Glitterville Studio Store
Making holiday magic is a way of life for Stephen Brown. His passion for making things and celebrating holidays led this former costume designer to create the Glitterville brand 17 years ago. Today, the brand sparkles even brighter with thousands of products, books and now a flagship store in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Gift Shop caught up with Brown as he re-opened his retail store after being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gift Shop: What are you doing differently in-store since reopening after the COVID crisis?
Stephen Brown: No matter how you feel about this super non-glittery virus that’s taken over the world, we can all agree that we want it to go away and not come back! At the Glitterville Studio Store in Knoxville, we have found fun ways to announce our new procedures that give our customers a heads up before coming inside the store. Poems like this one are clearly posted on our windows, “In case you were wondering and thought you should ask, the answer if YES you MUST wear a MASK! If you don’t have one, or left yours at home, we’ll give you a PINK one and the store you may Roam!” We realize that some people may not have a mask … which is no problem, we just hand them one of ours complete with a unicorn pin! It’s fun for them to receive and we feel we are doing our part to protect our patrons and cast members.
In addition to handing out masks, and social distancing, we are also sanitizing everything on site and limiting the number of guests in the store at one time. To be honest, it’s a lot of work, but it’s just what’s required of us all in these perilous times!
GS: How did you reach your customers during the quarantine and will you continue that after reopening?
SB: My slogan throughout quarantine has been “There are sparklier days ahead” and I truly believe there are! It’s not always easy to find positives in a pandemic, but for myself, getting to know Glitterville’s customers and fans via social media has been the most sparkling surprise ever!
In the first days of lockdown, the decision was made that rather than quarantining at home, Bryan Crabtree and I would stay in the loft apartment at the Glitterville Studio Store in Knoxville. This would allow us to continue working instead of being much less productive on our sofas at home. During this time, I started doing a daily or semi daily craft tutorials on Instagram Live which turned into an amazing thing for me personally as well as for the business! Not only was I able to engage with our followers, customers and retailers, we saw a huge spike in sales just from the exposure of introducing the Glitterville brand to many people who had never seen it before. So this is something I have vowed to continue, even if it’s from remote locations around the world.
GS: What are your predictions for the 2020 holiday trends, both in terms of consumer attitude as well as décor trends?
SB: I expect consumers to be looking for the giftware equivalent of comfort food this holiday season. Tree trimmings and seasonal sparkle that makes them feel good, and brings a smile to their face, will be the trend, more so than a signature color, etc.
2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to retailers who must be more creative than ever in the process of putting their fabulous things in the hands of customers. It’s very important to remember that in times of hardship and war, people look even harder for unique items to make their homes and lives happier. Be there for your customers, whose days are brightened by your wonderful wares!
GS: Will you have showrooms at any markets when they open up later this summer?
SB: Glitterville has permanent wholesale showroom locations in Atlanta, Dallas and LA and will be open for all the summer shows. The studio store in Knoxville will also be open to the general public.
GS: How can retailers connect with you to sell Glitterville?
SB: Our wholesale site can be accessed through our parent company, One Hundred 80 Degrees, at www.onehundred80.com. If you would like to speak to someone in sales or for one of our many regional sales representatives to show you our catalog in person, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 888-400-4180.