brave gracious enough to invite the Lowe’s Creative Ideas crew down to NC to visit the HQ, get some sneak peeks at some of the new Spring 2015 trends, and see some top secret stuff. It was awesome.
We wanted to write a recap of the trip but aren’t really at liberty to tell you about or show photos of some stuff, we even had to turn in our cameras and phones at one point and had a very Willy Wonka experience at the place we can’t talk about. “YOU GET NOTHING! YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR!”
Hopefully we can still do the trip justice.
Reception at Metrolina Greenhouses
Our first stop with the Lowe’s crew was a welcome reception/dinner at Metrolina Geenhouses. It’s the largest single-site heated greenhouse in the United States at 162 acres under roof and it’s insane. I’m not sure I can do the place justice by listing off facts, but imagine Poinsettias as far as you can see in all directions at all times and still not seeing them all. It’s that big.
We arrived, boarded trams, and were taken deep into the middle of the place for a dinner reception.
The ceiling was lined with what I imagine are seedling pots as far as you could see. Just one of the ways Metrolina seemed to utilize space.
This is part of one of the bays cleared out and set up for the reception. Around 4,000 Poinsettias were moved.
This is a small glimpse of what it looked like in the daylight.
For a bit more reference, the red section in the photo below is the area of the reception.
Also, FACT, the owner of the greenhouse said Poinsettias are NOT poisonous, so stop spreading that rumor you pet lovers. Unless your pet eats like 5,000 of them in one sitting, then your pet probably will die, that’s a fact from me.
Tour of Campus
The Lowe’s campus is huge and beautiful. We arrived just in time to see a Red Vest Appreciation Day ceremony and company cheer in the courtyard. At first we thought they were cheering to welcome us and spell out our names, but they were apparently spelling out L-O-W-E-S.
We weren’t there just for a tour, we were there for business, and the day was full of meetings and focus groups, and we weren’t just there to be handsome, we were there to give feedback and insight to some internal teams at Lowe’s.
But first, look what’s just sitting in the hallway. Now THIS is a trophy case! I’d be STOKED to walk by this every day.
Some of the coolest stuff on the trip was getting to go through focus groups for each line of business we touch. We spoke with the social media team who handle all the accounts: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, etc. And, BTW, If you don’t follow Lowe’s on Vine, you should, they have the best vines we’ve seen. And they were doing this back when you couldn’t edit the videos, you had to shoot them by tapping the screen in the app. And if the app crashed when the Vine was uploading? Bye bye a full day of animation work. Incredible.
We met with the allen + roth team and discussed the new branding and design of allen + roth, the Lowe’s in-house brand. We met with a team that does community outreach and discussed how Lowe’s can help even more people through their partnership with Habitat for Humanity. We met with a customer experience team to talk about some ideas they have for some cool in-store experience initiatives but to our dismay DID NOT get to mess with the Lowe’s robot.
If there’s one place in Lowe’s we REALLY wish we could work, it’s the Lowe’s innovation Labs. It’s not someone we met, or anything we saw, but it’s something we know exists. And we know it’s not secret and we can discuss it because this video is on their YouTube Channel. They built a HOLODECK so you can see what your room will look like with various wall coverings and fixtures. Check it:
Lowe’s Spring 2015 Product Line
We also got a sneak peek at the 2015 design trends and some of the new product lines that you’ll be seeing at Lowe’s next year. The 2015 trends include Shades of Blue, Textures, Geometric Shapes, Watercolor, and Finishing Touches. It’s really some nice stuff, especially the outdoor decor. The team travels and explores our world to decide what they will design and feature for each new season. It’s a pretty awesome-sounding job if you ask me. They are the ones who are basically furnishing and decorating your house and outdoor space if you go and like what they’ve designed and produced.
They SAID we could photograph this stuff and share it so here it is.
At the end of a long day of meetings and breakout groups everyone was a little run down and glassy-eyed. Then suddenly, BLAM Eddie Ross came in and breathed life back into the room and went through some of his room designs. The guy is a smile machine and has endless energy. I love seeing people like him. He seems to love what he does and has real passion for it. If you don’t know who he is, he’s a stylist, decorator, host, and man of many talents who has been everywhere doing jobs ranging from Senior Style Editor of Martha Stewart Living to having his own design studio to being an editor at Better Homes and Gardens. If you want to see what I mean, watch this: http://www.bhg.com/videos/m/79706407/apartment-ideas-from-eddie-ross.htm
After his presentation, he and his partner, Jaithan Kochar, were hanging around and chit-chatting with everyone and were swamped by ladies immediately and we really kind of didn’t want to force our way in for a photo, so I made this.
This is what it would look like if we HAD took a picture with Eddie and Jaithan.
Yes I put our heads on J Crew models. Apologies to Eddie for adding the glasses and ‘stache, Jaithan, and the original photographer (I couldn’t find a name to credit, believe me, I tried), and J Crew. Please don’t sue us. We like you.
YOUUUUUUUUUUUUR CHARLOTTE HORN-ETTTTTTTTTTTTS
The day ended with the Lowe’s team hosting us in their suite at a Hornets game. It was a great night filled with food, drinks, and the mascot freaking me the hell out because it plopped down next to me and put it’s arm around me and I almost spilled my Stella.
I know a lot about Lowe’s, but it was great to learn the behind-the scenes stuff. They’ve come a long way as they’ve grown from a small hardware store to a total home improvement company. I was impressed at the amount of community outreach stuff they do to help people in need, I was glad to hear about their desire is to inspire and educate homeowners, and I was amazed they let us two troublemakers into the place (and we hope they do again).
Thank you, Lowe’s. We can’t wait to see all of you again.