Make It Rain!

My VAE retail window display is up! As part of the Launch program, each Launcher gets to choose a month to install their window display to display their products. I started brainstorming what I wanted to do way back when and found a bunch of windows on Pinterest and the internet that I loved! Two of the ones I was most inspired by that fit my theme were the animal related ones.

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I think I might love every Anthropology window ever displayed. And the one with the cat and all those colored balls of various sizes got me thinking. I needed balls. Lots and lots of balls in my display 😉

As I got further into my process and started thinking more about what I could realistically do, I knew I wanted to hang tennis balls everywhere as well as display my products somehow. I ended up randomly thinking of the theme “make it rain” just because I thought it would be funny 😉 This brought me to some rain related inspiration:1702e485226c5f8aaa287830e0fbc296 ea41d98726e1843b41e9f16ba93398c9 fe0e20fd0505432564ab5cee46fd12cf

I loved the colorful umbrellas hanging in the Palazzo in Vegas when I was there awhile back. And I loved the colorful raindrops and the dimension in the raindrops and clouds in the window displays above. I went so far as to design and cut rain drops and was going to hang those along with the tennis balls, but I didn’t like the way it ended up looking.

When I was little, I had this clear bubble umbrella that I absolutely loved. I planned on using this mannequin that some other Launchers had used in their display (lovingly named Tina) and thought the display would look great to have her (with her bubble umbrella, rain boots and rain coat) walking Chocolate Chippy. Turns out Tina didn’t quite fit into my display! I set her up in my living room and Chip strongly expressed his distaste for her haha. Something about the situation just wasn’t working out. Unfortunately, poor Tina is now in a garbage bag in storage at VAE haha (sorry Tina!)

I still loved the bubble umbrella, and decided to get two more! The guy at Target thought I was crazy…

The best thing you can do when creating a display like this is create everything to size. Luckily, as a graphic designer, I’m able to do everything exactly to scale using my computer and programs. For others, it might be a little guesswork, but you can sketch out a rough sketch and still get a good idea of what you’re working with. There were lots of updates to this document, but this is what I ended up with!


Instead of the raindrops, I tied a whole bunch of tennis balls to the umbrellas with fishing line. I never want to tie another tennis ball again!!!! BTW- a lot of tennis clubs donate their used tennis balls for free! I cut all the vinyl using my silhouette, and I put all my greeting cards in plastic sleeves (two per sleeve so when they turn on the line people can still see the design).

The best tip I can give you- prepare the best you can for the window, but go in knowing that the actual display won’t end up looking exactly like you planned! Plan for the unplanned. For example. the weather fit our theme “make it rain” the day of install. Because it was pouring outside, we couldn’t get all the vinyl on as planned because the windows were wet. Unfortunately, I had to leave for Buffalo the next day, so Chocolate Chippy’s tagline didn’t make it on the window. Another thing that happened was the tennis balls I had pre-tied to the umbrellas got super knotted. Also, when I hung the Chocolate Chippy logo sign where I planned for it to go, it didn’t look right because the bar up the middle of the windows cut it off and there was a blank space where the vinyl was supposed to go. But, since we planned for the unplanned, we made it work! I was super happy with the way it turned out! Of course, pictures just can’t do it justice!!

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Make sure you stop by the Visual Art Exchange at 309 W. Martin Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601 to see it in person!

Hint hint- a great time to check it out would be this upcoming First Friday, which will be Friday, October 2nd. First Friday is a free self-guided tour of downtown’s cultural hot spots. Local art galleries, art studios, alternative art venues, and museums stay open late the first Friday of every month to welcome thousands of art-seeking enthusiasts downtown. It’s always so much fun!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

p.s.- please excuse my hair and the way I looked after setting up the window! That’s what happens when you “make it rain” and install vinyl in the pouring rain haha!

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