As you can imagine, Christmas is a super important time of year. Christmas sales are what drives you through into the next year and keeps you going during the quieter months. It’s also the time of year you don’t have to persuade people to part with money, they want to.. it’s just whether it’s in your store or not that is the issue. That is why shops go all out for their windows to be the best dressed Christmas windows around to drive people into their stores and Shared Earth is no exception.
Problem is, it takes lots of planning and lots of prep and a certain amount of ‘flare’ and that comes with the added ‘stress’ factor. This year, I opted to go for a winter garden theme in our small window. This was achieved on a budget so I think we pulled it off pretty well (what do you think?). I built a house out of old boxes waiting to be recycled and wallpapered them with brick paper. I built a roof and covered it with the ‘fake blanket snow’ you see in every shop leading up to Christmas. I built a garden with a pond and covered it with snow. Hung a branch from the roof to represent a tree and hung all our gorgeous hanging crystals from it as droplets of icicles. My amazing staff member Vicki sat and papier mached me a snowman and we filled the window with all the beautiful snowy white products we sell. The prep work meant that window took less than 2 hours to put in. Hurrah.. one small section of stress gotten rid of. Now onto the hard bit.
Our big window is a pain. It’s huge and our stock is so small in comparison. If anyone has any ideas how to not make it always look bitty – I am all ears! We debated and debated and in the end opted to make it an indoor scene to complement our outdoors one. A warm fire, a tree, a cat by the hearth, wrapped presents. Fairy lights. Any Christmas window needs fairy lights. Fact. Plus, I think fairy lights just make people happier. It’s the warm glow. This window took the rest of the day to do, it was no easy task and I get quite frustrated with things. I know how important it is to make money this time of year and I panic that if I don’t put the right product here, the best product there I am going to lose Shared Earth money. It’s a lot of pressure, especially when you see other businesses with far bigger budgets, pulling off amazing rival displays.
As a small independent, our staff really are dedicated to the ‘fair trade’ movement. At Christmas we give blood, sweat and tears to try and make as much money as possible to keep going. We’ve had rocky times, and I imagine we’ll have more in the future but I know we have done everything within our reach, for now, to prepare for the onslaught. We’ve planned, we’ve prepped, we’ve displayed, we’ve rearranged, we’ve rearranged again. We’ve got pretty awesome windows, we’ve got a Christmas tree and paper chains, and tinsel… everywhere. If we cannot entice you to buy then I quit, I’m not coming in tomorrow, the worlds gone mad because that can be the only explanation!
But feel free to test my theory, pop in and take a look, I defy you to leave empty handed!
Jen (Retail Director)