Rick Lee is the owner and general manager of Soula. His retail career started over 25 years ago in college, folding shirts and jeans at The Gap in Harvard Square. After that, he spent a number of years in various buying positions at Charles Jourdan and Charivari, a cutting edge retailer in New York.
On to Barneys New York, where Rick was the buyer and then divisional merchandise manager of men’s shoes and accessories. He logged a lot of miles going back and forth to Italy and had tons of fun doing it; the pasta and espresso weren’t bad either. Oh, and he found some pretty amazing product for the stores, also. But then Julia was born and leaving home became less fun.
This led to a stint at Cole Haan, as director of merchandising for the G Series collection, which re-awoke his passion for retail.
Cut to moving the family to Brooklyn and a 'for rent' sign at 185 Smith Street, and the rest is history, sort of. Oh and Ben was born shortly after Soula's second anniversary. We've been busy...... Very busy. Since we wrote the first part of this story, we closed the Park Slope store and relocated it to Williamsburg at 85 North 3rd Street and joined a very cool block with our friends Brooklyn Denim, Egg, Ludlow Blunt, Allegria, KCDC, Kula Yoga and Mast Brothers. We are also just celebrated our tenth anniversary at Smith Street. Look forward to seeing you soon and happy shopping from your friends at Soula!