Name a more perfect Valentine’s Day window display than a fully functioning kissing booth. (We’ll wait.)
While browsing the Burton + Burton gift supplier catalogue, Jennifer Procaccio of Enchanted Florist in Pocomoke City, Maryland, saw a wooden kissing booth for sale for just over $150 and decided it would make a fun window display for Valentine’s Day.
Since setting it up in mid-January, she has had numerous couples stop in the shop, asking to take photos in the booth. After they’re done, many have taken a few minutes to place their order for Valentine’s Day — helping Procaccio cut down on the maddening trend of last-minute orders.
“The Kissing Booth puts the idea in their head to start ordering for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “It puts a smile on their face and is something different than a normal V-Day display.”
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, Procaccio shared one of these couples’ photos on Facebook, earning more than 175 likes, seven comments and six shares (including the “Go Independent, Shop Small” Facebook group, an advocate for small businesses with a large, national following).
Procaccio will keep the booth up until just after the holiday, and she intends to re-use the installation for Mother’s Day and subsequent Valentine’s Days. She described the booth as an extremely worthwhile investment, because it catches the attention of passersby and gives them a chance to take romantic photo-ops for their social media pages, thus advertising Enchanted Florist for free.
Across from the kissing booth, Procaccio also hung a banner for the clothing company Simply Southern. The shop’s partnership with the North Carolina-based merchandiser of trendy knit apparel and accessories appeals to teens and young women. “We like to advertise the line ahead of Valentine’s Day because it has lots of hot items,” Procaccio said.
Interested in setting up your own eye-catching, interactive display? Here are some of Procaccio’s tips.
Browse wholesale catalogues. Procaccio found the Kissing Booth via her Burton + Burton gift supplier. Sure, there are scores of props and accessories available on the Internet in a few keystrokes, but it can be hard to locate your treasured find if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Stepping back in time and browsing a print catalogue provided Procaccio inspiration and helped her settle on a merchandising item that set the shop apart from competitors in a fun way.
Urge customers to take photos. In the latest issue of Gifts and Decorative Accessories magazine, visual merchandising expert Becky Tyre wrote a post about mural and other photo-worthy displays as a way to establish a connection with your community and encourage customers to snap photos and share them online, generating attention for your business. Procaccio offers to play paparazzi for any couples who come in the shop and suggests they post them on social media.
Flaunt your creativity. The connection between Valentine’s Day and flowers is fairly obvious, but the staff at Enchanted Florist removed any ambiguity by adorning the kissing booth with loose petals, as well as hanging hearts and red and pink fabric. Even great props can be made better, Procaccio said, suggesting florists add their personal flare.
Mackenzie Nichols is a contributing writer for the Society of American Florists.