design,  Photography,  Portfolio

Alamwar Holiday Set


It may not be Christmas yet, but it sure feels like it in the Hyde Park shop! Saturday evening was the annual Hyde Park Enchanted Tree Lighting event, kicking off the holiday season here in the Village.

In my personal life, I am adamant about not decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving marks the last day of fall in my book, and our family tradition was to always put up the Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.

However, the world of retail does things a bit differently and I found myself putting up trees, garlands, and bows two weeks before Thanksgiving! Let the holiday playlists ring!



Shoutout to Dash Creative, who I’ve had the opportunity to work hand in hand with these couple of months. Dash Creative handles the Tampa Bay Salvage website and does great work here in Tampa Bay. 


There is some beautiful artistry in this shop, of which are these leather shoes. These are one of two pairs of dress shoes, but we also have three pairs of boots, a backpack, laptop sleeve, iPad sleeve, and passport holder from the same artisans of Kakaw designs in Guatemala. 
We didn’t want to do the traditional red and green colors throughout the entire store. So, this wall story is a nice combination of blues, greens, and neutrals. You’ll see silver dollar eucalyptus used throughout the store as an accent with the frosted pine garlands. It’s a subtle way to soften the hard and prickly pine. 
These awesome origami ornaments were made by local artist Danielle Champagne. You can contact her through Mike Trobiano at the Dash Creative website. 


Processed with VSCO with a6 presetTo decorate the large Christmas tree, I used random salvage items from the TBS warehouse. Seeing as one of the companies represented in the store is Tampa Bay Salvage (TBS), I thought it would be appropriate.

Since the tree went up, these ornaments have actually been quite the conversation starter. A few people have even asked if they’re for sale!

They’re so easy to make, so if you want to go for major farmhouse, salvage Christmas, just gather up some random pieces from a salvage yard, loop some brown twine or string on them, and you’re good to go.

I also put together the wreath on the large set of Indian doors framing the cash wrap. It’s semi-homemade–I started with a grapevine wreath base from Michaels, added a few sprigs of frosted pine, and some fresh silver dollar eucalyptus. Super simple!



The window displays turned out slightly different than my original sketches, but you have to be flexible. IMG_7551First off, I’m working with another talented Creative who had a slightly different vision than me. Second, we had limited resources. Third, you never know until you begin. All of those things are extremely important when you are collaborating with others. And usually, the final product in the end turns out even better than what you could’ve done on your own.

The original idea was to use the large white door in the center display for customers to see directly as they walk in. IMG_7550However, once the door came and we placed it in the center, it didn’t quite work. Also, as we rearranged other furniture throughout the store, a large rectangular Indian wedding table ended up in the front window display with the Christmas tree. So, the horse had to move out of the picture and was replaced by some cool metal trees on top of the table. Finally, we didn’t end up with the wooden signs hanging in both windows. Instead, I improvised and made a smaller handwritten one for just one of the window displays. Things never turn out exactly the way we plan, but that’s the beauty of creativity.

Working at this shop has been a wonderful opportunity for expanding my portfolio, merchandising and staging experience, and meeting some new local entrepreneurs. We’ll see what the next month has in store…no pun intended! 


This is absolutely my favorite time of year. As I get older, I’m determined for it to stay that way. This year is going to feel a bit different because I’ll be working a lot for the first time. Up until now, I’ve had between two and four weeks off during the holidays. This year, I’ll have three days total between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But those three days are going to be the best days of the year. No traveling, no commitments. Just family, traditions, and lots of good food. I hope you have the same luxury to spend with those you love and who love you.


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