Do you believe in fate? We held our first Open Me When client meeting at the right place at the right time, which lead us to our new retail location inside the upscale Marais Market.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, we enjoy being busy. As if planning a wedding, creating a company and launching our website wasn’t enough for one year, we are adding a new, permanent location for purchasing Open Me When boxes on the spot inside of the new Marais Market in the Village of Grosse Pointe. Finding a physical retail location wasn’t even something we were considering but now we are so happy we have a place to call home.
Marais has been our favorite weekly destination for over a year; this restaurant has the tastiest upscale food from acclaimed French Chef David Gilbert, delicious wines from all over the world, and a cozy bar atmosphere that makes you never want to go anywhere else. After catching a sneak peak of our boxes at a client meeting held over dinner in the restaurant, Chef David approached us to reveal his secret plans to turn the former formal dining room into a high-end market, full of specialty food products, easy grab-and-go meals, and a counter stocked full of gourmet meats, salads, and most importantly, of all his baked goods (if you haven’t tried his homemade hohos, it is a must). I was already ecstatic- I was never going to have to cook dinner again. Then he revealed the next step of his plan, to turn the other empty room into the gifting headquarters, featuring our Open Me When boxes. What an honor! We knew that this was not an opportunity that we could pass up, no matter how much was going on. We pushed this project to the top of our priority list and began planning.
OUR AESTHETIC, PRODUCT LINE, AND TARGET CUSTOMERS WERE A PERFECT MATCH WITH MARAIS AND WE KNEW THIS WAS WHERE OPEN ME WHEN BELONGED.
Our first call was to our friend Sam Constantine at The End Grain, the genius behind all our woodworking projects. Sam can truly make anything, big or small: he has made our dining room table, Eli’s desk, our sliding barn door, and even the frames in our “Open Me When You’re Smitten With The Mitten” box. The End Grain makes all their products from abandoned homes and stores in Detroit, giving the wood new life and stamping the address from the building into the finished product to keep the history alive. Together with his team, Sam created our custom shelves, reaching almost twelve feet wide and twelve feet high, so large that it had to be assembled on site. The dark stained wood with the matte black iron beams effortlessly embodies the “rustic chic” look we were going for and will undoubtedly remain the timeless centerpiece for Open Me When at Marais Market for years to come (because even if we wanted to leave, which we never would, nobody is ever getting those massive shelves out the door!)
Our next step was to reach out to our new friend Laura Joseph at Paper and Honey. Laura was responsible for our paper goods for our wedding and blew us away with her creativity and impeccable calligraphy. Her sweet personality and bubbly excitement makes her such a joy to collaborate with and the best candidate to help bring some beauty and sparkle to our new retail environment. Laura worked her magic and created the most stunning display cases and signage, drawing customers in as soon as they enter the room. We knew we had to find a way to communicate the Open Me When experience to the consumer, which ultimately lead to the decision to create six display cases that show our step-by-step process, similar to something you would see at a museum. The clear boxes depict scenes of our unique characteristics, such as the luxe gifts, the individual wrapping of the items, and special stories. The vignette inside is enhanced by Laura’s hand painted description on the outside, working in perfect harmony to portray the Open Me When brand.
The morning after we returned from our honeymoon, we took advantage of the time change (and our lack of adjustment) and woke up at 4:30 am to start preparing for Open Me When’s big move. By 6 pm, the shelves were full and the display boxes were finished, leaving even us in awe of how everything came together. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives who helped make this dream a reality. Most importantly, we can’t thank David and Monica Gilbert enough for this opportunity, and we can’t wait to grow together as we watch the Marais Market become the popular sensation we are confident it will become.