Let Local Artists Decorate Your Shop

The weeks between the Fourth of July (or Canada Day) and the arrival of fall can feel long and challenging for retailers trying to come up with visual merchandising displays. IMG_4129

If you’re pressed for ideas, you might steal this one from my favorite local barista, Zach Peavler, owner of The Local Bean. He decorates his coffee shop with work by local artists, which guests can purchase. (He receives a 20 percent commission.)

“It gives the shop good visual appeal and it fits in with what we’re all about: supporting the local community,” Peavler says. “It’s there in our name. We’re a local coffee house that sells goods from a local bakery and a local spa.”

IMG_4126By reaching out to artists, he nurtures more relationships within the community, people who become customers and talk up The Local Bean to their friends. He also has a rotation of colorful, intriguing items that change up the shop’s aesthetic. As a bonus, he makes a little money. IMG_4127

Artists like having Peavler show their work because the coffee shop has much more foot traffic than a gallery.

To find local talent, Peavler turns to the Ringling College of Art and Design. “It’s really easy to find people,” he said. “Sarasota is an art town and there are a lot of artists looking for an outlet to show their stuff.”