At Merion Art, our staff is full of creative people- artists, designers, and more. Creative people are always looking at things as they are and trying to improve them. They have a spirit of progress and change. So it’s no surprise that over the last year, and especially in the last couple of weeks, we’ve been making some big changes to the store and its layout, all to make the store look and work better for our customers and our staff.
Our aim is to continue to provide the service and knowledge that has kept us going for 47 years, combined with creative innovation that brings the store up to date from 1971 to 2018 and beyond. Here are some of the changes we’ve made and why we’ve made them, as well as some future plans for moving forward!
Store Remodel- The new floor layout is now just about a year old, but we’re still getting long-time customers noticing it for the first time. We rearranged the whole store to make aisles wider and more comfortable, and make items easier to locate. It also gives our remodeled front counter a better view of the store and both entrances, allowing us to see the whole store and assist customers more easily.
Custom Framing Area Remodel– We moved a pre-existing half-wall perpendicular to where it had been, and rotated the whole framing area by 90 degrees, opening up the space and improving flow. We also split the counter, making it easier for two framing designers to work with customers at the same time. The framing counter has been in the same area for over 15 years, but after we moved the half-wall, we’ve been getting customers noticing it for the first time!
Front Classroom Remodel-We know that the thing that sets small businesses apart from big box stores and online shopping is personal connection. We wanted to make it easier for artists and teachers in our store to connect with interested students and beginners. We’ve been doing small art demos for many years, but we’ve never had a great space for larger, more in-depth demos and classes on site. We wanted to make a space in our store where we could run quality programming like workshops, demonstrations, classes, and more. We did some major rearranging and found the space right in the front of our store. This week, we’ve laid a new floor (for easier cleanup), and opened up the front window for better lighting. We’ll start having demos in the new space this weekend!
Repainting- Everyone knows nothing improves the look of a room like a fresh coat of paint. We’ll be touching up and repainting starting today. Swapping the old mustard and purple-grey paint out for a basic white should make the whole place feel cleaner and brighter! Look for some murals to start popping up in the not-too-distant future too- artists can’t look at blank fields of white wall without our fingers itching to pick up our brushes!
Repro Remodel– Our Repro department has evolved from producing Whiteprints for architects in 1971 to what it is today- a full service graphic design and printing department. The next remodel on the agenda is to make a design consulting space so our talented graphic designers can work directly with clients and show off all the amazing stuff they can do. This will involve shrinking the Repro area slightly and moving our designers to a more accessible space across the aisle, where customers can talk with designers directly and see examples right on their computer screens.
Now that you’ve seen our Done-list and our To-Do List of changes, what kinds of changes would you like to see at Merion Art? What things do you want us to never change?