Alligator With Bow

a cajun christmas – showroom display

The summertime is a time that we embrace following a busy Christmas season. We use this downtime as an opportunity to “reset”. We go to Market. We order new merchandise and materials. We meet with clients to discuss the past year and look ahead to the future. We organize our inventory and search the new trends.

Because this year was our first in a new warehouse, we have been trying to plan a over-the-top showroom area that would showcase our props and decor while staying current with trends and offer several nice displays that will appeal to new and existing clients when they come to visit.

Kelly had been staring at this corner of the room for quite some time trying to decide what to do with it before it finally dawned on her.
“Louisiana. Cajun. Hellooooooooooo!”

It took some brain racking but with us being from South Louisiana, everyone is familiar with a children’s book titled “Cajun Night Before Christmas”.

So, to begin, Kelly approached the warehouse manager with photos and a rough sketch. Once everyone was on the same page with a vision, we started with the planning. Miraculously, on Timmy’s way home, he noticed that an old fence had been pulled down and was placed at the roadside to be thrown away that evening. He beat the garbage truck, loaded up the fence boards and returned to the office the next morning ready to get started.

With some cinder-blocks set onto a plywood base, we were able to raise the wood “floor” from the ground to have an elevated display.
We covered two existing walls with the boards to create a backdrop that resembled an old porch, then managed to find some old tin sheets to create a roof.

Pulling the rest of the details were quite simple once this part of the project was completed.

Kelly chose to use a Woody Creek style tree which has rubber tips and isn’t as full as other options that we carry, giving her the ability to fill the tree with larger ball ornaments and more stems. To stick with the “Southern” theme, she used pieces that she had in the warehouse like gold or moss green colored ball ornaments, a 10k gold glittered Magnolia leaf spray, black and gold glittered pinecones, a light gold glittered fern leaf spray and a sea foam green Money plant stem.

We had two large, standing alligator props available from one of our shopping centers that Kelly was able to include in order to tie it all together.

Originally, the plan was to build half of a “boat” figure to make this space a photo area for guests to come in with their families for a non-traditional Christmas card, but while the plans for that are drawn up, we found an extra Santa boxed in the warehouse and placed him into the center of the display. The pop of red from his coat was a very nice touch, so Kelly took a 2.5″ red velvet ribbon and made bows which she then glued onto the chest of both alligators.

City Center DC

city center – washington d.c. 2019

Each year we pack warm socks to head north to Washington D.C. to complete the grand Christmas display that takes over the beautiful outdoor area in City Center. By the team we leave, there are approximately 200 trees lit with LED lights, an 80′ tall Christmas tree with hundreds of over-sized ornaments and two 25′ tall Manzanita deer carefully placed on concrete bases.

The following photos were taken during both phases of the 2019 installation process by a team member.

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Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.