Hundreds of people swarmed downtown Greenwich last week for an event hosted by retailers working together to transform East and West Putnam avenues into a destination for home design.
Around 20 local businesses have formed the Greenwich Design District, which was spearheaded last year by Darien-based public relations firm Images & Details. The group’s second event, which took place last week, attracted roughly 300 people from Fairfield and Westchester counties, as well as New York City, according to Beth Dempsey, of Images & Details.
It also heralded the launch of the district’s website. Images & Details had created a print map that highlights participating businesses which is featured on the website’s homepage.
The Day of Design lasted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and included panel discussions, meet-and-greets and book signings at the shops. Attendees heard about topics including product licensing, smart home technology, design interiors inspired by the outdoors, combining antiques with contemporary art and a “roadmap to finding your authentic color worlds.”
“The goal is to build up the community so they know that design and retail is really alive and thriving,” Dempsey said. “We want to make sure that downtowns are thriving. ... Everyone who attended said they got so much value from it, and this is just the start.”
Since the group came together late last year, several other companies have joined. The annual membership fees depend on the firm’s size and are still being fine-tuned, Dempsey said, but they range from around $1,000 to $3,000.
“This has been a great way to bring clients and designers to Greenwich,” said Robert Passal of Putnam & Mason, which opened last year and became an initial member of the district. “We had about 100 people in our shop for our talk. ... Being a part of the district has and will generate business.”
Other members, such as J.Pocker, agreed and said the events have helped introduce new customers to its products and services, said company President Eric Mauskopf. Eventually, the Day of Design could evolve into a much bigger event, said Christopher Peacock.
“This was a great start,” Peacock said. “I think we could bring in some heavy hitters from the world of design to talk specifically about their work in this special town. There is no reason why this could not become a weeklong event. Maybe a Greenwich showhouse?”
Greenwich’s success has drawn attention from other communities, Dempsey said. Next up for the group is Greenwich Design District’s fall Taste and Tour, which was its debut event last year, and a potential membership recruiting meet and greet, where interested businesses could learn more about what they’re doing.
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