A Year’s Worth of Window Displays – Working with Brock Designs

About a year ago, my now friend Sandy from Brock Designs came into the shop and through conversations and brainstorming, she was recruited (maybe volunteered…or coerced) to help design our window displays.

Sandy made this amazing peacock from scratch, meticulously cutting out every single feather using old books, paper and sheet music. She is adorned with Lumiere paint, German Glass Glitter, Annie Sloan Old White and gobs of white feathers.

I have to tell you something about window displays though. They are so much fun to design and put together! And, they are crucial to garnering new customers!!! But, I good, photographic worthy (Anthropologie-esque) window display takes hours upon hours to pull together. On average, 20+ hours.

Typically, Sandy and I will put our heads together and I’ll tell her about a technique, style or color I’d like to promote, or I’ll have a particular piece of furniture that I want to showcase. She’ll take snippets of my info and ideas and create a beautiful design. Between the two of us and the rest of the team, we’ll spend a few weeks collecting, painting and assembling the various elements and then we carve out half a day to assemble it!

Winter weather window showcasing Annie Sloan Paint on the plastic umbrella, decoupage techniques on the dresser and the elegance of gilding wax.

The best part about it is that beyond a few elements that I want in the windows, Sandy creates a cohesive and symmetrical design to pull it all together and she does a bulk of the back end work whether it is acquiring materials or assembling various pieces of the design.

Windows are not meant to sell products. I used to overwhelm a window design with things I wanted to sell or feature. As a result, they lacked style and cluttered the space and senses.

I’d explore big box retailers who really do window design successfully; Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Abercrombie and Fitch. One of the things you’ll notice with those retailers is their displays are not selling a product but rather a lifestyle; a feeling; an idea. The pique your interest and make you want to see more. And, if they happen to showcase a product, it is done minimally and with style.

Handmade paper flowers in abundance on and x-large hanging pallet for the Spring. This window generated over $1,000 in business just in bookings for a Paper Flowers Workshop taught by Sandy.

The problem with those types of window displays–they take bloody forever to put together. My reality of the day to day operations didn’t allow me the time to invest in the types of windows that I KNEW I needed. Not to mention, by the time I worked with the team in scheduling new workshops, fulfilling custom orders and finessing store displays, my creative juices were simply tapped out.

The summer window showcasing the many different uses of Cavallini posters.

So, I happily and willingly relinquish control to Sandy who has outdone herself every time! I get to sit back and enjoy all of the handmade touches she has incorporated without the aggravation and stress of the after hours crafting involved.

And, I have to say I think her fall window design is my favorite with dyed crete paper leaves hanging from the ceiling, a throw pillow dyed with Annie Sloan Paint and hand painted, a french style sitting chair featuring painted upholstery, an abundance of Amsterdam Green and of course, Kelly’s artful bouqets of handmade felt flowers and wreaths (check out her instagram).

You know that old phrase, “the money is in the details?” It couldn’t be more true in styling a window. And, Sandy makes sure that the details are present and perfect.
I can’t wait to see what she comes up for our Christmas windows this year! Her only direction is to incorporate metallic gold dinosaurs! So, stay tuned for what is sure to be another cleverly designed window!

 

 

 

 

 

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