December 1st, 2020
Partner Spotlight: I Am More
By Tallie Williams
For Project Retail, nothing makes us happier than small retail businesses accomplishing big things. That is why we are honored to be working with I Am More, a company who supplies the Scarsdale area with more than just impeccably-curated items in their boutique, but dedicates its support to women’s health and women-oriented philanthropies as well. Last week, I reached out to one of I Am More’s co-founders, Marcy Berman-Goldstein, who was kind enough to answer my questions about her amazing company.
A Star is Born
The idea for I Am More was born in the summer of 2017, during one of Marcy and co-founder Abbey’s routine walks through Scarsdale after their SoulCycle class. On one of their “endless walks,” the two noticed the many empty storefronts in Scarsdale village, and expressed their “desire to help bring back the town to the hopping town Scarsdale once was.” Their walk continued into the evening, when I Am More began to materialize.
The name I Am More is more than just an inspirational statement, it actually “began with the letters A and M, which represent Abbey and Marcy, and quickly evolved into something greater.” Abbey and Marcy encourage their shoppers to pick a word to complete the statement-- “whatever they wanted, whatever they needed.” The two compiled a list of words for clients to use to complete the mantra, like “strong,” “fierce,” “confident,” and “loved.” “We wanted everyone to feel good about themselves,” Marcy explained.
After a few months of planning, I Am More came to life in the fall of 2017 with the mission to “empower women to make them feel confident, support women-owned businesses and designers, and to give back to local women’s philanthropic organizations.”
In the spirit of I Am More, let’s pause to think about what our word would be today.
What do you need to hear, feel, or believe to get your spirits lifted and motors running?
Try writing it down on a Post-it note and putting it on your mirror as a reminder.
Retail Therapy: The Next Level
T he goal of I Am More is to provide more than just fabulous clothing, but “an even ‘more’" exclusive experience about women’s empowerment.” In Marcy’s words, “there is no reason a store can’t sell great products while standing for something even greater. We try to keep the store unique with only a limited amount of inventory of items, so not everyone has the same things.” One of my favorite things about I Am More is the friendly, open, and optimistic atmosphere that is fostered within the boutique. “More often than not, shoppers will drop in to chit-chat and hang out, sometimes for hours,” Marcey explained, “people we don’t even know will come in and start feeling so comfortable that they’ll tell us their life stories.”
The owners pride themselves on having something for everyone. Even though their target customer is in her 30s-60s, they have customers from teens to one very special local customer who is 91. I Am More proves that looking good and feeling good is important for everyone, regardless of age.
Marcy also filled me in on I Am More’s impressive pursuits to better the Scarsdale community. The store frequently hosts informational events that provide women with a safe, comfortable space to learn about topics regarding women’s health and wellness. These events have covered topics such as, “Knowing Your Risks for Breast Cancer and the Importance of Early Diagnosis and Treatment”, featuring Drs. Stephanie Simms and Pam Webber of New Rochelle Imaging Center, “Fostering Positive Body Image in the Age of Social Media,” featuring Jennie Kramer of Metro Behavioral Health Associates and Ilyse Shapiro, and “Mindfulness and Meditation,” featuring Colby Mulvey from Here & Now Body & Yoga in 2018), and “Best of Westchester Vinyasa Yoga” instructor, Jodi Hurwitz in 2019.
The proceeds from these events are then donated to their charitable partners. Since its inception, I Am More’s philanthropic and charitable events have generated an incredible $150,000 in cash and tangible items, benefitting more than 50 organizations. The ownership forgoes a salary and the company operates as a philanthropic organization, donating all profits to the organizations they support.
Additionally, the company hosts several “Shop & Share” events where the store collaborates with local charitable organizations, and provides the shopper with the opportunity to shop small, and also to learn about and support the chosen organizations.
Strong + Beautiful
Marcy also described I Am More’s private clothing line to me, “Strong + Beautiful.” This line was created to “remind all women of their internal strength and beauty, no matter their current state of mind or physical well-being. I Am More Scarsdale donates 20% of all Strong + Beautiful sales to Safe Horizon, the largest victim services non-profit organization in the United States, whose mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities. Strong + Beautiful products include candles, diffusers, T-shirts and muscle T’s, Sweatshirts and sweatpants, Leatherette embroidered pouches and notepads. Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015, and a tireless advocate on women’s issues, was the original face of Strong + Beautiful.”
Another special thing I Am More offers is their non-for-sale embroidered pouches, which are saved for certain special clients who need the extra pick-me-up. These clients may be cancer patients and survivors, are undergoing surgery, or going through personal hardship. “Our biggest joy is giving these individuals the pouch, explaining the meaning behind it, and watching their faces light up with joy, knowing we have had a positive impact on their day,” Marcey explained.
We Are More.
Shopping at I Am More creates a domino effect by which you’re doing more than making yourself feel beautiful and confident, but you’re also making a real impact on all women in the Scarsdale area. Project Retail is honored to support I Am More’s representation of all the quintessential elements that make shopping small so, so important.
If anyone reading this has been encouraged to start a small retail business of their own, these are some of Marcy’s words of wisdom:
“Focus on your short term and long-term goals - what sets your business apart from others and why people should support you. Stay true to your mission, which should incorporate giving back to your community.”
The Brains Behind The Operation
Marcy Berman-Goldstein is a board-certified Radiologist, specializing in women's imaging. She has been a member of the Junior League of Central Westchester since 2010, a local non-profit women's organization whose mission includes developing the potential of women. She chaired many of the league's fundraising events and served on the communications team as a graphic designer, marketing many of the League's endeavors. She has assisted her mother grow an award-winning retail business, which has been family owned and operated since 1996, with roles including purchasing, merchandising, sales and marketing. She looks forward to her continued efforts helping women look and feel their best, and giving back to her community.
Marcy is Co-President and a founding board member of the Scarsdale Business Alliance, a vibrant and collaborative organization made up of local business merchants, with a mission to increase the vitality of the Scarsdale Village Business environment. She was chosen by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Westchester County Business Journal to speak on a leadership panel in October 2018 for their Women’s Blueprint Series, and was also a panelist at the Westchester Community College Grow Your Business Conference in November 2019 - The Changing Retail Environment in Our Downtown. She was selected by Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Services (SFCS) to receive their Centennial 2020 Rising Star Award for her civic volunteer efforts and business leadership.
Abbey Solomon holds a Masters degree in early childhood elementary education. She has worked in both women's and children's retail, and has run many successful pop-up sales with various vendors in her home. She has also helped her father's acclaimed family-owned and operated retail business, Posman Books, for over 20 years, which was named Best Bookstore by New York Magazine. Her retail experience includes sales, merchandising and purchasing. She is a prior board member of the Children's Hope Chest and has remained active for the past several years, including organizing their hat and glove collections. She looks forward to her continued work in retail, helping women feel confident and giving back to the community.
Abbey is a founding board member of the Scarsdale Business Alliance, and serves on the PR/Communications committee.
I Am More’s commitment to the female community of Scarsdale is awe-inspiring. In recognition of their efforts, I Am More received the Best of Westchester award for “Best Women’s Empowerment Shopping” in July 2019 from Westchester Magazine. I Am More was also recognized by Westchester Magazine in their Best Shops by Town edition, and has been featured in multiple editorial picks by the publication. I Am More has been written up and featured in WAG Magazine, Serendipity Magazine, Westchester County Business Journal, The Journal News, Scarsdale Inquirer, Scarsdale Living and Scarsdale 10583. Marcy and her business partner, Abbey Solomon, were named in the Westchester County Business Journal as Westchester’s Most Powerful Women in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Shop I Am More
To support this company, check out some of the items we offer from I Am More below.