Thursday was the first day I was able to deliver Southern Season their copies of 804ork, so I figured I'd take a spin through the store while I was there. I'd caught wind of an ice cream parlour and a "wall of candy," but as I walked around, I soon realized that the situation was far more dangerous than the inevitable sugar coma aftermath. Southern Season, may in fact, be my kryptonite.
I mean this in the nicest possible way, of course! They have been amazing to work with, and the community outreach they've done prior to launching here in Richmond has been top notch. Truly—I've been nothing but impressed.
It's just that the store itself is pure evil. Here's why:
They’re everywhere, and they’re beautifully lettered by designer/photographer/can-do-no-wrong'er, Tyler Darden. I couldn’t get close enough to the board that listed the Charcuterie, but I already know it made me want to be the kind of person who buys Charcuterie. Don't even get me started on the cheese selection—I can't resist buying obscene amounts of cheese in ugly stores.
The floral section—where to begin? This display is so perfect; I just wanted to hug someone. a) There’s no mixing of colors in any bucket (disregard the few in the front—they are bouquets, so it’s allowed). b) The buckets are arranged by color. c) The overall color palette is limited to green, white, and a spectrum of purple (and maybe a little pop of yellow)—that’s it. None of this “let’s just mix everything up and throw it around a table with a bunch of balloons” nonsense! A little organization and OCD works wonders, you guys! If I hadn't been 5 hours away from heading home, I would have bought everything.
Three: Meticulous merchandising
Speaking of OCD, even Jeff Lewis would approve of how meticulous these displays are being maintained. If someone put this much effort into arranging jelly fruit slices, then jelly fruit slices must be amazing, right? Have I been overlooking quality candy all of these years?
The “wall of candy” is also pristine. At this point, it crosses my mind that I could get an individual bag of every single jelly belly flavor and label them so that there would be no risk of confusion or chance of mixing up cherry and cinnamon. Surely that wouldn't take long.
Four: There’s a stationery section?!
DANGERZONE. I make a snap judgement on the quality of their selection based solely on the quantity of Rifle Paper products available. They passed the test. I'm screwed.
There were also these giant cornucopia things. I have no idea what they are for or what is inside of them, and even though they are $55 I was oddly tempted to buy one to find out. I still am. Speaking of…
Five: Nice packaging. Everywhere.
Let me just sum things up with a pretty big generalization; If you’re one of those people who has a problem buying things because the packaging looks cool, you should just stay home. I swear to you—nearly everything in this joint looks cool. I got sidetracked by an aisle of bitters, and I started to rationalize the purchase of the entire set. I don't drink. What am I going to do with bitters?
If wine labels are your thing, that section is displayed in a way that makes it really easy to browse. Too easy.
In the chocolate section I found items I’ve never seen anywhere other than on my own Pinterest boards. They realize no one is going to buy only one chocolate bar when it's impossible to choose which wrapper pattern you like the most, right?
Bonus: Soda. Just look at all of the soda.
I walked into this row and wept. Maybe not. I don't even know anymore. I did something dorky because an employee noticed my expression, so I had to explain myself. There are just so. many. sodas! Every row perfectly aligned, all the labels facing outward, and everything organized by flavor and color—it is awesome. Turns out the employee setup this section, so she got it and didn't think I was a weirdo (or if she did she played it off well).
Not only was there an entire section of birch beer, but I finally got my hands on a Virgil’s Root Beer. I can already think of at least 3 DIY projects to make out of the bottle—which means I'll have to go back for more bottles. And great, now I have a root beer problem too.
Just keep it together, guys
So for those of you wanting to see what all the buzz is about this weekend (as my husband just informed me—so help us all!), here's my final stance: If you have the willpower to resist a full-on Supermarket Sweep outburst of impulse buys, and can control your emotions when faced with organizational beauty, then by all means, check out Southern Season. Just remember, as you make your way through the entrance for the very first time and discover that yes, they do in fact have an entire row made up entirely of cheese straws, you've been warned.