Sunday, November 29, 2009

gâteau avec Marie et le roi Louis

Happy Tablescape Thursday. Visit Susan of Between Naps On The Porch for more beautiful table settings.

Last weekend we visited Sacramento's premier store for kitchen wares, linens, holiday decorations and fine tableware located in the Town & Country village center. The store is William Glen. The selections in this store are the very best from all over the world.

"Let Them Eat Cake" tablescape display by Mark Snyder at William Glen

I was blown away when I entered the store's fine china section and was greeted by the amazing "Let them eat cake" display. I spoke with long time employee, Linda H., who informed me that the displays were the creation of Mark Snyder, the son of store owner Bill Synder. I contacted Mark to compliment him on his work and asked him a few questions. Here is what I asked:
Q.What is the current square footage of your store?
Q. William Glen currently offers online shopping. However, the website does not appear to offer all the items that are available in the store. Does William Glen have any plans to expand its merchandise for online consumers?
Q. The store displays are evidence of your amazing creative ability. What is your background with design?
Q. Do ever imagine utilizing your talent beyond the store?

Here is Mark's response:

Dear Julio,

Thank you for your kind note. I am sorry you saw the trees in their current state. Our goal is to create drama, interest and present traditional heirlooms in new and creative vignettes or dialogues. While we present this way, we also sell the items and that deteriorates the integrity of the theme over time. I am afraid you are seeing us mid-season. Our William Glen store is 30,000 square feet. William Glen Christmas & More is 4,900 square feet. Both are within The Collection at Town & Country Village. The William Glen store is also home to our award winning Bistro at William Glen.

My father, Bill Snyder, opened William Glen 46 years ago. We are 2 stores plus a website and a full gourmet catalog. While site is brand new, we work diligently to expand the product offering. I doubt seriously that every item will ever be on the site. Sometimes it is just not possible to effectively show and ship some of the goods we sell.

I have no formal training in the product merchandising field. I do however have about 37 years of experience. From a young age I enjoyed working for my father and his business partner, Glen Forbes, who has since retired (1998). For many years my team and I worked with a professional merchandiser who actually redesigned our stores’ layouts in 1985 and in 2004. there is no better education in this field than hands on, hard work. No degree or book can teach the necessary structural design laws that we employ here. What I mean is, we buy the goods and take the time to build and environment in which to showcase these goods and envelope the customer’s senses.

Personally, since I wear many hats I rarely have time for outside jobs. We do have some other very talented staffers who have worked on projects and from time to time I will work with customers in their homes to build their Christmas or other jobs. We spend a lot of time working with our customers in our store to help them experience their own creativity.

Ultimately, what we do is not brain surgery. It is just understanding your own taste and aesthetic and them finding the right items to exemplify them. Finally, it really just takes the courage to try, fail and try again. Our customers come to William Glen for new ideas and because they know they are paying the right price. We say “it doesn’t cost more, it’s just nicer at William Glen”. And we prove that everyday.

I am so happy you enjoyed our stores. We would love to be a part of your enterprise. Please let me know if you would like any additional information. Feel free to photograph anything.

Mark Snyder

Operations Manager

As you can tell from Mark's response, the store is very large. However, it is divided into many different sections, each with its own purpose and design. The overall effect is that of a group of very high end specialty shops. For example, there is a fine china room, a Lladro room, a Silver room, Table linen room and so on.

The goose doll adorning a beautiful 18th century Marie Antoinette gown is by Katherine's Collection. A perfect compliment to the table's theme.

The fabric and detailing on the dress is amazing. Unfortunately, my photos do not capture its true beauty up close.

I just love the slipper on a fine porcelain plate with a crystal encrusted border charger.

The store carries an extensive and impressive line of goods such as Herend's Rothchild Bird , Royal Copenhagen's Flora Danica, Faberge,Baccarat, and many more.

Another Katherine's Collection doll dressed in a dramatic interpretation of an 18th century King Louis garment.

Of course the outfit needs to come with matching shoes.

The decadent morsels that were refused by the people...imagine that.

One of the many little fairy princesses that were flying around the illustrious setting.

I hope you enjoyed the images as much as I have. I do have photos taken of some of the store's other vignettes including some amazing miniature holiday villages that I will try to post sometime soon. Please visit the William Glen site for great gift ideas.

Happy Holidays


Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

What a beautiful store. I love the chargers. They were incredible. I truly enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing.. hugs ~lynne~

Michael Mattison said...

Wow! Talk about eye candy. Thanks for posting!
All the best,

Enzie Shahmiri said...

It is so over the top and such eye candy! Love it and glad to have stumbled into your blog :)

dee dee said...

Wow, what a beautiful display! I love the insightful questions and answers with the store owners son! Thanks for sharing... Dee Dee

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Stunning! The interview was so interesting and his vision is just amazing.

Anonymous said...

OMG this is a great display. You are so lucky to have seen this up close. Thank you for the interview and sharing your photos.



Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Opulent! I am coming back to visit and take all of it in. So many magnificent things to look at. You must have had such sensory overload when you left that store. So many wonderful and creative things to get inspiration from.
Thank you for taking me on a "field trip"!

xinex said...

So elaborate and so elegant, Julio. Thanks for sharing....Christine

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

This does look absolutly amazing -- I can only imagine what it must have looked like in person!

Lana K. W. Austin said...

Oh, my heavens!!! This is visually STUNNING! My eye/mind/heart/soul doesn't know what to comment on first, so let me just say that it was truly a "visual feast for the eyes," to borrow a cliche, that is completely applicable in this case. the Eiffel Tower alone is worthy of a standing ovation!!!
Love, hugs and turquoise joy,

Phyllis AROUND THE HOUSE said...

wow, now that is tablescaping, love it all, especially the crystal encrusted chargers, so over the top, thanks for sharing, love it all...

Teri said...

WOW!! Thanks for sharing!

The Tablescaper said...

Oh Man do I wish I lived closer - or maybe it's better that I don't. What an amazing store. Truly a feast for the eyes.

Thank you so much for allowing all of us to experience such an interesting destination.

once in a blue moon... said...

oo~la~la luscious!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my word. This is stunning and totally over the top. Love it. Thanks so much for sharing, what a fabulous tablescape. Also I am hosting a "Holiday Cloche Party" and Mr. Linky will be up tonight. I hope you will join us. Hugs, Marty

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Wow, Julio...this is an amazing display! I clicked on several pics to enlarge them. So glad you gave Mr. Snyder a call...such an interesting interview. 'll check out their online store! :-)