Love Stories TV is a uniquely inspiring video platform. Meet its Founder & CEO, Rachel Jo Silver.
We hear it all the time. “Real love is not the stuff of pop songs, or what you see in the movies.” The question of what precisely real love is remains largely unanswered, but there are certain short films which could give us an inspiring hint – wedding videos.
Weddings practically showcase humanity at its finest. It’s a celebration of two people who love each other so much, surrounded by people who love them so much. If you’re lucky enough to have something like this, believes Rachel Silver, the Founder and CEO of Love Stories TV, “then you’re winning.”
Love Stories TV is a platform for couples and videographers to upload wedding videos, which viewers can then peruse for entertainment and wedding planning inspiration. It is heartwarming, wholesome – and fiercely practical for anyone seeking specific products and services for the most special day of their lives.
We recently had the chance to chat with Silver, who also has an adorable love story of her own (she attended kindergarten with her now-husband!). Here’s how – and why – she founded Love Stories TV.
1. What is your background?
I am from a suburb of Detroit, Michigan – I went to school there and I went to college at Michigan State University. I did my Master’s in France at the American University of Paris and all through school I studied international affairs and conflict resolution. After some internships, I realized pretty quickly that it was interesting to study in school, but it wasn’t how I wanted to spend my time.
After my Master’s, I moved to New York, where my first job was at a startup called HowCast Media, a platform for how-to videos. I was the assistant to the CEO and it was really the best job ever. I got to listen to his calls and go to meetings and events with him. From there, I went to Birchbox. I was the first social media hire there and then left Birchbox when I founded Love Stories TV.
2. What was it like to leave your job at Birchbox to start your own company?
It was scary, because I loved Birchbox – Birchbox was a dream job. Pulling the trigger was scary but the way I make all decisions in my life is by thinking through the worst-case scenario. Before I left, I thought “What’s the worst that can happen?” I figured if this business never gets off the ground at all, I will still be able to get another job – and having launched a business only enhances your resume.
3. What was the inspiration behind Love Stories TV?
I got married in 2013 and I had absolutely nothing to do with my wedding. I didn’t go to the wedding venue until the day of my wedding; my mother and my grandmother did the whole thing. They have great taste, and they’re expert party planners [so] I totally trusted them and it was a great setup.
When my mother asked me if I wanted a wedding video, I said “No, I think they’re kind of cheesy, let’s skip it.” At my wedding, my family did the most amazing surprise flash dance mob for me. It was literally the best thing that ever happened to me. Imagine all the people you love the most in the world dancing and you could tell they’ve been practicing behind your back – and it’s not recorded anywhere. We also have some iPhone video [footage] – but the speeches and the vows and the toasts – we don’t have any of that stuff.
I really regretted not having a videographer, and I started paying closer attention to other people’s videos. Then it really clicked for me that if you were planning your wedding, what could possibly be better than watching real wedding videos and knowing who planned the wedding, and where the venue was and knowing who did the flowers and where the dress came from. And I suspected that even if they’re not planning a wedding, people would want to watch these because they’re so good and entertaining. So we built a website where wedding videographers from all over the world upload their videos and they tag all the details about the wedding, so people who are planning their weddings can research products and services.
4. What are some ways in which you guys monetize this platform?
The local vendors who are tagged in the videos, such as the florists and wedding planners, pay a subscription to reach more potential customers – much like Yelp where you can have a listing for free and upgrade it to reach more people.
We also generate revenue from the national brands who are tagged in the videos like the dress designers, the suit designers, the stationery designers, the registry – they pay a subscription. Then we do distribution partnerships. We have a Snapchat discover channel, and we have an Amazon Prime video channel. We share in the revenue made from that content.
Wedding videographer: Alyson Biggs Films
5. What have you learned about love from these videos?
I think that weddings sometimes have a bad reputation. There’s this word “bridezilla,” and everyone’s had some experience where they’re invited to a wedding far away and they don’t get a plus one. But these videos remind you that it’s about two people who found each other and they’re so lucky.
If you find someone you like so much, you want to be with them every day for the rest of your life – you are winning. Then there’s enough people you love to throw a party for? What else is there? These videos remind you how lucky these people are and if you have any sliver of that your own life, you’re so lucky, too.
6. What have you learned about love from life, in general?
Love happens when you least expect it. When you are down in the dumps because you are single and no one else is – that is when people meet. Don’t give up, and don’t lose hope! There is someone for everyone. We see these weddings, like Star Wars themed weddings or weddings on an alpaca farm, which show how people find each other, and that’s very cute.
Wedding videographer: A Little Long Distance.
7. Which are your favorite wedding videos on Love Stories TV?
Most of my favorite ones are not the big, fancy expensive weddings. It’s almost always the sweet, more casual ones.
Some facts about Rachel Silver:
- Her favorite book is “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt.
- She defines success as “having everything you need and some of the things you want. You don’t want all the things you want because it will stop you from moving forward.”
- One person she would love to grab lunch with would be “Mandy Ginsberg, the CEO of Match Group.”
- She went to the same kindergarten and high school as her husband. “I used to write my first name with his last name in all my notebooks – although I didn’t change my last name when I got married.”
- Her ideal Valentine’s Day? “My husband and I aren’t big on gifts, but I love surprises. He could just say ‘I went out of my way to make a dinner reseravation someplace you’ve never been,’ and I would be like ‘Fun!’ Any night with just him is pretty cute.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Cover photo features snapshots of Love Stories TV’s latest videos.
Intro written by: Adelle Goldenberg.