10 easy and high impact storefront displays to kick off 2018
January is a great month to bring new energy and appeal to your small business, starting with your front window. High impact displays can be done on any budget with repurposed items that are easy to source. The BEST display is one that extends beyond your window. Carry the theme outdoors with unique planters or sculptures. Even better – get the whole street participating in a common theme. Here are 10 ways to ramp up the creativity, embrace the winter season and bring shoppers in from the street!
With the availability of paint pens and chalk markers anyone can add winter images right onto shop windows. Snowflakes, pine trees, winter hats and mitts can be hand drawn for a whimsical look. More elaborate designs can be printed on paper, taped to the outside pane and traced from inside. Swirls and scrolls are attractive as are fancy fonts and messages to promote in store items. Painted window designs stand out bold and bright to add pizzazz to your winter window display.
Snow Shovels as Props
Are you located in a snow-belt region? Let shovels take centre stage in your window display. Dollar Stores carry plastic mini-shovels or try second hand stores to gather mix and match sizes. Add to the creativity by sanding, priming and painting designs on the blades. Stay as simple as bold stripes or go as elaborate as artist painted winter landscapes.
Crepe Paper Hanging Garlands
The light weight and variety of colours make crepe paper rolls the perfect product as a decorative hanging display. Frosty colour schemes is blues, purples and whites look great for winter and ornaments such as snowflakes and icicles can be attached to the bottom of each string. Try varying the length of each piece to create a backdrop ‘wall’. Store products can be colour coordinated and featured in the window.
Toques, Scarves, Muffs and Mitts
There are unlimited creative opportunities with winter wear! Hang pieces individually from ceiling hooks using plastic line for a colourful ‘floating’ effect. Position them in circular patterns on white ‘snow’. Stuff and prop them whimsically on crates or boxes of varying sizes and heights. The colour combinations and creative arrangements are endless! And it’s easy to mix in your store product to round out the display. Best of all, everything you need is probably in your coat closet!
Bring Nature Indoors
White birch poles work beautifully in displays, as do branches that can be gathered from your surroundings. Leave the branches natural or spray paint them white. Hang them horizontally from your ceiling and add a cascade of light strands for a softening effect.
Lights Lights Lights
Don’t take down the mini white lights you hung up for the holidays. If anything, add more! Twinkle lights bring charm and magic to streets and shops. With timers and LED options there is no reason not to use them both indoors and out. String them across wooden pallets for a backlit wall, wrap them around stands or attach them on hooks to create light borders. You might even consider leaving a couple of artificial Christmas trees on display and replacing the ornaments with cotton ‘snow’ and loads of white lights.
Sleds, Skates, Skis, Snowshoes
There’s something whimsical and appealing about old fashioned or antique sporting gear. Source out a wooden sled or dig out your old cross country skis and snowshoes. Used skates are easy to find, and with some spray paint, you can really get bright and creative. With a little digging in the basement or attic – what’s old can be new again.
Break out the white paper and scissors! Paper snowflakes are all the rage and the easiest way to bring a white winter theme to your shop. With websites like Pinterest, there’s no limit to styles and designs for inspiration. 3D snowflakes, glitter snowflakes, intricate patterns and giant sized snowflakes abound. If you own a family or children’s business, there is also the opportunity to host a creative afternoon workshop and display community-made pieces all month long.
Less can be more
Minimal product placed a on a white surface with a crisp white background can have a big impact. It fits a winter white theme. Sometimes less is more.
Don’t ignore the outside of your small business
It’s worth repeating. The most eye-catching shops put effort into animating their business at street level. Most of the items mentioned for indoor display can also be added outdoors and enhanced with lighting, pine boughs or other fun outdoor elements. Your downtown becomes a unique destination when all businesses get on board to create an appealing and creative streetscape that gets noticed, photographed, shared on social media and talked about! A new year is just around the corner. No better time to start than now!
An entrepreneurial spirit and love of exploring led Leslie Fournier to create Streets Alive in her downtown core. This unique placemaking program brings public spaces to life with interactive art and activity. The Streets Alive story has been featured in national publications and Leslie has been recognized as Citizen of the Year and Business Woman of the Year for the impact and success of these projects. She speaks to BIA’s, tourism groups, cultural summits and economic development conferences on how to attract visitors and shoppers with creative placemaking. As a small town retailer for over 15 years, Leslie understands the challenges faced by local businesses and the increasing importance for every community to create a strong, vibrant sense of place. Follow along with Leslie on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.