Meet Our 2018 Window Walk Designers, Part 2

Window Walk is a month-long celebration highlighting the many wonderful attributes of the holidays in the CWE. Visitors are invited to stroll amidst elegantly decorated windows while shopping at boutiques, enjoying seasonal libations and delicious meals at local restaurants.

Now in its 9th year, Window Walk brings back the time-honored tradition of going downtown to see festive windows, while showcasing the CWE’s retail and dining establishments. We partnered with St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles Magazine and 13 of St. Louis’ best designers, to help transform our neighborhood into a winter wonderland.

Let’s meet some more of our designers this year!

j pop design studio

Jeanne Weltman, owner of j pop design studio, Beth Florsek, owner of Florsek Design Services, Dianna Kittle, Meghan Lueders and Amanda Kinney, collaborated together on Steel Wheels’ window. Jeanne, the lead for the design project, shared some background on the design, featuring a suspended bicycle parts sculpture.

     

Tell us about yourself.

Jeanne: As designers, our team came together through mutual associations in several ways – one of which is that we all (except for our intern, Amanda Kinney) worked at one time for Caleres, formerly known as Brown Shoe, in their retail store design department. Before I left, I headed up the wholesale side of Visual Merchandising, Tradeshow, Showroom, and Event Design. Beth Florsek also worked there for some time as a retail store designer, and Diana Kittle was head of procurement for the Visual Merchandising Design team.  We all continue to design in varying capacities and were excited to be able to work together on this window display.

How many years have you participated in Window Walk?

Jeanne: This is the second year for Amanda, Diana, and me, and I believe it is the third or fourth year for Beth. Beth was actually the person that approached me last year and suggested that I get involved.

Why did you want to be involved in this year’s Window Walk Festivities?

Jeanne: I think we all love the idea of supporting a tradition of a destination for everyone to enjoy the magic of holiday windows. Window display/visual merchandising is at the root of my profession as an interior designer, and I especially love it as a vehicle for telling stories and inviting the viewer to discover and be visually delighted. I also love being a part of a team that gets to conceive of and create these windows – I enjoy the whole creative process.

Where did the inspiration come from for your design?

Jeanne: We were paired with Steel Wheels, an exciting new fitness business. The design we decided on is a suspended sculptural piece using bicycle parts and wheels that create an armature in the shape of an oversized Christmas spindle ornament. It becomes the supporting structure for a variety of unique holiday decorative items along with some additional unexpected elements. We call it “Steelpunk” as it is inspired by the Steampunk design genre –  though it does not technically fall into that category. It is a collective of unusual objects that are brought together in the framework of bicycle parts.

What do you love most about the CWE?

Jeanne: I love the whole vibe of historic city living, a walking community that fosters the creative arts, has so many great restaurants and retailers to choose from, and is so rich architecturally! It creates a neighborhood that is diverse and progressive.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

Jeanne: My personal favorite part of the holiday season is the music – particularly the songs and hymns that tell the story of the birth of Christ. You know, the reason for the season and all…

Castle Design

Designers Jess and Molly from Castle Design decorated the windows at Left Bank Books. Their design features a colorful winter scene, inspired by some of the bookstore’s popular new children’s books.

Tell us about yourself.

Jess & Molly: Working at Castle Design, Jess and Molly are part of a larger team of talented and dedicated interior designers. With a background in psychology and social work, Jess is particularly focused on ways to create spaces to enrich a person’s overall health and happiness. Molly’s experience in luxury showrooms has only strengthened her passion for pairing her clients with products that meet their functional needs, as well as support the aesthetic of their homes.

How many years have you participated in Window Walk?

Jess & Molly: This is our first time!

Why did you want to be involved in this year’s Window Walk Festivities?

Jess & Molly: We loved the idea of helping to kick off holiday cheer in the city. Having enjoyed the Window Walk festivities as a spectator in years past, we were thrilled to be a part of making it all happen this year.

Where did the inspiration come from for your design?

Jess & Molly: During our first meeting with Left Bank Books, the Left Bank team pulled a few new children’s books as options for display. We immediately were drawn to Arrhenius’s book, City, for her colorful graphic characters, and it inspired our design to incorporate a St. Louis theme throughout the windows.

What do you love most about the CWE?

Jess & Molly: We love the history embedded in the neighborhood’s architecture, and we’re inspired by the sense of community you get as you meander along the many thriving independent businesses.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

Jess & Molly: It’s all about family and friends for us! Making memories together at special events, like Window Walk, helps remind us that spending quality time together doing things you love is really what the holidays are all about.

Ember Home Studio

Designer Kimberly Kowalski, founder and owner of Ember Home Studio, took on the task of designing Sub Zero Vodka Bar’s window. Her design focused on expanding the restaurant’s current branding to match winter themes.

Tell us about yourself.

Kimberly: I’m from St. Louis and am entering my fifteenth year as a designer. Recently, I founded my own firm and product line, Ember Home Studio. The word Ember is especially meaningful to me and my work. Its connotation is associated with warmth, time and a “stirring up” or an “awakening” of creativity. I enjoy the creative process in all forms. Whether it be in designing, writing, marketing, or growing a business – for me, it’s about taking the time to develop something of enduring quality.

On a separate note, I’m a total documentary nerd.

How many years have you participated in Window Walk?

Kimberly: This is will be my fifth year.

Why did you want to be involved in this year’s Window Walk Festivities?

Kimberly: Doing window displays is a fun departure from the typical design project. It gives me a chance to offer full creativity – to think outside the box (in a box, if you will). It’s a great way to “give back” with your time, and to offer something that beautifies the neighborhood. Mostly, I enjoy being a part of a community that collectively celebrates the holiday season.

Where did the inspiration come from for your design?

Kimberly: We took inspiration from Sub Zero’s own branding and from their top selling vodkas, including Absolute, Grey Goose, Belvedere, and more. Based on some of these brands, we went for a Nordic/Scandinavian design. This style is characterized by simplicity, minimalism, monochromatic color schemes (typically white or black and white), and a variety of textures. We knew we wanted to stick with a palette of white, silver, and “cold.” To replicate “ice” (a nod to their ice bar) we’ve added glass icicle and selenite ornaments to the mix. We also decided to incorporate branches into our scheme, using sandblasted manzinta branches that were brought in from California. Finally, we decided to take the flying geese from Grey Goose vodka’s artwork and recreate them with white paper, 3-dimensional silhouettes. The lack of detail on the birds keeps them modern and ties back into the minimalist feel.

What do you love most about the CWE?

Kimberly: The CWE has a great vibe that is eclectic and artistic. It’s urban, yet “neighborhoody” at the same time. I’ve always enjoyed the architecture – the houses and buildings, and of course, the restaurants and shopping. It reminds me of NYC or Chicago, but easier to navigate – it’s compact, charming and energetic.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

Kimberly: Simple pleasures. Comfort food, white lights, the smell of something baking, fuzzy blankets, staying in my pj’s on a snow day…or just being with those who are close to me. Ember is a reflection of a feeling, which is most prevalent during the holidays. Put simply, it’s about the warmth of home. Just that simple pleasure of relaxing and having everyone nearby.

To learn more about Window Walk, click here!