How the seasonal window display became my new hustle
Late last year, I began to believe the seasonal window display was an overlooked niche. After I made two lights to go over the Aurum Jewelry store counter, in Rochester, I offered to hang some flat panels of EDM wire in the west-facing window, to catch the afternoon sun. I had already hung some lights in Royal Oak's Palazzolo salon, when I started thinking about the vast number of salons out there; If only a fraction of those salon owners liked my stuff as much as Jimmy did, it could keep me busy for years. And there were other reasons to focus on salons:
- Salons have repeat customers who like sparkly things.
- Salons have great lighting that brings my work to life.
- Some salons have boutique areas, and they can become dealers of my other decor products.
- Most salons have huge front windows, perfect for creative window displays during the holidays, or any time of the year.
Does the seasonal window display market exist?
I still didn't have the answer to one critical question: Were people or corporations willing to pay for window installations? Are rented window decorations even a thing? If so, what are the terms? Where's the value? What's the point?
All I knew was that I saw some pretty cool window decorations in a clothing store, and I'm pretty sure the ham-handed high school kid who sold me these stretchy jeans was not the person who set it up. I'm not talking about merchandising, I'm talking about the six hundred sparkly silver balls dangling above the handbag display, in Macy's, for example. Somebody got paid to do that, and if my goal is to be that person, I think salons are a great place to start.
Lessons I've learned while pitching seasonal window displays to salon owners
Lesson number one: Never assume a store or salon is willing to spend money, just because they look like they have money. First of all, they might not have money. They might be on the verge of bankruptcy, even as they're showing off some fancy new upgrades to the store.
Lesson number two: Business are trying to make money. When you show up on their property trying to get money from them, whatever you're selling better be worth it. Even if you have a meeting set up, at this point, you're still just a solicitor taking time out of their busy day.
Lesson number three: Don't oversell the value of something not directly related to their bottom line. In other words, if they don't love your window decoration concept right away, they'll never be sold on it. You're not trying to trick anyone into making an impulse buy. Your goal is to impress them to the point that they'll purchase your window decoration, simply based on it's aesthetic beauty. Beauty is the only leverage you have.
Lesson number four: Know how to react when they turn the tables on you. I have had a lot of salon and store owners respond to my pitches for unique window displays simply by saying, "Why would I pay you to decorate my window, when I'm giving you all this free exposure? You're the one who should be paying ME!" The best way to handle this is to tactfully explain to them that a unique window installation is an end-use product, and THEY are the customer. If they like it, buy it. If not, that's fine, but you can't go around doing free window decorations, in the hopes they will lead to more opportunities to have the same conversation with other salon owners.
If you, or someone you know would like a seasonal window display for a salon or store, please get ahold of me. I have an inventory of unique and beautiful flat EDM wire panels, available for sale or rent, and I ship all over the world! Of course, if you're in Michigan, I can install these displays, myself, and I'm happy to visit your salon or store to provide some design ideas and cont estimates.
I know this post is strange; Me, promoting seasonal window displays, as I'm describing my difficulties in gaining some marketshare, while I ponder the very existence of this market. Do with it what you will, and thanks for reading.