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From Home Furnishing Business

Illinois Store Receives First ‘Retail Genius’ Award from ICFA

The award, which was presented at this week’s ICFA Educational Conference, was created to recognize retailers whose creativity invokes the spirit of the late Mary Fruehauf, an industry leader who was known for her unique approach to igniting excitement and emphasizing the fun in outdoor living.

Village Green was lauded for creating a sensory environment for shoppers that is innovative, fun and memorable. Judges noted the store’s use of uncommon accessories, dazzling color and dramatic lighting, together resulting in what can only be described as “retail theater.”

The store features an atrium showroom where natural light floods from ceilings 20 feet above the floor. Customers follow cobblestone walkways through casual furniture displays, including fully accessorized decks and patios featuring over 100 different outdoor resources.

The award was presented to Jessica Salisbury, CEO and creative director of Village Green.

It is named in honor of Fruehauf, who was president and CEO of Fruehauf’s in Boulder, Colo., until her death from cancer in 2015.

“Mary was a dedicated and passionate person whose creativity of expression sparked a sense of enjoyment and discovery in her customers, community and the national casual furniture industry for over two decades,” said Mariah Maydew, who succeeded her as president and CEO of Fruehauf’s.

“We are thrilled that the ICFA is honoring her imagination and the many ways she inspired others. She would love the idea of a ‘Retail Genius’ award to recognize the creativity of others in our industry,” Maydew added.

Judges for the inaugural award were Maydew, Cathy Galbreath-Buzbee, owner of ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, Birmingham, Ala., and Brian Lawrence, president of Emigh’s Casual Living, Sacramento, Calif. 

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