Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Detroit... Made in the USA!

We Planned a Presentation and then had a Faux Painting PARTY!

AboveIDAL members, Kathleen Cicchini of "Faux the Fun of It" and Barb Klein of "Creative Impressions" applying Sherwin-Williams, Quartz Stone in color Toasty, SW 6095 at the Robert Allen Showroom at the Michigan Design Center, while a group of interior designer watch their artistry and ease of application.

Tech Help:??? We have videos taken on an iPad, but filmed sideways!?  does anyone know how we can turn them right side up, so that you can see the installation?  if so, email me at  thx in advance!

Robert Allen Showroom was Brave!
So, normally when I present at a Robert Allen showroom in a design center, I have a laptop, projector, brochures and finished samples. We might discuss the how-to nuances of a finish and even show a video of the steps required to install one of the Faux impressions finishes.  (Live Product, wet paint around expensive frunitire and fabrics, ladders and trowels, frenzied painting with plasters...not so much.)

Well, Rebecca Luckhardt and the Motor City... they don't "roll that way!"
(Pun intended... We were rolling fools all day long and with an audience)
Rebecca is pictured above with Patty Mulkiten,
the Robert Allen Showroom Manager at the Michigan Design Center.

Detroit, Rock City:
This time, the Robert Allen showroom manager and staff allowed and encouraged us to bring in local decorative artists and their designers for a hands-on class on Venetian Plaster, Quartz Stone and Metallics.  Rebecca Luckhardt, DAE and Jessie Gourlie, sales/service rep, spent the previous afternoon, covering floors and setting up multiple work stations. 

Thanks to their hard work, by the time I showed up, we were all set to go.

For information on a Robert Allen showroom near you or to see our fabric and color collaboration go to

Local Talent Pool runs deep:
Last year when I was at the Michigan Design Center, I had the pleasure to meet IDAL member, Heidi Wilt , who shared her portfolio with me in a video interview that I posted in a previous blog. (January, 2011) This time she was out of town on an installation and a few of her IDAL friends filled in for her.

Check out her fresco board below:

Back to 2012:
I was told that we were going to see some talented artists for our advanced class and they werent kidding.  Several talented and experienced artist joined us to share their creativity and get their hands on our Plasters and Metallics. We asked them to bring their favorite trowels and stencils and beads, etc. We also planned for them to share their skills, artistry and portfolios with local interior designers later in the day. 

We did all of the above AND, 2 IDAL members got to really show their stuff installing a showroom vignette to a live audience of interior designer onlookers!!! 

(Kinda reminds me of the new Coke ZERO campaign)

Quick Decisions:
The Robert Allen showroom design team reviewed my portfolio of samples and took a liking to our Quartz Stone, trowelled tightly over eggshell paint.  We explained to them that they could pick any of our colors as all of our Faux Impressions line is tintable and tint-controlled for color accuracy.  In a few minutes, after reviewing their fabrics and art work and thinking ahead to other vignette changes, they picked SW 6095 Toasty.  We decided to tint it in the Quartz Stone Pearl base.  All set, that was EASY...

Wait, the furniture had to all be moved, floors covered, ladders brought in, trim taped off, the walls prepped and painted, etc...  All in the next 90 minutes, WHILE the class was taking place, before the seminar started and the designers showed up. (No Sweat... I admit, I was sweating it a little)

SW Detroit district employees to the Rescue:

Tony and April pitching in!

A store manager, sales rep and a Decorative Product Specialist (DPS) all joined efforts and were back with everything we needed in 30 minutes. In between "teaching" the class and answering questions, I was cutting in the eggshell paint and rolling out the walls.  As artists and designers had comments and questions, I jumped off the ladder, handed the pole to someone else and they finished painting our wall.  We put fans on it, finished up our class and got ready for the live demo.

Class Portfolio:
During all of this fun chaos, there were some great samples created with our Venetian Plaster, Metallics and Quartz Stone by the artists.  see below:

But What about the Original Plan?!
Oh Yeah, we still had an afternoon Designer Seminar with Power Point to conduct, and of course there was the small detail of getting 2 artists, who had never worked with our Quartz Stone and had never worked together and who had 2 different types of trowels, to install the wall in a uniform fashion...

We "rehearsed", they learned to "dance" together and it all went extremely well.

Show's Over, Networking Success:
Questions were answered, walls were completed, advanced installation secrets were shared amongst artists and with interior designers, portfolios were reviewd amd BUSINESS CARDS were exchanged! 

We closed down the design center late and everyone went home tired, inspired and happy!  thanks to all who attended and participated.  A special thanks again to our live demo/speed paint artists Kathleen Cicchini of "Faux the Fun of It" and Barb Klein of "Creative Impressions".  Thanks to Rebecca, the Detroit district and of course the team at Robert Allen.  (Look for "after" photos of the showroom wall on Facebook sometime soon)

Slept like a baby that night:)

The Morning After:
The following Day we trained a large group of paint contractors and district employees.  Detroit is ready and waiting for your call!

Thanks to all!

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