Thursday, October 28, 2010

Window Dressing

As the great recession takes its toll on small business owners, we find ourselves working harder and putting in longer hours in an effort to bring in more new business.  To my delight, however, our business has picked up, thanks to our loyal clients from the past who are starting to get busier. This is how Customer Service is supposed to work!  It may not pay off immediately, but it sure pays off in the long run.  Customer Service is not just a department staffed by cheerful people who apologize for the mistakes of others, but a willingness on everyone's part to do what it takes to make everything right.

Our First Window, October 2001

Along with service, promotion is a key factor in getting your name out.  Lampworks' Designer Showcase Windows have been designed and installed by well-known interior designers since their inception in 2002. Past participants have included alumni of the Kips Bay Designer Showhouse, Holiday House and the office of Albert Hadley.  

Our current window was just completed by an interior designer with a fresh slant on things, Felicia Zwebner, of Art de Triomphe, LLC.  Each window has a theme and Felicia, in keeping with "everything French", has installed a table and chairs on a stone patio under a canopy of branches and moss.  But....the world has turned topsy-turvey!  The dining area is on a wall, our entrance stairs has morphed into a waterfall and you'll walk across the sky to enter the showroom alongside a Montgolfier!  So, stop by and see Felicia in Lampworksland. 

The benefit of these windows is plain to see (no pun intended), but for us it is the privilege of being in on the planning and installation.  My staff and I have so much fun watching and participating as the the windows come alive.  Thank you Window25, Faux Time Design, Gramercy Park Flower Shop, Kravet, Pierre Deux and Inkjet Textile Printing.   As Felicia states, "It's difficult to put together a great group of tradespeople like the ones I work with."  Our windows are a win-win effort that brings attention to the designer, our lighting, and the furniture, fabric, flooring and accessories that are loaned to us by area merchants.  Additionally, talented tradespeople get to strut their stuff where everyone can see how they use floral displays, paint clouds, and build beautiful upholstered balloons (yes balloons!).

It never ceases to amaze me how store owners neglect their best asset - their windows on the world.  Lampworks has become known for ever-changing, constantly amazing, creative windows.  Local shoppers, residents and other merchants tell us how they walk down 58th Street just to see what we've done with our window.  It keeps people looking into our showroom, and - we've proven that interior designers love doing windows!

PS: If you can't make it to NYC, you can see the window and read all about it in the Traditional Home magazine blog!