Although Columbus might not initially bring to mind images of rolling waves and sparkling sand, two local students have incorporated the sunny and vibrant atmosphere of Palm Beach into their Lilly Pulitzer-inspired design of a Worthington store.
Chase Golovan, a fourth-year in interior design at Ohio State, and Lauren Dusseau, a fourth-year in sports management at Miami University in Oxford, said they began working on the redesign of Franny’s Gift Gallery, located at 7227 N. High St. in the Shops at Worthington Place, in early May.
“I went to the Lilly store in Cleveland and I took some photos,” said Golovan, who became involved with the project through her sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi. “I wanted to get some of the Lilly inspiration, which is kind of a bright and flowery happiness.”
Dusseau, a family friend of the store’s publicist who was asked to bring her love of fashion to the project, said she also drew inspiration from other Lilly Pulitzer stores.
“The (Lilly) stores have amazing designs… their dressing rooms are so fun,” she said. “Pinterest was a huge inspiration, pulling images from all of the different stores.”
Known in the fashion world as the “Queen of Prep,” Lilly Pulitzer began her dress company in Palm Beach in 1959 when she sold her brightly printed dresses at her juice stand, according to the Lilly Pulitzer website.
Rising from these humble beginnings, Pulitzer’s designs gained popularity with celebrities and prominent socialites.
Today, Pulitzer’s designs are sold in approximately 75 signature stores owned by the company and in privately owned specialty stores throughout the United States.
Franny’s Gift Gallery is the only store in Columbus that carries the full Lilly Pulitzer line, according to a press release from Bowers PR.
Although the store has been family owned and operated for 30 years, it only began carrying the full Lilly Pulitzer line earlier this year, said Franny Kaye, owner of Franny’s Gift Gallery.
Approximately one fourth of the store has been redesigned to reflect the expanded Lilly Pulitzer line, Kaye added.
“The store has two separate entrances, (so) when you come in the first entrance, that is all Lilly… Lilly pillows on the couch, Lilly curtains for the dressing room, Lilly seashells on the wall and a Lilly chandelier,” she said. “When people come in, they say, ‘Oh, it’s so cheerful. It’s like summer year-round.’’’
This fun and playful atmosphere is part of the vision for the store that was reflected in mood boards created for the project, Golovan said.
“We designed the mood boards just to show Franny and the other clients (our vision),” she said. “When we put my board, which was more (interior) design, next to Lauren’s, which was more fashion, it was really easy for Franny and everyone to really see our vision.”
Kaye said the mood boards, combined with Golovan and Dusseau’s love of Lilly Pulitzer, aided in the efficient management of the store’s redesign process.
“(Golovan and Dusseau) had some really good ideas… The boards really helped us with our direction, and that’s where our ideas were exchanged,” she said. “They were Lilly fans to begin with, and, obviously, you want to work with someone who loves Lilly.”
Although Golovan and Dusseau did not assist with the execution of their design, Dusseau said she is pleased with how various aspects of the store have turned out.
“From what I’ve seen so far, as soon as we painted the walls a bright, fun color, that instantly changed the feeling you get when you walk into the store,” she said. “Lilly is such a fun and out-there designer, so her designs definitely need to be displayed (in a fun way). We wanted to make the experience just as fun as the brand.”
Golovan said she hopes the store’s inviting atmosphere encourages Central Ohio fans of the brand to come visit the store.
“Lilly has more than just clothing. When you walk into the store, you automatically smile and it brightens up your day,” she said. “I think I am most excited about expanding the customer base. I think after (the store) kind of reinvents itself, it will open the market to more college students. I know there are a ton of people in the Greek community who love Lilly Pulitzer, and a lot of them just don’t know where to go.”
Kaye said she thinks Golovan and Dusseau’s design will give the store its own identity, which will help it stand out from larger department stores.
“Some stores look the same because they are all owned by one big conglomerate. You see a sameness everywhere, and that is one thing that you do not see with Lilly Pulitzer,” she said. “(Golovan and Dusseau) really looked at (the store) with a fresh eye. They offered freshness and a young woman appeal.”
Franny’s Gift Gallery is set to host a ribbon cutting ceremony in celebration of the store’s redesign on July 15 at the store, followed by a private event benefitting the American Heart Association from 5 to 8 p.m.