Red, White, Blue... #WhatsInYOURWindows ?

 In my last post, I shared an 'artistic' point of view window display.
After creating it, I took some time off from this job
to help my Mom take care of my Dad, who was in the last stages of cancer.

In my absence, my design partner Debby redesigned the window...
keeping the big armoire that backed the other display and giving it a whole new look!
She attached two large white shutters to it to create a bright backdrop 
for fashion and home decor elements in a red, white, and blue palette:
Making use of the existing structure but changing it with a new 'prop' was the perfect decision!
Sadly, as soon as I returned to work, my friend then had to take some time off due to a family situation,
so I've kept the display idea intact 
and added a pair of wood spools to the set to add more display area...
They hold assorted red, white, and blue home decor items and a few fashion items.
We simply refresh the display by adding new items as they come in.

The front window on the other side of the store holds all fashion items in the same palette and theme:
...but we're both back at work now, and getting ready to change it up again :)

We'll be pulling in a 'faux' bed & headboard to show off some nautical linens
and more red, white and blue home decor elements.
The window on the other side will be re-focused on fashion...
June 22: Mission Accomplished:
 Above: the Right window, formerly filled with staging platforms and fashion,
now displays a 'bed short' (a table made up as a bed) to feature home decor.

Above: The Left window focus is still fashion and entertaining...
The stacked wood spools have been removed, replaced by a table setup
that features merchandise for entertaining.
We re-dressed the mannequins and hangers in the other half of the window,
after shifting the position of the backdrop by a foot.

This mid-summer change helps us make the windows look fresh and exciting to customers
while sticking to our seasonal VM plan - saving time and labor.

Selecting a general theme and a seasonal color palette is what works for us in this resale store.
The choice of a patriotic palette for summertime is easy, and draws customers like flies.

Displays with bright beach-y colors and themes would work well, too!
Find more of my posts with 
Red, White and Blue display inspiration:



and on my Pinterest boards linked in the sidebar

#WhatsInYOURWindows this summer?
share your display photos and join the conversation on my facebook page!

Retail Display is 'Painting a Picture'

Over the past several years, I've scaled back my freelance work
in order to contribute to two companies that I have been very honored to work with...
One of them is Laura's House, an organization in South Orange County, California
that just celebrated 20 years in business.
Laura's House provides shelter, housing, counseling, legal aid, and assistance in many forms 
for families dealing with Domestic Violence and Abuse,
and money to fund those programs comes largely from the sale of donated goods at two resale stores.

The merchandise donated and sold indicates a boutique consignment shopping experience
far more than it does a 'thrift store'... 
so I've been working hard for nearly a year to elevate the presentation and visual experience in the stores
to assist our company in getting the most value possible for our cause...
AND to elevate the customer shopping experience.
Retail Visual Merchandising can do that! 
It's an art....
and I've always described what I do as a visual stylist in this way:
"I create still life paintings using dimensional objects instead of paint or pastels."
This particular display brought together that art with actual fine art.

Early this spring, the store received a very generous donation of floral art from a donor...
so I created a window display featuring the art itself,
 along with elements that continued the 'floral' and 'art' concepts:
an easel, a dropcloth, and a mannequin wearing a 'painters' smock' and holding a paintbrush
and various papers and decor elements with floral motifs.
There was also a whimsical touch of silk flowers bursting from the mannequin's head,
indicating that the 'artist' had 'flowers on the brain'.
Whimsy is ALWAYS welcome in my display creations!

The art was hung on the BACK of a tall armoire (the doors of it faced into the store) 
which served to lift it up to a viewing height in the window.
 Underneath the artwork, there are sheets of scrapbook paper with floral designs - 
so that when a painting sold, there was not a huge gaping hole in the composition.

Preparing for products in the display to be removed was and IS an important part of this display -
in the case of a store like this,  where every single item is 'one of a kind' rather than ordered in quantity,
I have to plan for what the display will 'morph' into - because it can't be changed every other day.

In our stores, the display 'set' itself is created and installed based on our annual VM plan,
then as items sell, we refill it as much as possible with 'like' merchandise.
(Hard, when you don't know what will be donated... but easy, when you base it on color and theme!)
 Each window display theme lasts for a two to four week period...
the display remains fresh because products change, but the theme remains similar.
This is an effective strategy for any store's window displays...

What can you create as a 'set' in YOUR windows this summer?
A beach scene? A picnic at the park? 
A county fair or carnival? A camping scene?
Create the backdrop, then fill with merchandise that supports your theme and color palette -
and then look for ways to keep it fresh over the next month or two!

Coming up next: Red, White, and Blue display inspiration!

Thank You, YMN Magazine!

I'd like to thank Erin Slonaker and Yarn Market News Magazine 
for the opportunity to be a speaker at this past weekend's Smart Business Conference in Seattle.

It was a great experience to share information and inspiration about visual impact in retail stores, 
meet so many people who are enthusiastic business owners,
and reconnect with people I met at the 2010 YMN SBC, as well!

I'd also like to offer a special thank you to Sarah Parker of Wild Fibers 
for lending me her giant knitting needle props.

I was worried about not having enough content for two sessions....
as it turns out, I had enough for THREE and ran out of time before I could share it all!
A few images that I planned to share in my second session were snagged from 
the Lion Brand Yarn Studios website - a great source of inspiration for displays.
They have archived photos of their own displays on their website at,
and you are sure to find some really great ideas there.

I'll try to pop in here and on my facebook page periodically 
to share some of the other images that DIDN'T get shared at the conference...

January 2015 Seminar for Vintage Show Vendors

I am excited to partner with Christie Repasy and Rita Reade for an upcoming event 
in collaboration with The Vintage Marketplace Antique & Vintage Show in Rainbow, California:

I will be presenting a seminar
on retail styling and booth design for vintage show vendors.

Included in the seminar will be a hands on demonstration of full 10 X10 booth setup using an on-stage display, illustrating how to build a booth with an effective and creative appearance. Handouts filled with valuable information for attendees to take home will be provided, and a question and answer segment will be held at the end of my presentation to help with your most challenging issues.

'Create Maximum Visual Impact In Your Show Booths'
 The content of this seminar is geared to meet the needs of those who sell products at shows.
This popular seminar is loaded with helpful information for vintage & antique dealers 
who sell at street markets and vintage shows,
though the information also applies to wholesalers with temporary booths at shows, 
gift show vendors, and artisans/craftspeople who sell at fairs and street markets.

Deb will present the principles of use of booth space, layout, fixture & furniture placement, 

scale, color, and basic display techniques. 
Utilizing these principles as you select products and props, and then plan and set up your booth, 
will help you to make a huge visual impact amid close competition on the show floor.

* Find out how to get big effects for little money (and weight and setup time). 

* Get the scoop on where to find cheap materials and props.
* Learn how to plan ahead to display your products effectively, 

and to provide inspiring design ideas along with merchandise to draw in customers.
* See how easy it is to create stories and themes with the merchandise you sell - 

even if there aren't multiples of any items.
* Discover how easy it is to create 'photo ops' in your booths at shows - 

because you DO want your booth to show up on social media!
* Hear why it is important to create a 'brand image' and use it at a show.
* Understand why using space wisely & effectively will help you 

get more people entering and shopping your booth.
* Leave with a slew of ideas, inspiration, information, and a written outline 

that will help you remember everything you just learned!

WHERE: The Oaks Park, Rainbow, California (near San Diego)
WHEN: Saturday January 31st, 2015

1:00pm – 3:30pm $48.00 register here
Click 'Read More' link for continued information...