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Best of The Best

Best of the Best: On Kate’s Bridal Train

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Best of the Best LogoWHAT? NO INVITATION TO THE ROYAL WEDDING? There was no need to feel royally snubbed if you lived in Birmingham, MI. Heartwear Designs put on a show to rival the best of English pomp.  — Eileen McClelland

[componentheading]THE IDEA [/componentheading]
[contentheading]Royal Party[/contentheading]

Marcy and Michael Feldman, owners of Heartwear Designs, saw the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April as the perfect opportunity to celebrate in style with a pearl trunk show. The featured designer was Biba Designs, whose jewelry is handmade in England.

[componentheading]THE EXECUTION [/componentheading]
[contentheading]A Bit of British [/contentheading]

Heartwear Designs, a small store with a small budget, partnered with other downtown Birmingham merchants — a caterer, an antiques business, a florist, a chocolatier and a tea company. Marcy posted the event on Facebook and asked her “royal partners” to post the event on their own Facebook pages. Invitations were sent to customers and an email blast followed. The event was announced in four publications after Marcy sent press releases to all the local papers and magazines.

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 Tea and champagne were served all day. Watercress sandwiches, shortbread cookies and chocolates in the shape of crowns were served with a silver tea service, lace napkins and crystal champagne flutes. Guests were invited to don rhinestone tiaras. A floral arrangement featured pearls. A door sign reminded people, “In lieu of gifts for Kate & the Prince please bring food for Gleaners’ Food Bank.”

[componentheading]THE RESULT [/componentheading]
[contentheading]‘Mesmerizing’[/contentheading]

“Everyone who came thought it was so much fun and it created a great selling atmosphere,” Marcy says. “Pretty much everyone who came bought. Sales were through the roof.” Now Heartwear Designs is hoping Harry’s nuptials are not far off. One client customer sent the following e-mail: “Your invitation set the tone for a most charming Royal Jewelry Party. Just like Alice in Wonderland, I strolled through your door, and found myself mesmerized. I was back in England, surrounded by showcases filled with the most exquisite jewelry, scrumptious teas and desserts adorning your lovely sweet table. I will cherish the memory.”

[componentheading]DO IT YOURSELF[/componentheading]

“Everyone who came thought it was so much fun and it created a great selling atmosphere,” Marcy says. “Pretty much everyone who came bought. Sales were through the roof.” Now Heartwear Designs is hoping Harry’s nuptials are not far off. One client customer sent the following e-mail: “Your invitation set the tone for a most charming Royal Jewelry Party. Just like Alice in Wonderland, I strolled through your door, and found myself mesmerized. I was back in England, surrounded by showcases filled with the most exquisite jewelry, scrumptious teas and desserts adorning your lovely sweet table. I will cherish the memory.”

Next royal wedding or special event, do what the Feldmans did. Partner with other local businesses who can amp up the ambience and get the word out. Then do everything you can to publicize the event.

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The Feldmans chose to localize a high-profile, highly hyped event, thus ensuring media interest and attracting a huge amount of publicity. The Detroit Free Press wrote about the event twice. The Feldmans added more interest and widened the focus beyond Birmingham, by raising funds for Gleaners’ Foodbank in Detroit.
“If you can’t afford a PR person,” Feldman says, “do it yourself like I did, and send press releases and pictures.”  A local PR representative who came to the event told Feldman she did it right, too. “Everywhere I looked, you were in the paper,” she said, adding that this would attract more customers in future.

 

 [span class=note]This story is from the July 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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