Early to bed

Serrv has added two new sets of bedding to their fall home décor collection.  They are both so lovely, made in India by the skilled artists of Asha Handicrafts.

bedding sanager

Sanganer Block Print Bedding

The Sananger is block-printed by hand in a peaceful dove gray.  The duvet cover features a traditional print on the front and a chevron print on the back. Preshrunk and colorfast cotton with durable coconut buttons.  Set of 2 standard pillowcases $48.  Set of 2 standard shams $48.  Queen-size duvet $168.

Also shown in picture: Landscape Mug, Prescraft, Cameroon, $12. Carved Floral Tray, Asha Handicrafts, India, set of 3 $68

bedding jaipur

Jaipur Silkscreen Bedding $48-$168

Coming soon to Serrv’s online store, the Jaipur Silkscreen is a rich and luxurious set in varying shades of indigo.  Silkscreened on both sides with floral and paisley, the printed designs are inspired by traditional Jaipurian motifs. The shams and duvet cover have in pearly button closures. Preshrunk and colorfast cotton.   Set of 2 standard pillowcases $48.  Set of 2 standard shams $48.  Queen-size duvet $168.

Also shown, Elephant Nesting Tables, Asha Handicrafts, India, $235 set of 2.


Zebras and Giraffes and Elephants, Oh My!

safari pillows

Serrv’s new ‘early autumn’ catalog was waiting for me when I arrived home today.  Serrv’s designers do such a nice job of creating seasonal home collections. There are classic functional pieces as well as fresh new décor designs.  The 16″ Safari pillows are affordable at $25 each, and come from a wonderful group in Kenya called Bombolulu.  The trio of animal pillows would provide graphic flair to a living room or study and add some animal whimsy to a children’s room or nursery.

Read about Bombolulu.

Shop now!

Fun With Visual Merchandising

Of the various aspects of my job in retail management, I truly enjoy everything, even I.T. and maintenance, but one of my true loves is visual merchandising.  For the layman, ‘visual merchandising’ means displaying products in a way that looks good, makes a store easy to shop, and encourages customers to actually purchase said displayed items.

It is a creative outlet that inspires me, saves my own home from being redecorated on a weekly basis, (even though I do have all of my furniture on the same sliders I use at work so I can rearrange my home floor-plans at will, as in right now in the middle of this post when I realized my gossip bench would fit nicely in an unused corner.) and if done correctly, promotes and increases product sales.

Visual Merchandising is both a gift as well as a learned skill, and a good indication that you might appreciate or be good at it is that any of the following are true:

A.)  You love to look at the windows in the Ralph Lauren store but have never actually purchased anything there.

B.) You visit Anthropologie to check out how they are using shipping pallets/tissue paper/cardboard and not to see what teacups/necklaces/soap dishes they have in stock.

courtesy of mannm.blogspot.com

courtesy of mannm.blogspot.com

C.) When you were in Paris/Milan/NYC, you took as many (or more) pictures of the store windows of Givenchy/Dolce & Gabbana/Marc Jacobs as you did of the Eiffel Tower/La Scala/Central Park.


courtesy of retaildesignblog.net

D.)  While you are shopping in Pier One, you notice bare spots in displays and either realize something must have just sold or mentally search for something else on a nearby shelf that would go nicely within the display.

Father’s Day is usually a quiet day at the shop and since no displays are due to be changed until next month, I used some of my time this afternoon to add a bit of whimsy to various displays around the store.  Not surprisingly, my quirky “captions” initiated smiles and conversation among shoppers.  It didn’t take long for customers to start hunting each display looking for more captioned figurines, drawing their interest to areas they weren’t intending to shop. Within a day or two, I had even sold out of two of the items featured.

“Oh, ‘washer first, then nut’, read Rodney. “No wonder I feel like my head isn’t screwed on straight!”


Recycled Reader, $18, Made in Cambodia by The Rajana Association.

“Carmine and Marcel’s relationship could certainly be classified under “Its Complicated.”

carmine marcel

Cat & Mouse Kisii Set, $24, Made in Kenya by Kisac Fair Trade, ltd.

Here is an easy retail tip you can start using right away: Lead with a free gift!  (Jason Statham agrees with me)

If it is Father’s Day and some patient papa is getting dragged into your store by his wife and daughter who saw your “Jewelry Sale” sign in the window on the way home from brunch, for heaven’s sake, give that man a free gift, a comfy chair, and a cold bottle of water “just because it is Father’s Day”.  He’ll be so appreciative you recognized his needs you may very well see him back to shop for his gals every Christmas, birthday, and Valentine’s Day.  Not only are you doing your part to be kind to other humans, but in sales, the proof of the return on letting every customer know they are important is made evident by our store’s male customer base being 20-25%,  which is significantly higher than the national average of 5-10% for a store like ours.