Business spotlight: Telling your story with R Storie
You are your story.
R Storie believes who you are can be expressed through fashion and style. Rachel Peirce, owner of R Storie, a women’s boutique clothing store in Gig Harbor North, has been a fashion storyteller since her early days stocking shelves at Tacoma’s Nordstrom at age 14. Her boutique connects women with the best of fashion and inspires confidence and personal expression through style.
While growing up on Fox Island and attending Gig Harbor High School, Peirce dreamed of owning a business one day. After completing her degree in business from Washington State University, Peirce returned to work at Nordstrom while living in Gig Harbor.
For the next two decades, Peirce found her calling in retail fashion. She held a variety of leadership roles at Nordstrom, eventually working as the director of multi-channel merchandise planning in women’s apparel. It was a “multi-faceted” job, covering all full-price stores, online and Canada. “I loved it,” Peirce said.
She would also play an instrumental role in launching many vertical brands: Madewell, Reformation, Sezane and Good American.
Following her dream
In 2020, when the world paused to grapple with a global pandemic, Peirce left corporate retail. In addition to enjoying more time at home with her two kids and husband, Peirce spent the next year preparing to follow her ultimate dream: To own her own business.
She assembled image boards, wrote a business plan and began scouting locations in Gig Harbor.
“I had the vision, and could see it coming to life,” she said. She looked everywhere for the perfect location: “I would sit in parking lots and watch customers.”
She found her location near Target in Gig Harbor North.
“There’s nothing like this here,” she said. “There’s neighborhoods around here. And you see trees!”
The boutique opened in October 2022.
“We get new customers every single day,” Peirce said, sometimes from as far away as Seattle and Bellevue. Nearby stores in the same shopping complex sometime draw in passers-by. “My husband’s next door at Subway,” chuckled one new customer taking a quick peek at racks of the latest fashions.
R Storie’s strong social media presence helps bring people to the store. Sales associate Lana Levi models the trends on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
Around lunch time in the middle of a recent week, the store had a steady flow of women getting an early start on holiday shopping. Many of the shoppers are return customers.
One picked up a vintage-looking Seahawks cap by ’47 brand for her daughter. A goal for Peirce was to have options for multi-generational women.
“We get lots of mothers and daughters shopping together,” she said. The store provides “something for both of them.”
Beyond the individual fashion story, R Storie takes pride in carrying brands with their own special stories. Golden Flame Jewelry was created by a local firefighter who found a creative outlet in jewelry making. You can also find vintage-inspired, locally made hats and seasonally scented candles.
Made in America apparel is also an option at R Storie, including Paige Mycoskie’s Aviator Nation. Retro-looking rainbow-striped zip-up hoodies are super soft and will likely bring a smile to Gen X moms and their Gen Z daughters.
After more than two decades at Nordstrom, Peirce knows her brands and follows fashion influencers for inspiration. R Storie carries Cotopaxi outerwear, Free People, Anine Bing, Pistola, BDG, Urban Outfitters, Ganni, Show Me Your Mumu, AGOLDE, Citizens of Humanity, Good American, Favorite Daughter, Sanctuary, Gorjana jewelry, and many more.
“We carry a range of price points (starting at $10),” Peirce said, and sizes to fit all shapes from zero to 20.
Connecting to her customers is important, she said. “I try to relate to the customers as much as possible, (to) understand their needs,” and “giving the best customer service.”
Wearing a hot pink Greylin sweater and AGOLDE jeans, Rachel Peirce’s fashion story today is as vibrant and bold as her dream decades before in the Nordstrom stockroom where she first worked at age 14. You can’t be afraid of failure, she said: “Follow your passion. Stay focused on your goals.”
Address: 11430 51st Ave NW, Suite 101B, Gig Harbor
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday