This is part one of a five-part series.
Koehn and Koehn Jewelers
West Bend, Wisc.
In 2000, Andy Koehn, owner of Koehn and Koehn Jewelers, had a great idea. Why not let newly-engaged couples sign their names on the store’s then freshly-painted white walls. Ten years later, however, the 1,600-plus signatures consumed the store. Earlier this year when the store had a complete makeover, the signatures had to go. “It was massive,” says Koehn. “It looked like graffiti and was inconsistent with the new upscale, contemporary look we wanted to achieve.”
But before the many signatures were rolled over with new paint, Koehn diligently digitally photographed each and every couple’s signatures from 10 years’ worth of Sharpie-happy customers. The many images have been saved to his computer’s hard disk. Koehn is currently working on a projection system to show the images of the many couples’ signatures on a plain white wall near the store’s main bridal counter.
He’d like to keep the old tradition going but with a new twist. Using a white board, new signatures will be done on the erasable surface, then digitally photographed, and saved to the image projection system’s data storage disk. “We have the place in the store ready and are currently getting the logistics of the projection system in place,” says Koehn.
So, for those retailers who have embraced the practice of couples signing your walls, keep in mind that there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.
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Koehn and Koehn Jewelers’ former “wall of names”
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