The basic rules for window display design apply for whatever product or service you have. With our styling training we show you how to make your product so alluring it will attract customers to come in and spend.
At Made You Look! we work mainly with BIDs (Business Improvement Districts) & Local Authorities who provide our training to help our Town Centres with High Street Regeneration. Small independents, service industries, multiples & charities, with schools and garden centres too…the list goes on… We’ve also been invited to speak at many trade shows covering fashion, gifts, flowers, tour operators, mobility aids and photography – so that shows our message is universal!
We believe in the personal touch and showing by example. Our visual merchandising courses are suitable for so many retailers, businesses or individuals, so do give us a call to find out how we can help you.
Melton’s is one of York’s finest dining restaurants renowned for its high quality food. Having helped with the re-design of Walmgate Alehouse their sister company, we were invited to help refurbish the restaurant which was now beginning to look dated from its origins in the early 1990s.
What we did: The first question to answer was what to do with the murals! Originally commissioned when they first opened, everybody makes comment as they are so striking – a bit of a marmite thing. After much deliberation, we decided to keep them and take our inspiration from the rich colours within the paintings, using various tones of purple for the walls and the ceiling too. The bench seats and half the chairs were upholstered in a similar purple, the remaining chairs being covered in lime green for striking contrast. The giant lime-green drum lights finished the décor beautifully pulling the restaurant from darkness and delivering a more intimate yet contemporary feel.
Pulling the colour scheme through two more floors and commissioning another mural for the upstairs restaurant, re-modelling the rest rooms and deepening the outside fascia to give a modern feel, compliments have been flowing in and the restaurant continues to be as successful as it has always been.
York cocoa House was established by Sophie following her love of chocolate as a young child. Having started her business at home it now runs from a beautiful Georgian building in the heart of York. However chocolate is not an easy product to display because it’s either dark brown or it melts! So how do you create ‘wow’ with something so small?
What we did: One of her team members attended our taster day workshop to find out the basics of visual display, practicing grouping products throughout the day. Having been inspired by our course we were invited to work with Sophie’s team on the store window designs and displays. I taught others the basic principles of display too and together we came up with a theme for Easter. We used the colour of ribbons from the packaging in-store, taking inspiration from the flowers – painting the pots and blocks to match and to add height. Green fabric covering the panels helped to enhance the feel of spring. The ribbons suspended as backdrops caught attention without any chocolate being in the windows at all!
Working with the team on ideas they now continue to create lovely window displays on a regular basis, and now the new lights have been installed too the shop looks far too inviting to pass by…
Located on one of York’s well-known streets for great food and drink, the owners of Meltons Too decided it was time for change. Competition was becoming fiercer and a decision to rebrand based upon the building’s heritage was made. ‘Walmgate Ale House and Bistro’ evolved.
What we did: A meeting with the owner of ‘Ellerkers’ the rope maker and saddler who had previously occupied the 17th century building proved extremely fruitful. Much historical insight was provided together with permission to reproduce many old photographs of the shop which had been carefully stored over the years. Taking inspiration from our meetings the new décor evolved. Together we painted some of the walls dark red and used hand painted signage, added mirrors, hung crates and lanterns, draped rope from the ceiling and walls, placed photographs and displays around the three storey building and marketed the ghost which is forever there! Softer lighting teamed with the new hand-crafted wooden tables, shelves and seating has brought the rope maker and sadler back to the building again. Footfall has increased dramatically since the make-over, and in 2016 they were voted Pub of the year at York Tourism Awards.
“Attending the Visual Display training is one of best things I’ve done for the marketing of my business. Not only was the course easy to understand and great fun, but has given me loads of ideas in dressing my windows, and the confidence to do it. “
Louise – Director of Curvy Bridal
What we did: Curvy Bridal discovered Made You Look following my talk for the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) and was so enthused Louise booked onto our next Taster Day workshop where she learnt the basic golden rules of effective window display. Since then Curvy Bridal have always had fabulous window displays (winning several awards!) and people will go out of their way to see her latest creations! Her Royal Wedding windows were such a success that photographs of them were used in online papers all over the world, giving Louise priceless PR.
“I can strongly recommend this visual merchandising course to any business wanting to improve their marketing”
A series of Presentations to Oxfam managers and volunteers alike left them inspired to the possibilities of great, inexpensive displays. “Many thanks for the training, Helen. I’ve heard nothing but good about it!”
Heidi Rose – Operations Manager – Central England
What we did: We were giving our second Visual Merchandising Training presentation to High Street Traders in Bedford, where one delegate from the local Oxfam shop was so inspired she recommend Made You Look! to her area Manager. “Extremely interesting and beneficial” she said.
Following this he arranged a Presentation for his staff members and was so delighted with the results and improved displays following this presentation that he recommended us to his colleagues who then booked another seven workshops with us.
Our training courses focussed on working with what they had already. Inspiring them to look at different ways to upcycle broken or unsalable donations and how to use them as props to enhance their worthy cause.
“I would recommend talking to these ladies if you want to improve your business image and increase sales. No matter what size you are from a small independent retailer to a large multiple they can help you. Just take a look at their website, you will not be disappointed. Thank you Helen & Janet”
Steve Jones – Marketing Director Calendar Club
What we did: Calendar Club had identified the need to improve the standard of windows displays and brand image within their unique business model. They looked for a company that could offer visual merchandising training and solutions to their team and came across Made You Look! We identified their needs and worked closely with them to create a training solution. A simple grid system was implemented for each window utilising pyramids, risers and space but displaying just one product which changed weekly for maximum impact. “The wealth of knowledge Helen & Janet have is fantastic, the presentation and delivery of the session they did was excellent, and pitched just right.”
One of our first workshops was organised by ‘Shop Local’ in Bedale for small businesses and retailers. The morning started with the Power Point presentation including a few slides of their own shop windows and lunch was followed by delegates working in groups creating small displays.
What we did: It was difficult guessing what business this was from her window display design– any clues didn’t really help. The shutter and window depth seemed to be the problem, along with security overnight – hence why the window looked so empty. However during my presentation I talked about how panels are useful. (Vertical for where depth is limited and horizontal for heroing a product and building height), selling the lifestyle and of course suspension. Imagine my delight when I next passed Jessica’s unit and saw the fabulous display she had created! I love it when our golden rules make such a difference!
“Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day as it was light hearted, interactive and easy to digest. We have put the skills we learned into practice immediately and have seen great results from it. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Made You Look! to anyone. Helen was excellent, very knowledgeable and friendly. Thanks for everything.”
Louise Pearson – Clark & Partners
What we did: I was invited to speak at Naidex about display for mobility shops. This was a challenge but one very worthwhile. I was despondent because the majority of mobility shops make very little, or no effort with presentation or display, and they are so often a ‘needs’ must’ place to visit. I approached ‘Selling the Lifestyle’ from a different angle emphasising the importance of including mobility products into ‘normal living’, accessorising with home furnishings or graphics for visualisation. Clark & Partners invited me to hold some visual merchandising training with them for their retail team and here are some of the displays they have produced. Mobility shop? Not obvious!
“We have great market towns and we want to ensure the retailers get the support they need to showcase their businesses to visitors and residents. We received good press coverage pre and post the events and it has raised our standing with Hambleton District Council.”
Council Leader, Councillor Mark Robson.
What we did: The Federation of Small Businesses along with Hambleton and Ryedale District Council arranged a series of Master classes as part of their ‘Keep Trade Local’ campaign for local businesses and retailers. The workshops were a great success, with a diverse range of retailers getting involved. 100% of the delegates said that the workshop met or exceeded their expectations in all areas with over 60% saying that it exceeded them. The training was followed up with a Christmas Window Display competition where great results were seen! “Very inspirational and motivational. Every Small business owner should attend one of these workshops.”
East Riding Council invited me to visit, and give consultation to, small businesses across the region spending half a day with them, offering them advice and teaching the basic points and principles of display. This delicatessen in Pocklington was one of my clients.
What we did: Following a Powerpoint presentation we also came to the realisation that investment was needed in the property as well as better presentation and display techniques. (Our aim is to work with what people have already and spend as little money as possible) I was delighted when I next saw the shop!
A fresh coat of paint, new windows, a good signage promoting the café with trees either side of the entrance. But the display consisted of a pyramid with the canvas as the prop leading the eye into the product display.
Business has gone from strength to strength and the deli is always busy!
“This Summer provides the perfect opportunity to showcase Bedford at its best, and this competition will see the creativity and vision of our retailers come to the fore. I look forward to seeing displays that will no doubt really capture the attention of visitors and residents alike.”
Dave Hodgson – Mayor of Bedford Borough
What we did: Both Bedford Borough Council and Lancaster City Council invited us to give Presentations and Master classes for their businesses and retailers. Bedford High Street’s Townscape Heritage Initiative was aiming to revitalise the High Street with a combination of works to historic properties with complementary education and training initiatives, and Morecambe were focussing on training retailers to make the most of their shop fronts and interiors to encourage tourist and residents alike to trade with them.
Both Bedford and Lancaster ran successful window display competitions based on a theme which captured the retailers’ imagination with exciting results.
Doing our bit towards High Street Regeneration
Find out more
Would you like to be first to receive our latest news and updates, see some of our recent creative projects and how we went about them? And how about our inspiring photographs, seasonal advice with hints and tips too…why would you want to miss out?
Please subscribe using the button below – we send very few newsletters so won’t fill up your inbox I promise you!