Scots Landscape enters national contest
VIENNA — Jessie Towner is playing the waiting game at Scots Landscape as the business days roll by.
The game is waiting to see how Scot’s will fare in the Lawn & Garden Retailer’s 2018 Merchandiser of the Year competition.
Scot’s was one of six selected from across the country for the competition and will be voted on by a panel of judges. Five states are represented. A brief capsule of each can be found at http://lgrmag.com/article/in-the-running/.
“It’s a yearly contest,” said Towner, visual merchandiser, “and I always thought we could compete in this, so we finally did. Well, really Jamie Witkosky (who is Scots’ ASLA certified landscape architectural designer), finally did while I was vacationing to surprise me.
“I didn’t know anything about it until she got the email stating Scots was in the finals. It was a good surprise,” she said.
Today, the speakers at Scots are dropping tunes from Motown throughout the building. Towner said at other times bluegrass or contemporary Christian music can be heard.
Along the facing wall where one used to find feeds, weed and feed, chemicals and other such items, there are local food items and ice cream. Lots of ice cream. There are tables and chairs around the south end of Scots, with a small corner decorated more like an ice cream parlor than a place where a person buys trees, bushes and flowers.
“It’s by design it looks that way” Towner said. “We’re trying to recreate Scots into a destination stop. More than just a place to get what you need and get out. Come in, spend some time, take a break, look around. There’s more here than just plants, flowers, trees and lawn chemicals.”
By the way, if one does come in looking for the plants, flowers, trees and lawn chemicals, those items can be found in the garden center next to the main building. The interior of the main building is home to local producers of canned goods and foods on one floor with the stairway and second floor belonging to artists, designers and such.
“It’s been a work in progress pretty much my day one here in 2013,” Towner said. “it’s been a gradual process but really it’s growing all the time. The Witosky’s said ‘here is a budget; go at it.’
“I have been blessed and honored to have their complete trust. I don’t like to be in a box with restrictions creatively and they haven’t been. The creative freedom and creative liberties allowed for thinking outside the box, have been a good creative outlet for me.”
Autumn is coming and Scots is decorated as such, but Towner said fall quickly turns to Christmas.
“The store is open year round and I decorate year round,” she said. “The Christmas displays will be going up soon anda lot of the gifts in the store will be from consignment artists, lots of craftsmen, crochet and handmade cards.
“As an artist myself, it’s hard to find a place to sell things, so I have local artisans mixed in here among the displays.”
As the visual merchandiser and buyer, Towner sprinkles her thoughts and visions throughout the building. “I buy stuff for the gift shop and merchandise it in ways to give people ideas to decorate. I get excited to see people buying stuff I picked out.”