Monday, September 30, 2013

Anatomy of a Window

It all starts with the window.  Literally.  Your window is the first opportunity you have to make an impression on passersby.  I'm always amazed at retailers who don't give one thought to their window display or don't even have a window display.  If done well, it should make people stop, look, (hopefully) smile, and then head for the door.

I try to change my window every month.  As for the design, sometimes it's inspired by a color, new products, or the season/holiday.  Often, it's a combination of two or more of the above.  This year we seem to have an abundance of polka dots.....on scarves, bowls, mugs, and socks.....and I knew at some point they would find their way to the window. 
This window had to have an Autumn theme and I decided to play off our branch and make it look as though dots....rather than leaves....were falling.  How can you have a Fall window without pumpkins?  So the natural way to incorporate them was to dot them too. 
A 1" hole punch created all the dots.  The dot garland that hangs from the branch was created using taupe string and a combination of card stock dots and dots made with sticky back paper (Avery full sheet label paper).  The sticky back dots were applied to the pumpkins and smoothed down with a fingernail.  From there, it was just a matter of determining what color scarves and socks would take center stage.
I never want the window to be empty or in a state of flux very long, so all the logistics are worked out before the previous window is dismantled.  Having staged everything upfront, windows usually go up in less than thirty minutes.  This one garnered a "thumbs up" while it was in progress and another compliment about the polka dot pumpkins shortly after it was finished.  So, for the month of October, you may see leaves falling out your window, but we have dots falling inside ours.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

And Suddenly It Was Autumn

A couple weeks ago as I was writing up a purchase, the customer mentioned I hadn't written a new blog post since February.  Really?  Never! Could that actually be true?  Sadly it was.  Somewhere between ordering, inventorying, and working seven days a week the summer came and went.  And boy did it ever!  It was a great summer for us in the shop and we thank everyone for their incredible kindness and generosity!

It was lovely to hear so many summer residents and tourists exclaim "You're still here!  Thank you for not leaving!  You made it through the winter!"  Yes, we are.  No, we didn't.  And yes, we did.  It wasn't without a few bumps in the road, but all was forgotten when "hug and hello" season returned.  The sad thing about the summer here in Maine is that it's all too short.  Too quickly we go from "hug and hello" to "hug....get teary...and goodbye."

So here we the end of a wonderful summer.  We celebrated our first anniversary.  We've modified our business plan from being a year-round business to being one that only operates eight months out of the year.  And we've come up with a pretty exciting plan for handling the winter.  But before winter sets in, we still have what will hopefully be a wonderful Autumn filled with crisp days, stunning displays of magnificently colored foliage, and a few more "hugs and hellos" from last year's leaf peepers.

I can't believe it's taken me this long to post and I promise (in my best Scarlett O'Hara impression), as God is my witness, it won't happen again!  Enjoy the last remnants of summer and get the cider ready for Fall!