Thursday, March 3, 2016

Local Love: Garnet Leigh Designs

Photo: Nicole Alekson Photography

Meet Melinda of Garnet Leigh Designs, who does on-trend prop styling and merchandising for retail, food and artisan wares.

"My business began during my twenties when I did freelance prop styling for independent retail shops, after I left work as a full time display director. After taking time off for school and having a family, I've been back at it for about four years. Working in retail for smaller, specialty shops gave me an appreciation for how difficult it is for stores like that to stay competitive with big box stores and now the internet. The owner wears many hats and in some cases doesn't have the visual talent to display merchandise in the best way possible. My passion has become keeping independent retailers and artisans as profitable as they can be. I even organize an annual Small Business Saturday event for Glastonbury, Connecticut, which supports my town’s small business, artisans and restaurants.

My service gives retailers a way to keep their shop fresh, current, inviting and on-trend. It also allows for merchandise to be featured in a way that customers see it and are inspired to make a purchase, even if it has been in the store for quite some time.

Photo: Nicole Alekson Photography
Some of the challenges for my business are staying in touch with people and also, selling the idea that they need this service. Many do not realize how crucial merchandising is and how often the shop interior needs to change. It should be a constantly evolving environment in order to keep folks coming back through the door. It's not enough to just change the merchandise, the whole set up may need to change. Because I am very active on social media, I see many businesses that promote themselves well, and many not so well. Each and every photo that represents a business and/or product should be eye-catching and appealing. I cannot stress enough what a turnoff a bad picture is. To me, it shows a lack of attention to detail.

Photo: Nicole Alekson Photography
I also consult with artisans with regards to how they package and merchandise their products and make recommendations for, or do a hands-on setup, for display booths at vendor fairs. I have also done some food styling which is a lot of fun. It's one way that I get to let loose and be purely creative without having to blend my natural creativity with the marketing piece."


Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram!


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