Growing / The art of display
Recently i had the occassion to look through our archives of photos to select a few for a specific application we were submitting. Inadvertently i stumbled into the folder marked 2010, and began looking through the photos of our booth and our presentation when we first began.
Our display when we first started was a series of red terracotta planters with the soap in them, tipped and slightly elevated. The clay pots were supplemented with baskets that were slightly larger in size. But for the most part our display was flat to the table, and our tables were at normal table height. And one day, leaving a venue with everything stacked on a rolling card we hit a bump, and every one of the clay pots flew, crashing to the ground. Crisis of display material would lead to the next thought… lets go vertical.
Our first official soap rack was a curb side find of an old bookshelf that consisted of two vertical sides, with dowels suspended between them. We found willow baskets that fit two per shelf and allowed us to display 24 varieties of soap. This rack would service us well for more than a year, however one fateful night something fell over in the garage, crushing the shelf. Attempts to replace the dowels never looked quite right, so we scrapped the bookshelf.
We tried to work with wood and create a custom sized rack for our soap, which worked for a season, but the rack was far too small, and the shelves did not permit much stock to be displayed.
To the rescue was a wire rack that was a curb side find… it was airy, and unfortunately had limitations on the amount of soap we could display. It served us for a few months until we could actually have a rack built. While we were in Mantua last year for Art on the Hill a wonderful carpenter had a display of racks he builds… and while we liked his ideas, we were hoping for something more, something that collapsed and would be portable. He designed our current rack, which we love and which serves us well.
And here is our latest look – a nicely crafted wood rack for the soap, and wooden wire crates and smaller crates to supplement display.
Our display transitions are symbolic of the many transitions in thought, growth in how to do business, and development of our business we have experienced. With the improvements in our display we have seen improvements in sales, and also in interest from retailers wishing to carry our products. I like the direction we are heading in… and can hardly wait to look back 5 years from now and see how much farther we have gone.
1. People are visual – before they will engage any other senses they use their eyes. The presentation should be appealing, vibrant, bright, and it should be something that draws you in.
2. Display should be vertical – People should be able to scan the display from a distance, and know what is there. If it involves having to walk up to the display to identify what it is people will not always do that.
3. Simple is elegant. Our rack, and our packaging are simple… We wrap our soap the same way we have since we started… a light waxed deli paper, then a band identifying the soap, our brand, and the ingredients. The rack is a simple wood structure with 5 shelves that gradually reduce in depth. Each shelf lifts off the dowels holding it in place, and the shelves and dowels pack down to one bundle for easy transport.
4. There is no substitute for a well crafted wooden rack.