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Setting the stage at Hoypoloi

The overriding goal of the display plan at Hoypoloi was to create a state-of-the-art environment that is elegant, yet flexible, says Ron Hoy, owner of Hoypoloi. Image By Design, a division of Niles, Ill.-based Dann Dee Display Fixtures, "helped me to line up my thoughts, ideas and concepts in ways that related to practical store design," he says.

Hoypoloi sells an eclectic mix of art pieces and home decor merchandise, including contemporary art glass, metal and ceramic sculpture, functional art, garden sculptures, handcrafted wood pieces, three-dimensional framed art and jewelry. On occasion, the store also offers garments such as kimonos, scarves and special clothing items.

The ambiance of the store is created with the use of earth-toned colors and materials, including stone, brick and wood; varying lighting levels; and custom-designed fixtures, says Renee Ruffolo, managing director of Image By Design. Even the layout of Hoypoloi communicates a feeling of serenity with its flowing, organic feel to the space. Ceiling planes, flooring treatments, and walls bend and curve to create a fluid spatial experience.

People find it an "oasis," a "peaceful, calming experience," from the excitement of the rest of the Downtown Disney West Side project in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where the store is located, Hoy says. The original and only other Hoypoloi location is in the Chinatown section of Chicago.

Creating the right ambiance for Hoypoloi's various art pieces was critical, but equally important was the flexibility to change it frequently. "We needed to be able to use our display systems and display modules in a multitude of ways," Hoy says.

The store's merchandising system incorporates bowed-front wall panels with movable shelves that were designed specifically for Hoypoloi by Image By Design and manufactured by Dann Dee Display Fixtures. "The panel system that we used on the perimeter [of the space] is excellent for creating merchandise stories," Ruffolo says.

Hoy agrees, saying, "[The display system] allows us the maximum ability to create and re-create display opportunities." The system also was designed so that items such as garments and pictures could be hung from hooks.

To highlight smaller merchandise, the store has adjustable-height shadow boxes on a floor-to-ceiling cable mount system. In addition, the floor area has built-in flexibility with fixtures that include both movable, self-service units and closed, glass museum cases. These merchandising units also were designed by Image By Design and manufactured by Dann Dee Display Fixtures.

"[Hoypoloi's] fixturing system needs to be flexible because [the store] has such a wide range of product assortment, and it is constantly being changed," says Susan Stock, senior designer for Image By Design.

"Because [Hoypoloi] has such an eclectic mix of product, we wanted to give [the retailer] a number of different vehicles for displaying it," adds Ruffolo. "This type of merchandise really requires a bit of romancing," she continues, adding that each item needs to appear unique, different and special.

"What we've created is kind of a dramatic stage for very dramatic merchandise," Ruffolo says. "We've created an environment that is - No. 1 - flexible enough for any type of merchandise, theatrical enough to create glamour and provide a good stage for the merchandise, and also one that is very comfortable and pleasant to shop."

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