Donahue’s Greenhouses in Faribault, Minn., had fun promoting euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ during its fall and winter holiday events by dressing up Stella the mannequin in three different outfits.
“The holiday look for Stella was fun and lively,” says Kathy Donahue Nass. “Late in the summer we designed a skirt of ‘Diamond Frost,’ hoping it would become her holiday skirt. On Oct. 28, we held a fundraiser for our catholic high school and found Stella dressed in an ’80’s cheerleeding costume for the event. She received many compliments on this look. On Nov. 15 for our holiday open house, we needed to find an outfit that went with Stella’s classic personality. At an antique shop we found this classic outfit direct from Caesar’s Palace. Again, she was a stopper as you walked through our doors! And for her final look of the season Stella donned a beautiful red velvet top. She appeared ready to step out to any holiday party!”
Donahue’s purchased Stella on e-Bay last spring as part of its entry into Proven Winners’ retail display competition. Last spring and summer, Stella wore a ‘Supertunia Vista Bubblegum’ skirt with a lysimachia bikini top. Donahues did win a $1000 prize in the competition, which is also promoted by our sister magazine, Today’s Garden Center. Donahue’s divided the cash prize between two local charities, Hospice House and Ruth’s House, a local shelter for women.
While Donahue’s is best known for producing clematises, it’s large garden center is open mid-April through June and mid-November though Dec. 23. Stella was a big hit with customers all year. “There were so many laughs. People would take pictures of her with their cell phones,” Nass says. “Elder gentleman would stand next to her.”
This is a simple idea to generate more excitement at retail. We saw glimpses of this concept at past Fashion In Bloom events.
Have any retail ideas you’d like to share? Email Greenhouse Grower’s Editor Delilah Onofrey at email@example.com.