Individuality, creativity pay off for downtown decorators

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 7, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — By incorporating products sold in the store and using a sense of humor, Queen’s Gifts won the top award in the seventh annual Holiday Storefront Decorations contest.
In one large window at 221 S. Main St., Queen’s owner Jane Crosby has reindeer on barstools sipping martinis, said Frannie Taylor, a judge for the contest and member of the city’s Community Appearance Commission. In another window designed to delight children, Santa appears to be stuck, his oversized stockinged feet hanging from the ceiling.
Queen’s and other downtown stores impressed Taylor, an interior designer, with their individuality and creativity. The winning storefronts are well-proportioned and use color effectively, she said.
“I looked for how deep the talent was in pulling together the theme,” she said. “They were exceptional.”
Taylor noted the time, effort and expense merchants have invested in their storefronts, which she said set the tone for Salisbury’s retail industry.
Business owners face an ongoing challenge to give storefronts a magnetic appeal year-round, said Taylor, who used to own Embellishments.
“We are very, very fortunate that our downtown retailers make the commitment to do that all year, not just during the holidays,” she said.
Taylor and Deborah Harris, another Community Appearance Commission member, spent several hours viewing 75 storefronts with City Planner Lynn Raker. Taylor and Harris deliberated for 30 minutes before settling on six different awards to honor the most inspired efforts of shopkeepers.
The other awards were:
• Most Welcoming Holiday Entry: Great Finds and Designs (429 N. Main St.) owners Diana Hall and Carolyn Spellenburg used the building’s wonderful two-story front porch to create an inviting scene, incorporating a welcoming southern theme with a little bit of sparkle, Taylor said.
• Best New Store Display: Faye’s on Main (124 N. Main St.) owner Faye Holder used lots of “glitter and glam” to create an upbeat and creative look. “Her talents in creativity and love for all that shines was represented,” Taylor said.
• Best Decoration for a Small Space: Salisbury Wine Shop (106 S. Main St.) owners Stephanie and Bob Potter used an elegant collection of white linens, crystal and silver to creat a twinkling winter wonderland. “It’s a very small vignette, yet very effective,” Taylor said.
• Best Holiday Transition: Spring Robin (113 W. Fisher St.) owner Robin Hager created a nostalgic display of two holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, featuring her own needlework and other products found within the shop.
• Greenest Christmas Award: Salisbury Square Antiques (111 S. Main St.) owners Bob Shuler and Von Poston recycled decades-old Downtown Salisbury holiday decorations — retro green-fringed Christmas trees. With two large windows brimming with pre-owned treasures, the shop sets the perfect example for “going green,” Taylor said.
The Community Appearance Commission gave special thanks to Textile Products in the 100 block of North Main Street for decorating not only their own windows but several across the street and F&M Financial Center for maintaining the elegant public access along Easy Street.
Don’t miss new holiday lights on Miller Davis Studio at 118 N. Main St. and the building owned by Michael and Diane Young at 111-117 E. Innes St., as well as the LED shooting stars on the zelkova tree in front of Uncle Buck’s.
All storefront decoration winners will be invited to the CAC Biennial Awards program where they will be honored for their contributions.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.