Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Madness begins!

Wow! I'm behind on the documentation of the 2008 Christmas setup for Black-eyed Susan. Probably, because Linda and I have been working most nights until our legs couldn't climb another step of the ladder or make one more trip to the inventory housed in the basement of the retail store.

It always amazes me that when the time come for this extremely intense week, I am always ready for the creative venture of setting up the store with the stories and themes that were planned last January. The week is even more anticipated by the arrival of my dear friend and partner in crime (also the CFO of my small company) Linda Giler, who comes in from Charlotte, N.C. for the "party". Each night as we drive the 20 minutes to my home in New Hope, we recount the days events and progress while making task lists for the next day. When the alarm goes off the next morning at 6:15am it all begins again. This goes on for about 7-8 days. At the end of this phase of the set-up, most of the work is completed and ready for the special events to begin. (You can email me at to ask for a copy of the event list---really fun!)

There is much that goes into the preparation for the setup. Teams of staff pricing furiously, last minute deliveries being tracked, frantic orders are placed for ribbons, and the hunt begins for the close-out ornament hooks that were purchased last year for this years work. Inventory is lined up and sorted by department and/or color so the work can begin.

All in all, it's an exhausting week full of creative satisfaction punctuated with good times and laughter! Our windows say; "We're working on it.......Come see the magic!"

Boxes of recently received inventory waiting for price tags.......

One of our most realistic trees (artificial!) This tree is primarily made of injection molded plastic with some poly bristles for fullness on the very inside of the branches. The trees (3 large ones this year, and 3 small fixture trees) are set up and lighted the week before the setup. Hours of rearranging the current furniture and fixtures go in to preparing the space for the trees. Sneelock and my son, Ryan helped this year. Jeff set up the trees, primped, shaped, plugged and prep-ed them, while I readied the rest of the store for new visuals relating to the trees. It is a huge team effort to prepare for the work to come. Whew! I just have to say that these trees are fabulous! Every year, they get better, more realistic and more unbelievable! We even have a diffuser that makes the whole house smell like fresh juniper! (More to come on that later)!

Here's a closeup of one of my favorite color stories this year--chartreuse green and burgundy. These ornaments are "shatterproof". They come in all sizes and finishes--matte, shiny, pearl, the whole works! Great for outdoors as well as indoors. We love these!

Tulips, churches, tiny holly place-markers, long needled pine, tinsel trees---ready for the taking!

Row and rows of snow queens saluting, snowmen galore and santas wait to be placed.

Me peering into a box of unique glass bird ornaments in the most delicious colors.......

Inventory that has been transferred to the store for the beginning of the big set-up. Sharman has directed the crew on where to place the different color stories and themes. It's almost time!

The set-up is under way and we are open again for you to come in! It's a bit of a work in progress, but generally exciting to see the transformation. Don't worry, we still have some great fall decor, centerpieces and inspired looks that are not Christmas.

Watch for more updates and progress, my personal favorites, entertaining stories and more!

Come see the magic.


michelle said...

I've never been there for the Christmas transformation, so I can only imagine... I loved seeing the pictures of the inventory boxes and rows of snowmen, etc. Those shatterproof balls are genius! Boy am I glad I am not the one who has to primp and light all those trees -- just doing our one just about puts me over the edge.

Denise said...

Amen to not having to primp all those trees! I do sort of wish I could be there for the madness, though. It sounds fun in a demented sort of way. I, for one, can't wait to see the magic!

Jill said...

I love seeing all these behind-the-scenes pictures. Just looking at all that inventory makes me giddy. I'm intrigued by the juniper diffuser.

emily said...

I love that the idea of "color stories." I'm so impressed by the amount of planning and detail you put into your design. I especially love the finished product!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work.