 2019
Maria Palma is a Principal at RRE Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based in NY. She spends most of her time thinking about the future of the fintech and consumer landscape. She shares with us her five favorite stores (plus a bonus!) from around the world!
Maria has recently invested in consumer companies like Pattern and RRE has invested in companies such as BarkBox, Buzzfeed, Camp, KindBody, Moda Operandi and theSkimm.
Maria enjoys thinking about the future of brands and retail and she believes we are in the beginning of a retail renaissance. She is also an avid traveler (has lived on 5 continents and been to 70+ countries) so she also enjoys seeing how brands connect differently through physical retail country to country. Additionally, Maria is the board chair of a nonprofit in Africa, African Entrepreneur Collective, that works with entrepreneurs in Rwanda and Kenya across urban, refugee and rural environments to drive job growth (which might explain her very cool bonus store pick below!).
As an early stage investor in some of the most exciting consumer retail brands, we were excited to hear about some of her favorite stores. Check out Maria's Sunday Safari below!
Soho, New York | Website
"How can I not pick a store with a slide from one floor to the other as one of my favorites? For real though, Showfields is the modern Selfridges/Harrods. The brands are engaging and changing all the time and they've really brought a broader consumer experience view to retail. It is so refreshing to see discovery brought back into retail where you might actually be surprised by what you find versus transactional retail."
Flatiron, New York | Website
"CAMP to me is really the future of branded retail. It's more than a retail store; it's an experience that you can enjoy with your family or friends, a place where you can build community, and the theme rotates frequently so there is always a reason to go back and see the latest changes. Plus you just can't beat a Willy Wonka-speak-easy secret door and a MILK bar in the same place."
(Retail Safari note: We totally agree, check out our full review of CAMP here.)
3. FLORAVERE (+ LEAP)
Tribeca, New York | Website
"I wish Floravere existed when I was wedding dress shopping. Aside from the brand being incredible with two badass founders, their retail experience is incredible! It is a sanctuary (which is the opposite of the usual experience unless you want to spend a lot of money on a dress) with flowers, open space without racks of dresses, and a walk-in closet that Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex in the City would have drooled over. What's also interesting about this space in terms of retail innovation is that is powered by a company called LEAP that works with a lot of well-known D2C brands as they move into a more permanent retail model."
Soho, New York | Website
"I am huge tea fan so I had to put a tea store on here. The rows of tea and trinkets there are beautiful and they will brew you whatever you want to try. I also appreciate the brand consistency across locations as I've also been to their store in Australia and the look and feel is the same."
Global | Website
"While the experience here is not as beautiful or cutting edge as any of the above, it's still one of my favorites. I love shopping and have a clear sense of design/fashion for myself but I also like being financially conscious so I rarely spend over $100 on any clothing item and prefer to spend less than $60 usually. They do a phenomenal job of brand consistency and good basics at a solid price point and they are always there in a pinch. Packed the wrong blazer on an important work trip or spill something that ruins your whole outfit? No worries, you can always find a nearby H&M to save you (both real use cases that happened to me)."
6. HAUTE BASO (BONUS!)
Kigali, Rwanda | Website
"This is my favorite international store. It's in Rwanda and supports the "Made in Rwanda" program to promote local entrepreneurs and designers. The store has a very cool vibe and they deliver designer quality pieces at accessible price points. It's also an ethical fashion brand started by two Rwandan designers that now partners with 202 artisan designs, where they empower young women as most of the women that work with Haute Baso are the sole breadwinner in their families, so their success has a meaningful impact."
If you don't already, follow us on Instagram @theretailsafari as we highlight some of our favorite brands and concepts and take you with us on our retail safaris in NYC and beyond.