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Yesterday, your votes determined our first 2014 Racked Awards winner—Tamara Mellon took home the
trophy virtual high five for best sample sale. And today, we're revealing the first winner chosen by Racked editors: this year's best online-to-offline store is Birchbox Soho!
The beauty-product-sampler startup, founded by Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, almost seemed to take pleasure in teasing New Yorkers with pop-up after pop-up. Which is why when word came in March that Birchbox would open their very first permanent store in Soho, we were psyched that the online subscription service was going full-on brick-and-mortar.
Much like the website, the 433 West Broadway shop is a beauty junkie's paradise—there are 2,000 products (even an entire section devoted to "second-day hair"), touch screens with demos and reviews, "try bars" for test-driving cosmetics, makeup classes, and of course, a place to build your own Birchbox for $15. Plus, the brand stays true to its roots by offering serious perks for subscribers, including free workshops.
Happily, though, Birchbox Soho continues to embrace the pop-up spirit by throwing frequent in-store events, like free BYOB parties (that's Build Your Own Birchbox), and complimentary makeup touchups.
Though there were a few other candidates who could have taken the top spot, notably La Garçonne and Rent the Runway, Birchbox's bevy of amenities and super-devoted customers make it the best e-commerce-to-IRL store this year.
· Tour Birchbox's First-Ever Brick and Mortar Shop [Racked NY]
· Birchbox Launching First Permanent Store in Soho This Year [Racked NY]
· Racked Awards 2014 [Racked NY]