What The Founder Of The Coolest Gift Store In NYC Is Giving This Season

STORY’s Rachel Shechtman shares her favorites

If you've ever happened upon Manhattan's STORY lifestyle boutique, you know how hard it is to leave—and how it's even harder to walk out with nothing in hand.

Known for carrying all our favorite beauty and wellness brands (Herbivore Botanicals, Moon Dust, Sakara), laugh-out-loud funny products, and lots of lovely little treats (Sugarfina's rosé gummy bears and Compartes' cereal bowl chocolate bars), I've lost hours wandering around its wonder-filled interior. With stellar curation and a rotating lineup of products that changes every few months, this treasure of a store is the perfect place to find a last-minute gift.

This is why, come the holidays, the entire three-room Chelsea storefront becomes a totally can't-miss shopping destination with a greater selection of gift-worthy products than ever. This year, STORY collaborated with the highly anticipated holiday musical The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Michelle Williams, and Zac Efron (and soundtracked by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of the La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen fame), detailing the life of circus impresario P.T. Barnum. In the process, the store got transformed into a circus-themed winter wonderland, with meticulously curated gift-filled vignettes spanning every free inch of space. Arranged by loose gift guide categories (foodies, feminist BFF) and color stories (metallics, millennial pink), the more than 2,000 gift options also include STORY's debut collection, a line of exclusive collaborations with the likes of Edie Parker, Alexis Bittar, Sugarfina, and Casetify.

Responsible for this magical vibe and every item that ends up in the store is founder Rachel Shechtman, a known name in industry circles for her consulting work with big-name fashion brands and hip start-ups. So known in fact that, as we were talking at the store's holiday preview, I looked at her ringing iPhone to see that Martha Stewart was calling. "I just sent her a photo of how we are displaying her book," she said by way of explanation before continuing to show me the selection.

With all this in mind, who better to ask than Shechtman for a list of the greatest gifts to give this season? Ahead, her 10 top picks.

“This is the epitome of function meeting form! It's incredibly well-designed and, of course, incredibly functional… who doesn't want fizzy water at their fingertips? Love this for the design-minded.”

Aarke, Stainless Steel Carbonator, $199, available at STORY.

“FINALLY… a beautifully designed digital frame! We love Aura because it is beautiful and one would hardly know it is digital until you see images flip from one to the next. And, your photos automatically load into the frame as soon as you take them. Don't worry, there are filters.”

Aura, Digital Photo Frame, $399, available at STORY.

“The Hidden Message collection has been a staple at STORY for over four years. Born from constructs of industrial design, it is the perfect gift to make personal.”

Mathematics NYC, “Hidden Message” Necklace, $160, available at STORY.

“For city dwellers, it's not always easy to grow fresh herbs. We love Click & Grow because it can turn anyone into a green thumb.”

Click & Grow, Smart Garden, $99.95, available at STORY.

“A must for the caffeine lover on the go. One serving, portable coffee, small batch, direct trade... what else do you need?”

Dripkit, Portable Coffee, $25, available at STORY.

“We love Flyte because it brings a little bit of magic to the season. Thanks to the levitating, magnetic technology, you won't be able to take your eyes off it or ask, 'How does it do that?!'”

FLYTE, Levitating Light Bulb, $349, available at STORY.

“We are so lucky to get MagnaFrame hot off of the production lines and into the store for its debut! It's a frame building system to curate your own photo gallery at home, at the office, anywhere…”

MagnaFrame, Classic Square, $49.95, available at STORY.

“We couldn't go through our holiday season without some Sugarfina sweetness. We collaborated with Sugarfina to design an exclusive collection in celebration of The Greatest Showman.”

Sugarfina, Greatest Gummies, $28, available at STORY.

“Girl Power… say no more. We're obsessed with Mi Cielo's heart-breakingly cute onesie designs. This year, Wonder Girl is going quickly!”

Mi Cielo, Wonder Girl Onesie, $32, available at STORY.

“Truly the gift for someone who has everything and loves Prince. Their pieces bring together classic, vintage beauty with a splash of humor.”

Beat Up Creations, Portrait Plates, from $49, available at STORY.