My favorite part of a design project is install week. It’s the busy, chaotic, team-building time when you roll up your sleeves, rock some loud music and see all your hard work come to life.
Because of the nature of our spaces, our installs look very different than most. There is a gameplan and fixture roadmap for the stores’ success, but when it comes to the décor masterplan, I wing it.
I believe that overplanning hinders the creative process to bring a space to life. So instead of mapping out every single corner and accent, I shop for things I love and figure out their home on site.
Plus, the pieces I decorate with aren’t perfect and often need me to pivot on the spot to make them work. Because of this, I have a set group of installers I use (and have for ten years) that get my way and roll with the flow on site.
Yesterday was day 1 of our three-day install. We started loading up our flea market finds, clothing racks, mannequins and hundreds of other supplies and fixtures at our HQ. From there we hit a storage unit where I keep former fixtures we’ve rotated out, funky finds I’ve collected over time and tons of styling pieces for risers, hat bar organization and wall art.
After that big haul, we were off to the races at the Galleria. Unloading at the mall isn’t easy so it took some time to snake everything through the back halls, up the elevators and into the space.
While our installers were getting everything in house, our team was in major cleaning mode. Unfortunately, our construction crew isn’t done so we had to work around them all day. We pulled off the floor’s paper coverings, every inch of painter’s tape, swept the floors and mopped what we could. It was filthy, dusty and paint was still drying but we figured it out.
I’ve never had such a messy install, but we didn’t have a choice as my movers were only available this week and I wouldn’t do the job without them. So about 12 of us worked around each other all day moving, unpacking, hanging art and dusting up a storm.
By the end of the day, we hung every single piece of art (we’re talking at least 100 pieces) and placed about half the furniture. We worked our tails off and got so much done!
Today we will finish setting furniture and then focus on the details from hat pegs placement to shelving heights. We’ll have a lot more of our team on site to help on projects from organizing backstock to building mannequins.
By the end of the week, the store will be ready for product and training our new team. This is when all the important details roll out from installing tech to hanging and steaming every single product.
I cannot wait to see the transformation and meet our newest Flea Style family members that will make this space magical for our customers.