For its 2016 Design Stars competition, Mayesh Wholesale added an unexpected twist: two winners.
That decision was made in advance, said Yvonne Ashton, director of marketing, explaining that the role of the competition winner — to create inspirational design videos throughout the coming year for Mayesh to share with its customers — can be time-consuming.
“This year we had [2015 competition winner] Beth O’Reilly local in Los Angeles, so we were able to see first-hand how much time and effort went into each video and realized that we wanted to do something to reduce the work that came along with the position,” Ashton explained. “Additionally, we thought it would be fun for [people] to see two designers throughout the year — floral inspiration from two different perspectives.”
Jerome Raska AIFD, AAF, PFCI, CF, of Blumz… by JRDesigns in metro Detroit and Shawn Michael Foley of Birmingham, Alabama, beat out a field of 17 designers to win the 2016 honor. The marketing team at Mayesh narrowed down the initial field to 10 and then let the public select its top five. From there, the company selected the final winners, whose prize package includes a trip to Holland.
In their new roles, both Raska and Foley will come up with six design concepts to showcase via video in 2016. Mayesh will then coordinate the shoot and production.
Since its inception, the Design Stars competition has helped boost Mayesh’s social media presence — contributing significantly to the company’s 1 million-plus views on YouTube, Ashton said, adding that the time-sensitive nature of the competition, which ran Sept. 7 to Sept. 11, along with its highly social nature (competitors shared their videos and encouraged fans and friends to cast votes) add to the success of the campaign.
Check out the finalists’ video entries, including Foley’s “fun, natural” tablescape for a rehearsal dinner and Raska’s highly textural bridal bouquet how-to.