Shaped by our deep brand experience with many of America’s greatest retail companies, we created True Story to tackle the unique issues that brands face in today’s rapidly changing retail landscape—an area of focus that branding consultants and advertising agencies are too often not equipped to address.

Since 2005, Chief Executives, Presidents and Founders have come to us with their challenges; an iconic brand that has lost its relevance, uncertainty in the face of shifting competition, an erratic product point of view, the lack of global impact due to brand inconsistencies or to help transform their emerging business into a brand.

In our experience, the key strategic unlock in addressing these issues and driving quality growth lies in identifying and leveraging the own-able connection between a brand and its product. And that’s what we do.

We have a unique and specific ability to carve out and articulate this connection with creative, business-building ideas that are inspirational and drive consistent decision-making across the company. We believe this work is even more important as the role of bricks-and-mortar is being redefined, and digital and mobile become the new lease line.

We have been retail executives ourselves so we bring a strong inside-outside point of view and are known for listening deeply. We’ve often been called the best retail therapists in the industry.

Take a look at who we’ve worked with and what they have to say about how what we do drives results. And then let’s talk.

—Amy and Laura


We have both brand and product in our DNA.

We’ve lived the pace of retail and handled the relentless pressure of ‘comps’.

We’ve seen up close the full power and leverage of an aligned retail brand…and the cost of getting it wrong.

We highly value the role that image, style and design play in retail.

Our work does more than inspire; it directs and insists on action.


In her 20+ year career building brands, Laura spent over a decade in senior marketing roles at Banana Republic. As Vice President, Marketing, using a combination of her retail, fashion and strategic skills, she drove the definition and expression of this evolving brand through all aspects of the consumer experience. Prior to that she had a successful track record leading brand strategies for companies like Levi’s, Reebok and Lever Brothers at world class agencies in New York and San Francisco.

Amy’s Take on Laura

“It’s an incredible privilege to work with Laura. She has a highly contagious curiosity and a keen sense of how brand, product and trend can come together to create something unique. Over the years, she’s inspired me to try to adopt one of her finest qualities—looking for and bringing out the best in every situation. On the other hand, how she can eat just one piece of chocolate is beyond me.”


Amy has held several high-profile senior marketing positions at iconic brands including Chief Marketing Officer, Gap, Inc., Executive Vice President, Banana Republic and Director of Consumer Marketing, Levi’s. She led teams in brand strategy, creative development, omni-channel marketing, visual merchandising and store design. Amy spent the first half of her career in advertising, working globally for brands in a range of categories including technology, automotive, travel and fashion.

Laura’s Take on Amy

“Amy ups my game every day. She has this unique ability to see the larger potential of an idea and inspire creative teams to exploit it, all the while making them love her. But it’s her creative soul and sharp strategic mind—if not her obsession over the perfect word—that make her one of a kind.”






Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Ann Taylor,,

A&E Network, Athleta, Banana Republic,

Bare Escentuals, Belding, Carmel Valley Ranch,

Charlotte Russe, Dockers, eBay, Food & Wine,

Gap Inc., Guggenheim Museum, La Senza,

Levi’s Global, Loft, Made In Africa,

Method Home, Nike Global Women’s Training,

Old Navy, Real Simple, Step Up Women’s Network,, Sweaty Betty, UNKNWN

“True Story sifted through a lot of history and information to create a clear and forward facing brand story, helping us to resolve big tensions and bringing definition and emotion to a commodity business. Their work was an inspiring blueprint from which we built an award-winning and revenue driving customer experience.”

Chief Merchandising Officer,

“Combining Nike’s research and brand strategy with their retail expertise, True Story’s work guided a new store prototype installed in Niketown NYC, which saw a dramatic increase in sales in the first four months and served as a new retail standard for the Nike brand.”

Vice President, Nike Global Women’s Training

“This Global Look and Feel is the final building block to fully deliver on what the Levi’s brand stands for. It is compelling, real and non-negotiable.”

CEO, Levi’s Global

“I was moved by how much our team emotionally connected and wanted to collaborate, innovate, and put the Creative Brand Platform to work immediately. True Story’s outstanding partnership and work so far surpassed my expectations for our project.”

President, Ann Taylor

“If only we’d had this work 5 years ago, we wouldn’t have lost our way”

CEO, Gap Inc.


“True Story’s observations, coaching and honing in on the clarity of our Brand Product Aesthetic was invaluable. We thank them for their passion and support in articulating our vision and helping it come to life.”

Design Director, Old Navy

We Do

While we customize our work to meet each client’s needs, True Story’s expertise is to sharply articulate a creative, business-building idea that inspires your team to be both forward thinking and innovative as well as brand right and consistent. Our work becomes the common language everyone uses, everyday.

Our unique mix of deliverables include:

Brand Story and Positioning

The cornerstone ideas around which the brand is built infused with consumer, product and emotional insights as well as a retail point of view.

Creative Brand Platform

An overarching idea designed to amplify a brand’s positioning in a creative and actionable way. It definitively articulates the brand’s sweet spot and gives the team both a mantra to rally around and a platform from which to consistently execute.

Look & Feel

A brand’s unique and own-able aesthetic and emotional territory that aligns all disciplines in execution and sharply differentiates the brand.

Own-able Product Aesthetic

A unifying and inspiring product point of view that is used as a blueprint for how Design and Merchandising work together to consistently create brand right product every season.

Retail Therapy

This doesn’t mean we shop with you. Though we’re happy to. It means we stay and help the team use and work with their new idea and language to make sure it sticks.

New York / San Francisco

Let’s Chat

Amy Schoening 415.346.8502

Laura Jacobs 646.761.5398