Have you ever wondered what it’s like to decorate a shop for Christmas? Join us on our adventure decking the halls in Asheville at Rod Works!
When we started blogging in 2018 we heard so many other bloggers talk about the friends they made on Instagram.
It sounded pretty amazing!
But just between us?
We kinda rolled our eyes.
Because seriously, how do you really become friends with people you connect with on social media?
Fast forward three years, and we can honestly say we’ve made some amazing friends thanks to blogging!
You start connecting with people who love doing the same things you love.
Who are struggling with the same issues.
Like algorithms that control who sees (or more often doesn’t see) your content.
Or being judged based on the number of followers you have, and then starting to base your self-worth on those numbers.
Trying to create fresh content.
Always decorating or planning or creating recipes 2-3 months before the actual holiday or season.
Juggling all. the. things.
Then just when you feel like you’re finally getting it right, finding out there’s something new you need to add in.
Or discovering that a social media platform or search engine has made some big changes.
Friends, some days it’s a LOT.
Most people we know in real life just don’t get it, which is fine because we probably don’t realize everything involved in their jobs either!
But that means when we connect with people who can commiserate we have a true basis for an online friendship.
And then, one day, if you’re really lucky, you get to actually meet some of these people.
Which is seriously amazing.
How We Got to Meet Jackie
Recently, we had the opportunity to meet an Instagram friend who owns a shop in Asheville, NC called Rod Works.
Jackie is struggling, like so many small business owners, to find employees right now.
She was facing the huge task of switching her store over to Christmas decor and needed to have it done by October 1.
We live just 2 hours away, and she knows our decorating style.
She also knows we work well with each other, so she hired us to come get her shop ready for the holidays!
We were so excited!
And a little nervous.
She sent us some before photos of her store and you’ll see it already looked pretty full!
Day 1: Move, Rearrange, Assemble, Fluff, and Organize(ish)
We woke up early Sunday morning and got on the road to Asheville.
The first day was spent moving all the fall and Halloween decorations to a smaller area of the store behind the cash register.
Well, actually first we had to clear the space where we would be putting all the fall and Halloween decorations, and figure out how to work all of those items into displays in the back of the store.
Next, we needed to collect all the fall and Halloween decorations from the front section of the store.
All of this while working around all the tubs and boxes of Christmas decorations that were sitting out in the aisles!
We both came home with some bruises on our shins… because we’re graceful like that… LOL
Once the spaces were cleared, Jackie showed us how to fit alllll the fall and Halloween that had been spread over the entire front and kitchen section into a very small space!
The key is layering…
I forgot to take a picture of the Halloween section.
When we got done moving the fall and Halloween decorations, AnnMarie took a quick video of how things looked before we got started with Christmas…
Seven Hours in and Finally Time to Start Christmas…
Once that was done, it was time to rearrange tables and shelves in the front of the store to make room for the five Christmas trees we would be setting up and decorating!
There were so many tubs and boxes of Christmas decorations and we had no idea what was even in them!
It was so hard to put together a plan without knowing what we would be actually putting on the shelves.
The one thing we knew for sure was there was a lot of merchandise.
With even more coming in the next few weeks!
So we decided to clear out as much as possible from the front of the store so we would have room.
That evening, we stayed until 10 PM and got five of the trees assembled and fluffed.
Two of the trees were brand new so there was a lot of fluffing required! LOL
Before we left that night, we unstacked the boxes and tubs so we could see what was in them.
Then we started sorting through all the boxes to try to organize them so it would be easier to find what we wanted the next day.
Or at least that was the plan…
It’s still too soon to share how things were shaping up, but you’re going to be amazed when you see!
Day 2: Decorate, Rearrange, Repeat
The next morning when we arrived, Jackie let us know she had a lot more Christmas merchandise arriving that day!
We spent a little time talking with Jackie about what our initial ideas were for the space.
And then we made some adjustments based on the new product she had coming in and to make room for two additional trees.
We re-rearranged some shelving and tables.
Which required moving the tubs and boxes.
We ended up working 14 hours that day!
It was fun decorating the trees, although decorating themed trees was really different from decorating our trees at home.
That evening we began filling the shelves in the front of the store.
But even as we emptied tubs, we ended up finding things in other tubs that would be perfect in areas we thought we’d finished…
Which meant there was some redecorating!
Just before we were ready to leave we lifted a fully decorated 7-foot flocked tree up onto a table.
Then we moved the table into the front window without a single ornament falling off.
To say we were tired when we got back to the hotel at 1 AM would be an understatement!
And we still had work to take care of for the blog…
We didn’t turn off the lights until 3 AM.
Day 3: It’s Finally Coming Together!
Our last day turned out to be another 14-hour day.
We were originally planning to leave by 7 PM that evening, but decided to stay another night to help Jackie have as much done as possible.
Just wait until you see how everything came together!
That day we assembled and fluffed two more trees.
Strung lights on the new 9-foot tree.
Decorated four trees.
Created some fun window displays.
Jackie helped us decorate the shelves and taught us so much about merchandising.
Displaying products in a store is really different from decorating in your home, although some of the concepts (like varying heights) are great for both.
AnnMarie created a beautiful tablescape in the kitchen section, while Anne worked on adding Christmas accents to the kitchen display shelves.
The experience was both physically and mentally exhausting…
But it was also so gratifying to see the space truly transform into a Christmas wonderland!
We have a new respect for all the shop owners out there who do this every year.
Especially when you consider that they have to continuously redecorate displays as the merchandise is sold!
Jackie has already asked us to come back next year, so we must have done a good job?
Let’s take a peek at how things looked when we were done!
Rod Works Asheville Decorated for Christmas
You’ve seen how things looked when we arrived, let’s take a look at how it looked when we left!
Here’s the exterior of the store with the windows almost all lit up for Christmas!
Can you believe the difference?
We moved the glass front shelves into the front windows because the top of those shelves lined up with the divider in the middle of the windows.
Jackie is adding battery-powered candles and more twinkle lights to the lanterns on top of the tables, so the middle area of the windows will be even brighter.
Doesn’t this make you want to stop in and visit the shop?
If you’re ever visiting Asheville, North Carolina, be sure to head to 811 Tunnel Road, Suite B, and stop in to see Jackie.
Or you can visit the website and shop from the comfort of your home!
Right Front Section
When you walk in the front door, this is the view greeting you to the right.
We had to empty all of these shelves almost completely to make room for all this fun Christmas decor!
We decorated this 9-foot tree first.
As we said before, decorating a Christmas tree for a store is very different from decorating it for your home.
Both AnnMarie and I have trees filled with sentimental ornaments in our homes and have only just started decorating some extra trees with a color scheme.
It was really satisfying to decorate these themed trees!
You put WAY more decorations on the trees.
Each tree is absolutely filled with ornaments, ribbons, and garland.
But you don’t stop there…
We tucked signs into the trees too!
And this tree features a variety of stuffed gnomes.
We’ll have to share everything we learned about decorating trees with you in another post.
If you turn towards the front of the store you’ll find “gnome world.”
This display shelf features a huge variety of gnomes and coordinating Christmas items!
AnnMarie decorated that gorgeous red and white flocked tree.
This is the one we lifted from the floor up to a table on Monday night.
We really wanted the tree in the window to add some height.
We kept the twinkle lights in the hanging pendants in the packaging they came in to keep a perfect cylinder shape.
Left Front Section
The window on the left side of the door has another cabinet topped with beautiful white lanterns.
Jackie created the vignettes inside each lantern.
She is truly the queen of vignettes!
Notice the way the heights are all varied to keep your eye moving throughout the display.
We added twinkle lights inside the painted grapevine orbs hanging in this window.
Since the tree in the window wasn’t flocked, we covered it in light-colored ornaments to help it show up well from outside.
Instead of a traditional tree topper, we topped each tree with several floral picks.
It’s a great way to add height and continue the color scheme for the tree!
This gorgeous black shiplap wall with a wood awning is on the left side in the front of the shop.
We didn’t decorate the white shelf yet because Jackie was expecting another shipment of decor the next day.
This 9-foot flocked tree has a rustic woodland theme.
To showcase a variety of garlands Anne used four different garlands on this tree!
She alternated them from the top to the bottom.
AnnMarie had the idea for the pretty accents on the wood awning.
Isn’t it so festive?
This shelving unit was challenging to decorate because of the varied sizes of the shelves.
The shelf sat between the rustic woodland tree and decorations for a more glamourous tree just beyond, so we combined some sparkly white churches with the plaid skis as a transition.
Cash Register Section
This might be the prettiest tree in the shop!
It’s another 7-foot flocked tree.
I added sugared eucalyptus garland running from top to bottom instead of in horizontal rows.
Then we lifted the tree (with the help of Jackie’s son this time) onto a table in front of the cash register.
AnnMarie decorated the tree with a variety of cream, white, gold, and pale green ornaments.
It really draws you into the store!
As you head into Rod Works Asheville you’ll find a fun kitchen area.
There are all sorts of dishes, mugs, textiles, and Christmas decorations here!
Since most of the dishware is white, we used red accents to add a pop of Christmasy color.
If you’ve been around Simply2Moms for a while, then you know we do a monthly supper club with some blogging friends.
AnnMarie creates the tablescapes and I create the recipe.
Jackie has admired AnnMarie’s tablescapes so asked her to do one for the shop.
This beautiful natural Christmas table with red and white accents is the result!
Jackie was such a sweetheart and was so patient with us!
The whole job was exhausting and there were a lot of times when we looked at each other feeling completely overwhelmed.
But the learning experience was amazing!
Maybe we’ll open a little shop or a stall of our own someday?
Or maybe we’ll just stick to shopping… LOL
So, did you enjoy coming along on our adventure? Let us know if you’d like to see more posts like this!
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact us or leave a comment!