Since becoming president of One Kings Lane almost two years ago, shortly after the brand’s sale to retail giant Bed Bath & Beyond, Debbie Propst has taken the adage, “The customer is always right,” to new heights. She joined the brand in 2012 as the director of merchandising when it was still a flash-sale site, a role that gave her a unique insight into what One Kings Lane customers were actually looking for; now, she’s redefining the role of an e-commerce company.
On Propst’s watch, the company experienced a host of consumer-focused firsts in 2017. She championed opportunities for customers to see the digital brand’s products in situ, opening the doors to her own home in Connecticut in April for One Kings Lane’s first shoppable showhouse, quickly followed by the brand’s first street-level retail location, a summertime pop-up in a stately former library in Southampton that was so immediately beloved, its run was quickly extended to a full year.
The innovations don’t end there: The company has grown its trade team, which facilitates orders and even sources products to meet a client’s specs. “It’s a time-saving service in an industry where time is money,” says Propst. (Customization capabilities are also in the works.) “We’ve built our expansion around the needs of our shopper: When they can’t find what they are looking for in the market, we’ll make it.”