Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas In July - Year 2

It is just amazing to me that I'm now experiencing certain events for the second time in Zoe's young life!  The Christmas in July event last year was one of the first organized group events that we had participated in after opening the store.

With each event I participate in, I learn so much about what to do (and what not to do).  One plus this year was that the event was focused on one day only (July 21st).  It can be hard to keep up the momentum for 3 days in a row like last year!

I realized that people really didn't see/care about the Christmas tree I had put up last year.  It was a lot of work and effort to do it (well, it was a lot of work and effort on Janice and Karen's part, since they put it up while I went to pick up my Mom at the airport).  So I decided to nix that this year.  I also felt that my sale strategy wasn't appealing enough last year - 20% off full priced items just wasn't a real draw during a transitional point in seasons.  And, I didn't have any additional events in store.  I relied on the overall event and my sale to draw people in.

This year, I asked NY based fashion designer Kathlin Argiro to host a trunk show and create fashion drawings for customers in the store.  Kathlin grew up in Alexandria and her wrap dresses have been a real hit with my customers.  I also carry her unique Dressong as well as samples of her formalwear for special order.  I also planned a "Black Friday in July" type event - on the Christmas in July day only, I would offer 10% off one item, 20% off two items, and so one up to 50% off five items!

Prior to event, Kathlin and I contacted our media and blogging connections to get the word out locally about her appearance at the store and the sale.  We were thrilled with all of the press (print and online) we received before and after the event!

The afternoon prior to the event, I redressed the mannequins with all of Kathlin's clothing (wrap dresses, formalwear, Dressong) and set up a whole rack of her items.  I also placed one of the sweater cubes in the area of the rack as a desk.

When Kathlin arrived on Saturday morning, she was pleased with the set-up and made a few modifications prior to opening.  We were anxious at first since the rain seemed to be keeping customers away!  Just as we were preparing to film a video of ways to tie the wrap dress as a tunic, customers started flowing in and kept us hopping for the next 4 hours!

During the quieter time we had in the morning, we both began peppering social media with pictures and video!  I love this picture of me with Kathlin (she is wearing one of her wrap dresses, I am wearing the Dressong as a top).

Alexandra, the young lady who works with me at Zoe on weekends, took a video of Kathlin creating a fashion sketch!

Zoe's customers were genuinely excited to meet Kathlin and were thrilled to be fitted/styled by her in her creations!  The wrap dresses and Dressongs flew off the shelves!  And we did have one customer purchase 4 items and take advantage of 40% off her order - even cooler?  She lives and works in Tunisia and visits Zoe whenever she is in the US.  She was flying off to Tunisia that evening!

Many friends and customers stopped in to visit Zoe and meet Kathlin!  It was a delightfully busy day!  The music on the patio outside was much quieter and more appropriate than the previous year, which added to a more enjoyable atmosphere overall!

We finally had the opportunity to film the wrap dress to tunic videos just before Kathlin had to leave for the day.  I'm so glad to have these to share with customers who purchase the wrap dress!

Front tie option
Back tie option

Christmas in July this year turned out to be a great day for Zoe!  

Next up:  Photography Fun with Sally

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