Category Archives: Visual Merchandising

‘Tis the Christmas Season! Everybody does big does displays for the winter-time to increase the holiday shopping spirit.

Here in my town we have a place called Alberta St. They are responsible for the content of this post.

My VM professor gathered six of us students to assemble window displays for Alberta St. shops for the coming Christmas season.

The children’s book store on 16th and Alberta is not only totally adorable, but rewards children for looking closely. Around the shop there are miniature displays of goings on that you would neither find nor notice unless you were observant. Jennifer, the owner, used to be an elementary school teacher and has a passion for children learning.

She showed me a Christmas tree made out of books, and I went to creating it. For $39 and some vintage ribbon my mother gave me from her own collections, this is what I arrived at:


Christmas Book Tree

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fixture Design

Installations are without doubt one of the most integral components of store design. They define the quality and price range of the merchandise, and hold the interior design properties of sales floors in the balance. Whether they are sleek and modern or rustic and vintage, in good condition or not, the colors, the heights, the carry capacity, the placement, the sharp corners, the materials and the overall functionality of the piece all play a part in fixture design.

But the parameters are the most important part: will the design actually perform the necessary function of the retailer. For example: all the wall space is occupied with shelving and previous merchandise, but a new line in coming in and must be housed on the floor. A fixture must serve this purpose, or else it is worthless.

In considering my future career, I am highly intrigued by fixture design and intend to create several fixtures to suit certain parameters as are voiced by retailers. To me, that sounds like a dream job.

Expose the Tools

 Fine artists of fashion are completely underrated. It is difficult for a customer who knows nothing about how a garment is made without a demonstration of time, effort, and finances. Many are not willing to pay for a $400 belt when they can get a $40 belt that looks similar. The difference: hopefully, the $400 belt was handmade painstakingly with a superior leather and a hand-fashioned buckle. The $40 belt was probably made in China.

One of the more effective ways to convey the artistry of any business is to expose some element of the process. This picture above is inside Pinkham Millinery in Portland. PM was recently featured as one of the top 20 millineries in the world, one of only 4 in America, and the only one not located in NYC.

Inside Dayna Pinkham’s shop, she displays just one of a hundred elements of her trade: hat forms. Shelf after shelf of wooden blocks of all measurements and hat styles line the west wall of her shop. The craft is a fine one, and this way anyone who enters can see the challenge of making a hat so perfect as one of Dayna’s. This effective bit of Visual Merchandising is not only a great conversation starter with clients, but also a truthful display of the work that goes into her art.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,