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Paper flower bleeding hearts: A Valentine's day themed retail window display at Rochester, New York



A few weeks after Sofi, my daughter and I moved here to Rochester, New York the summer of 2021, while I was looking for playgrounds for Sofi to play in, we stumbled upon a posh boutique called Peppermint boutique. It had a nice window display and I just thought that you know, someday, somehow, it would be nice for me to be able to make a display for this boutique.


Time jump to the last week of January 2023 and the owner of the very same boutique I mentioned above messaged me on Instagram and asked if I am open to making a display for Peppermint's Valentine and Spring window display (The story on how I was able to meet her will be on another blog). Let me tell you, I was in the middle of teaching a class and I honestly and seriously squealed. And the immediate response, on the top of my head, was "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! HELL, YES!". She then told me that I had about 10 days, who the fudge cares, it was my dream so I don't care if I was in the middle of finishing another big project at the time, I am freaking doing this. Haha 😅


THE BRIEF


The next day, I went to the boutique to check and measure the space. Now, I try to do my projects systematically, so let's follow my formula for Project management 101


1) The information


The space is about 10 ft wide by 8 ft high and it has an existing bright red backdrop.

The owner gave me an overview of what she was imagining—hot pink- heart-shaped flowers sprawled all over the space.


2) Ingredients

… Rather...

2a) Brainstorming and Proposal

So okay, after my site check, I had no immediate idea what I can do. I just sat down on my laptop and typed in “heart-shaped flowers” and after- I believe- what seemed like a nanosecond, images of bleeding hearts are on my search page.


Lamprocapnos spectabilis in bloom. Photo by: Ivo Vitanov Velinov / Shutterstock.


At first, I was like.. Hmm... This seems hard to make out of cardstock. I just let the idea sit on top of my head, searched some more, and finally the idea of how to lay and position them out hit me.


3) Lay it out

I drew my idea out using Inkscape. You see, I’m terrible at drawing. I am so much better at creating with CAD. So if you’re looking for cool Industrial design-type concept sketches- No, you won't find that here- I think I failed that subject. Haha!


Disclaimer: Aside from the sketch drawing, the photos used in the peg board are not mine



When I was finally happy with how it looks like, I went on and quickly thought of another idea if ever the owner won’t like this first idea of mine. Sometimes, in hindsight, I just submit a second design to reinforce that the first idea is the better one. Haha.




A few hours after I got a response from the owner that she likes the first idea and just let her know how much will it be.


4) Cut Tally


I didn’t make one for this project, rather a big chunk of the time went to:


4a) Prototyping


During my brainstorming session, one challenge of mine was how to use cardstock for this type of flower- and a huge one at that. I had a better chance of achieving the organic shape of the flower with crepe paper but I don’t use crepe paper except for foliage and stems and I just plan to use the paper supply I already have. So I thought of going the low poly model route.


I adjusted and edited a template of a heart low poly model available publicly and went on and made my own template for the bottom dangling part of the flower- manually. I used Sketchup for this.




5) Do the work


When I was finally happy with my prototype, I went ahead and produced 7 pieces of the closed version and 5 pieces of the open version.


I was originally supposed to install this on January 14 but the whole family caught the stomach bug a few days before that delaying my production for both this project and my other big project. I wanted to install the next Monday, Jan 16, unfortunately, I forgot that it was MLK day and Sofi’s daycare was closed that day. So I immediately reached out to the owner and requested whether I can delay and install on January 17, Tuesday instead, which, thankfully, she was OK with.


Business and pro tip: Be transparent with your client. They’d appreciate that. I personally hate changing plans and going out or away from my initial word, but it’s better to be transparent.



And so, at noon on January 17, I went to the boutique and installed the display. I initially wanted to film myself installing the display using my old phone that I know no one would even think of snatching (an iPhone X with a broken screen). Unfortunately, it was raining hard outside.



I installed it for about an hour, for both of my installations for this boutique and its sister store, the same challenging part was hanging it from the ceiling, just because gravity’s a B*tch 🤣. But I was able to pull through and here's a reel I created right after I finished installing:




I’m really happy with the display and a few moments after, I received a message from the owner that she’s happy with the actual display too, too which I’m so glad about.



Pat in the back, Deaney 😊

Thank you to Peppermint's team for these photos!


If you are looking for a unique display for your business or retail space, I would be glad to be of help! I worked as a shop front display and exhibition designer for years and now that I run my own creative business I can definitely work with you and the vision you have for your store.

Feel free to message me at deane@dwblooms.com



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