From First time to FIRST PLACE!
We are so excited to announce that we took first place in our first year of participating in LCU Detroit Center for Design + Technology's Holiday Window Walk Competition!
For those of you who follow the studio on Instagram or Facebook you may have noticed all of the posts about the partnership we had with City Bark, in Capitol Park Detroit, this holiday season.
When moving back to Detroit it was my goal to find as many things as I could to get myself, and my studio, into. After joining the Detroit Design Core, and searching through the different events and collaborations they do, I found the Holiday Window Walk Competition's information. After applying, being accepted, and meeting my partner in crime, Jamie the owner of City Bark I got started! We were assigned specific storefronts based on our design background, portfolios, and the short essays we submitted.
I wanted to share a little bit of the journey from First Time to First Place with everyone and again thank all of those who voted, Jamie and City Bark, and the team at DCDT!
Meet the Client
Well first things first...You need to meet your client. Jamie at City Bark was my client along with her four legged partners, and last but not least her bird Ms. Cleo.. The rules to the competition were simple, create a window display that both celebrates the holiday season and reflects the shop your working in. You had to work with your store front, you had a budget of $500, and you had to be completed by November 15th at 3:00.
When I went to meet Jamie for the first time I was early...surprise surprise.. if you know me I am always anxious and get to appointments way ahead of time... I had not been to Capitol Park before so this was exciting. I hung out at the coffee shop at the corner and walked around the area prior to stopping into her shop.
When I did make it to her shop I was soo excited. Jamie's shop is so adorable as it is, clean and neat, colorful in the right spots, and plenty of items for pet lovers in the city to choose from. I can tell you right now I never went and worked there without bringing something home for Chevy....
After discussing with Jamie her perspective, opinions, and past experiences with the competition, I took my measurements and started to brainstorm different options.
Programming: The Shop
IS THIS PLACE NOT THE CUTEST! What I was really impressed with, when it came to Jamie, was truthfully her story on how she opened this shop. She re-located to Detroit from Grossepointe and did her research. When looking for property checking out the residences in the city that allowed pets, how many were registered, and using all of that information to determine the best location for her boutique... it's pretty outstanding. Her shop had a really cool industrial design with fixtures being simple with emphasis drawn in by the greenery walls to display product and to relate to the outdoors, her while dog figures, fire hydrant shelving that allows her products to be the main features and I LOVED her treat bar wall. The use of treats on the wall in a white wash while using a colorful silhouette of a dog as the art work. I also loved her bits and pieces of some more "glam" pieces like the lights above her cash wrap.
LOVE! I knew that if I used color in her display that I replicate the same idea. Simple neutrals with items in color coordinating with her shop colors as well to bring emphasis to important items.
Programming: The Window
I had a great window to work with. Not too big not too small. Jamie was very open and willing to let me hang items from what I needed to vertically, open to be really doing whatever I wanted as long as I made sure I kept circulation clear in specific areas.
Schematic: The Options
After doing the leg work it was time to put my ideas on paper. Just like for my event clients I created a schematic document ( map ). This laid out all the options that I felt fit both Jamie's priorities, the holiday season, and the style of the shop.
After sending Jamie her options we both agreed we really could not go wrong. All the ideas would be a great representation of her shop and her clients. I encouraged Jamie to choose her favorite for her storefront and we went with option #2!
Option #2 was a combination of letters to Santa from the pets of Detroit, and the Naughty and Nice list that Santa keeps. This option best displayed her featured holiday product, celebrated her regular customers, featured a holiday theme and blended with the rest of her shop.
Execution: Work in Progress- Phase #1
I did the display in two phases, two weekend mornings. I did as much prep at home as I could..Like addressing and stamping over 500 envelopes that were headed to the North Pole, or building a mail box.
When getting to the shop I started by laying out the base and where all the boxes were going to go. Once they were all laid out I spent the next 7 hours wrapping boxes, staging the overflowing mailbox and preparing the all the spaces for the main features.
Execution: Work in Progress- Phase #2
Before coming back a week later I had the homework of preparing the massive Naughty or Nice list, all the featured dog letters and photos, and lastly the individual 60 other envelopes for the rest of the contest submissions.
The Final Product
THIS WAS IT! I am very happy with the final product. Adding in out featured dogs, the individual envelopes, the naughty or nice list, more packages and snow, and lastly details with added hanging tag details. After adjusting some lighting we were DONE!
Whose is the Naughty one?
I cannot thank The Detroit Center for Design and Technology enough for accepting me into the competition and to Jamie of City Bark for being an amazing client. All of the windows that participated were truly awesome and it was a pleasure to compete alongside all of the different designers.
Like I stated in my application statement...This competition was giving my studio a chance to let Detroit know..We are back in town.
Till next year..Salud..Slainte..Cheers!