New Year. New Projects.

Usually we find the fall months (particularly September) a natural “renewal” time, when many businesses launch new initiatives to follow on the footsteps of the post-summer, back-to-school wave.  The new year doesn’t usually lend itself to this.  Yet two exciting projects just happened in the span of two weeks that brought a little lift to my post-holiday slump.

The first is the relaunch of the ever-popular design site Apartment Therapy.  They’ve been working on the design of the new site for over two years, and this “3.0” version is a beauty.  The site is much cleaner (taking a cue from fashion and food sites) and all of the sites’ previous sections have been consolidated into one, official blog.  To get to the separate sections, easy-to-navigate top and left navigation bars make finding your favorite recipe or home tour a LOT easier.  Bravo to the team!

You can learn more about the new site and the thought process behind it in Maxwell’s description of the new site.

Our featured image this week is from BizBash, the leading trade media for the events industry.  To capitalize on the recent excitement around decades-lost nostalgia (think Mad Men, Pan Am….) HBO decided to turn their retail store on 6th Avenue and 42nd Street into a ’20s era speakeasy for one week, in honor of the Season 1 DVD release for “Boardwalk Empire”.  It was fantastic – the front window was boarded up, with a false front door and actors playing bootleggers who invited people into the space.  Old-time wallpaper, black and white photos, and a bar (no alcohol was served) added to the allure.  Around the country (Chicago, LA, Atlanta) vintage cars rolled around each city selling DVDs out of the back seat.

I spoke with the manager of the store who said that traffic was slow at first (they did too good of a job making it look like an out-of-business storefront) but once the actors got to work AND the store posted details on their Facebook page, the fans started rolling in.  It was a fun event, pulled off in a matter of weeks by a slew of vendors, including myself as the curtained entryway designer.  We’ll see if this type of marketing gimmic becomes a new trend – regardless, it brought a smile to many folks’ faces as they walked through the door.

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