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PURPOSE

In response to the success of ONE, the Columbus College of Art & Design students rallied for a second retail class - this time with much larger aspirations. Providing retail experience for interested students through multi-disciplinary classes. FORTHMADE was the result. A one-day pop-up store event featuring limited edition hand-created product.

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THE RESEARCH

Extensive research, including studying competition and similar business models and building consumer profiles, was done to build a solid strategy. In addition, we learned how to create PR packages, give pitch presentations, and speak with investors. As a result, we earned funding to pursue the project.

One of our four Consumer Profiles.

One of our four Consumer Profiles.

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THE MAKERS

A larger store meant larger inventory. We opened the store up to alumni and CCAD faculty as well as students. These were the makers - the hands and voices behind the product. Their work ranged from prints and original paintings to fashion,  jewelry, wood-turning, ceramics, glass-blowing, and paper-toys.


ADVERTISING & STRATEGY

Our advertising had to reach two very distinct audiences - the consumers at Easton Town Center and the CCAD community. We accomplished this with two campaigns (one for each) and a strong social media presence. Channels included emails, posters, on-site advertising, flyers, press releases resulting in news coverage and video promos.

Creating the ads.

Creating the ads.

Installing the ads on-site at the Easton Town Center.

Installing the ads on-site at the Easton Town Center.

Photos and interviews with the teams of FORTHMADE would launch weekly on Facebook followed by exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of what each team was working on. 

Photos and interviews with the teams of FORTHMADE would launch weekly on Facebook followed by exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of what each team was working on. 

Social media was an integrated part of the campaign. We used image-friendly platforms since the emphasis of our campaigns were highly visual.

Social media was an integrated part of the campaign. We used image-friendly platforms since the emphasis of our campaigns were highly visual.


STORE: OPENING DAY

The store was located in an old dinner theater within the mall. We had to scrub the space clean, move everything in, open, and then move out all in 5 days. For nine hours, the store hosted customers moved inventory, and represented the Columbus College of Art & Design. The store was successful in encouraging the college to consider keeping the Developing Retail Class and explore further options to sell CCAD student and alum work.

The space before.

The space before.

The space in progress. Newsprint effectively hid the stages. Bright pops of color stood out against the (unchangeable) blue and black. Natural textures of the wood contrasted the industrial feel of the exposed ceilings and concrete. Our plywood box displays were a cost-effective way to showcase a variety of merchandise and still be versatile enough for future events.

The space in progress. Newsprint effectively hid the stages. Bright pops of color stood out against the (unchangeable) blue and black. Natural textures of the wood contrasted the industrial feel of the exposed ceilings and concrete. Our plywood box displays were a cost-effective way to showcase a variety of merchandise and still be versatile enough for future events.

Our relationship with our customers didn't end after the purchase - flyers were inserted into each branded bag encouraging them to share their thoughts on the experience, stay in touch, and be ready for the next CCAD pop-up shop event.

Our relationship with our customers didn't end after the purchase - flyers were inserted into each branded bag encouraging them to share their thoughts on the experience, stay in touch, and be ready for the next CCAD pop-up shop event.

The FORTHMADE brand, concept, and execution was a team project created by the Retail Development Class in the spring semester of 2013 at the Columbus College of Art & Design.

 

Marcia Tabler, Columbus College of Art & Design Adjunct Instructor

Lillie (Templeton) Talbott, Business Manager

Alex LanioszArt Director

Qisha Kendy, Designer

Ryun Harrison, Merchandise Manager

Lauren Colbert, Business & Merchandise Co-Manager

Richard Smith III, Videographer

Amanda Hess, Photographer

Meara Swiler, Store & Display Design Manager

Phuong Nguyen, Store Design