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In this retailer spotlight, Jim Kightlinger, shares his philosophy around creating a new look for an old product.Repurposing Products in Retail When we hopped on the phone with Jim Kightlinger owner of Kightlinger Antiques in Kickapoo, IL we thought we would be talking to him about how he plans his buying trips to Atlanta (and let us tell you they are big trips!). But, what we found really fascinating is how Jim has the vision to take seemingly ordinary, unrelated products, and combine them to create something wonderful. Here’s an example: On the day we talked to Jim he said he was just leaving Chicago’s Crate and Barrel outlet. He’d bought a couple tables. We were immediately curious. What was this Antiques shop owner doing buying tables at a retailer synonymous with the modern home? Before we get to the answer we need to know a little more about how things work at Kightlinger Antiques...

In this Part 2 Retail Spotlight, we share tips from a popular Home Decor store, Kimberly Drive.Kimberly Drive Home Decore, blogLast week we introduced you to Kimberly Drive Home Decor owned by Maddie Gronewold. This thriving home decor store has become a cornerstone of downtown Carthage, IL. Last week we shared with you Maddie’s bridal registry secrets and this week we’re going to dig deeper into in-store events to learn how she puts on Pinterest Night Parties.

Learning from a multigenerational retailer—“You can’t sell it if it’s in the backroom”!Ben Franklin Store Sue Perry grew up in retail, literally. Her father owned a successful Ben Franklin Five & Dime which was the life blood of Campbellsport, WI in the mid-1960s. As she grew, Sue and her brother Chris Schanen, learned many important lessons from their father, Jerry Schanen, which helps guide them today in their successful Wisconsin retail empire.

Learn the secrets behind the award winning upside down window you have to see to believe! Winner: best gift shop window retailerWinner: best gift shop window retailer When Cassi Nickolas, window designer for Seasons by Peg, had the idea for this “upside down” window she knew she had a winner. But would store owner Peg Fenstermaker be willing to take a risk on it? Yes she was, Peg said “we’ve done so many windows, we have really gotten confident to try something new!” And trying something new not only led to winning our window contest and $50 off their next Melrose order, but also brought a lot of new customers into the store. Peg explained that they “had a lot of people start to walk by, look again, and stop. Then they would smile and  turn around and come into the store." Peg and Cassie really got people to think with this element of surprise!

We want to see your hard work.Enter to win by sharing YOUR spring storefront with us.Retailers: share storefront picture win $50Retailers: share storefront picture win $50Show off your creativity by sharing a photo of your storefront and you’ll be entered to win one of two prizes of--$50 off of your next Melrose order! What would you do with $50 in free Melrose product? To enter, visit our Spring Storefront Challenge page, upload your image, give it a fun caption and submit! That’s it! Instagram and Twitter users can upload their storefront images using hashtag #melrosestorefronts.

Combining renovated furniture with Melrose seasonal items is an inspiration at Vendor No. 5!  Melrose International Contest Winner #4 Melrose International Contest Winner #4 Dorianne Plageman, owner of Vendor No. 5, is the fourth and final 2013 winner of the Melrose Be Inspired Contest—created to bring our readers inspirational stories from real retailers across the country! Vendor No. 5 is located in Springfield, Oregon and specializes in “renovated products made from recycled furniture and décor” as well as seasonal gift and home items. When it comes to Melrose, Dorianne appreciates how Melrose products complement her Primitive home furnishings. “This year I mixed the Primitives with the Christmas Decor and it has been an AWESOME collaboration! We had a few days where we turned off the overhead lights and let the soothing glow from the Christmas display fill the store—it was awe inspiring!”

Garden Gallery Iron Works is a family owned store that treats customers like family! Retailer Garden Gallery Iron Works is the 3rd Be Inspired Contest Winner!Retailer Garden Gallery Iron Works is the 3rd Be Inspired Contest Winner! Don Sprague, owner of Garden Gallery Iron Works, is the third winner of the Melrose Be Inspired Contest—created to bring our readers inspirational stories from real retailers across the country! Garden Gallery Iron Works is located in “the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley” in Hubbard, Oregon and supplements handmade iron art with gift items and home decor, including Melrose product. When it comes to Melrose, Don appreciates our holiday themes. He says: “Melrose had a great selection of themed trees this year. Having so many ornaments garlands and picks that work well together made decorating our 12' trees very easy. The Melrose catalog is always an inspiration for our holiday displays.”

At Interior Perfection they believe in the power of great design—and it shows! Melrose Be Inspired Winner 2Melrose Be Inspired Winner 2 Kennon Springer and Douglas Walker, owners of Interior Perfection Design Group, are the second winners of the Melrose Be Inspired Contest—created to bring our readers inspirational stories from real retailers across the country! Interior Perfection design Group, located in Hiawatha, Iowa, is a premier destination for fine home furnishings, unique gifts and accessories—their mission is to elevate the homes of their customer. Owner Kennon Springer believes that “Great design is obvious, perfection is transparent”. When it comes to Melrose, Kennon and Douglas find inspiration in our holiday themes. “Melrose inspired us so much, we went from 5 trees in our studio to 15! Every tree has its own theme and we were able to do some amazing designs with your wonderful products. Thanks for the inspiration!”

Our first Be Inspired Contest Winner truly lives to inspire her customers—and she turns to Melrose when she needs her own inspiration!  Winner Flyer - Bella Rosetti's (Web)Winner Flyer - Bella Rosetti's (Web) Deborah Rosetti, owner of Bella Rosetti's Home Interiors is the first winner of the Melrose Be Inspired contest—created to bring our readers inspirational stories from real retailers across the country! Bella Rosetti’s, located in Gastonia, North Carolina, provides elegant home décor and accessories to their customers. Additionally, they also offer a full service interior design center. Deborah believes that “changing accessories, window treatments, and bedding seasonally, breathes new life into my customer’s homes”. When it comes to Melrose, Deborah explains that “Melrose inspires us every year by having such beautiful Christmas ornaments, stems, table toppers, and decor. The Melrose Staff is so helpful with their innovative ideas and wonderful tricks.”