Friday: Refined

FRCH FridayRefinedThey say you can’t escape your past, so it’s no surprise that whenever the topic turns to fashion I’m usually asked to comment. You see, prior to joining the FRCH team I had a long career in fashion retail. It started casually of course, when a college-aged me realized the only way I could afford Lucky jeans and Dr. Marten’s was to land a healthy employee discount at Buckle. After stints with Von Maur (where I met my first suit) and Banana Republic, I began what became a 10 year relationship with Nordstrom. So my “fashion authority” (an old Nordstromism) is legit and with that comes a tie that binds (you’ll still see me in a tie at least twice a week). I came to Cincinnati from Chicago where “How are you doing?” was less common than “Who are you wearing?’ and while that may seem superficial (it is) it’s a powerful thing. The designer Kenneth Cole once told me that the one thing you have absolute control of every day is the way you present yourself to the world, and that’s impacted me to this day. So at the risk of sounding shallow, I’ll share with you my fashion manifesto and hope you’ll forgive me by the time you finish these prose on clothes. Read more of this post

Second Shift Creativity

To quote the famous Bill Cosby sketch “the same thing happens every night”…and I LOVE it!

Second-Shift-Creativity, Creative Fuel

My day starts at 5:30 am, then speeds up around 8:30 with a series of meetings, brainstorms, idea sharing, problem solving and if I’m really lucky some sketching. In my world all these things require creativity, in one form or another. But creativity is like anything else, a full day of it and your sponge is full…you just can’t handle anymore. You need a break, time to relax and decompress…but I have a 2 1/2 year old and someone forgot to explain this concept to him (I’ll spare you the “bottle his energy cliché”…). Read more of this post

Happy New Year From FRCH!

Wishing you a New Year filled with Joy, Hope, Cheer and Love!


Field & Stream Opens in our Backyard

It Begins, Field & Stream

The greatly anticipated opening of the new Field & Stream store in Crescent Springs, KY is finally upon us. With this being only the second store of its kind, tri-state residents were anxious to check out this new store prototype geared towards the ultimate outdoors-man.  Read more of this post

That’s Amoré Signs


Okay, so admittedly I am a little obsessed with signage, dating way back to when I was first able to read — I would ride along in the family van reading each and every sign as we traversed the roads and highways of southern California. Maybe it was all the trips from SoCal through the desert and arriving in Las Vegas, the mecca of neon and flashing lights, that got me hooked. Or maybe it was the sign to my grandfathers pizza restaurant up in C-Bus (Columbus Ohio for anyone not familiar with central Ohio) that solidified my passion for old school typography and neon. Read more of this post

Pink Steel: Building Strength Within

Pink Steel05It’s always great to see how organizations bring to life their core brand values as part of their everyday culture. Harold O’Shea Builders, a construction management company and client partner of FRCH, brings value to their clients in many ways and it’s intrinsic to who they are. Pink Steel is an inspiring example of how this value is brought to life and expresses who they are, how they think and the work they do. While building the Springfield Clinic North, Harold O’Shea Builders had the idea to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a big, pink tribute to the strength of Cancer patients and survivors. The result of which was an inspiring metaphor for strength and survival, “Pink Steel: Building Strength from Within.” Read more of this post

Brand Strategy: Following the NFL Playbook

The NFL is an $8 billion sports entertainment industry with over 185 million American customers … even with changing technology and constant controversies, how does the NFL brand stay so successful?

nfl - american flag

1st Down: Know Your Core Audience – As American As Apple Pie
The NFL sweats red, white & blue …they have strategically aligned themselves with partnerships like United Way, where for over 35 years owners, players and staff have been working to “strengthen America’s communities”.  After 9/11, the NFL made the conscious decision to cancel all games, losing millions, but that small act of humility stayed true to the brand they wanted to portray. Since then, troop support has become ubiquitous with NFL games from military flyovers to actual pregame shows recorded from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. In addition, the largest sponsors of the NFL are some of America’s most iconic brands: Pepsi, Papa Johns, Visa, General Motors and Anheuser-Busch (soda, pizza, money, cars and beer … nothing more American).  More so, the NFL practically owns Thanksgiving (arguably the most american holiday…) with its annual doubleheader, keeping guys out of the kitchen for over 90 years. Read more of this post

Burlington Antique Show

1_hero shot

Mark your calendar! October 20 will be the last opportunity of the current season for the Burlington Antique Show. If you haven’t been, it’s a great way to spend a Sunday morning, with a cup of coffee in hand. One of the most interesting things that I have seen there in a while was this rickshaw (pictured). I love that some of the vendors use simple principles of visual merchandising to elevate their product offering, by creating vignettes, or capturing your attention through use of form, color, or symmetry of arrangements.



Welcome Back PAVE 3D Student Design Winners

Globalshop PAVE Design ChallengeThe Fall marks the beginning of a new school year and the welcoming of our Fall Semester student co-ops.  We recently welcomed back Catherine Murray, Micah Washington, and Yuan Zeng who spent the previous Spring Semester with us and helped us with our FRCH booth at GlobalShop 2013 in Chicago, the largest annual visual merchandising trade show and conference for the retail design industry.   The three University of Cincinnati DAAP Interior Design students were invited to attend GlobalShop as Finalists of the PAVE 3D Student Design Challenge sponsored by Van Stry Design.  While in Chicago, Catherine and Micah’s design received an Honorable Mention while Yuan’s design took First Place.  We are excited to welcome (and welcome back) ALL of our student co-ops from the University of Cincinnati DAAP Program, which was recently named the third best design school in the world by Business Insider!  What follows are some of Cat, Micah, and Yuan’s thoughts about the GlobalShop experience through their eyes.  Read more of this post

Field & Stream Field Trip


Last week Field and Stream, the latest and greatest outdoor store, had their GRAND opening! A team of about ten, including graphic and interior designers, and architects drove up to Cranberry, PA to check out the new store and celebrate the big moment at the soft opening. It was a great opportunity for everyone to see all the hard work come to life and to be a part of something new.

It didn’t take long for the excitement to build around the store. With news crews and Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty making an appearance on opening day, Field and Stream became pretty popular pretty quickly… including a wedding inside the store! Take a peak of the space that FRCH designed that not only includes some beautiful architecture and graphics, but an extensive amount of taxidermy and a whole new perspective of the outdoor world! Read more of this post


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