Volunteers Wanted: Brown Elephant Window Display Crew

Volunteers Wanted: Brown Elephant Window Display Crew

Janel Laban
Nov 15, 2007

Calling all Creatives... Dave (of David's Andersonville Apartment) heads up a volunteer window display crew for the Brown Elephant and he is looking for new members. He sent us an email all about it - here is what he has to say:

Hey there. It's Dave, from Andersonville Housetour red flocked Jesus fame. I put together a team of people to work on the Lakeview Brown Elephant windows. Your Apartment Therapy readers are totally my target market; would you be willing to put up a blurb about a fantastic design oriented volunteering experience?

Below is the blurb that I put up on craigslist in the volunteering section:

My name is Dave, and I am a professional interior designer. I head up a group of people that do the window displays at the brown elephant store located in Lakeview at Halsted Street and Waveland Avenue.

Every month we get together to put in a new theme window; the group has been doing it for about six months now and the windows have been a lot of fun to do as well as garnered a lot of attention from the community.

The group is a mixture of interior designers, visual designers, merchandise mart people, and one zany accounting lady with a killer sense of style.

I would like to add in some fresh faces to the group; we are about to double the amount of display windows that we have in the store and I think it gives a great opportunity to do things on a larger scale.

The Brown Elephant is a resale shop that supports the Howard Brown center; this provides healthcare related 'stuff' to the gay and lesbian community. www.howardbrown.org is the website to learn all about it.

Currently, we trade the windows out every three weeks to a month. We do this on Saturday morning, starting at 11 AM when the store opens and ending at 3 to 4 PM when the window is awesome. People also come and go during that period, depending on schedules.

I also try to go in once a month on Thursday night to strike the old window, paint and do any prep works that needs to be done, and reassemble a fast display for a couple of days.

Nothing is set in stone, though. I am looking for some more people who like to have fun and be creative; design experience is not needed at all....but it seems like we are always doing insane things to rig the windows into something special. There is a definite gay sensibility to the group that is a lot of fun to be around with lots of inappropriate mannequin groping that goes on.

Currently, the window hosts a Thanksgiving tableau with lots of chandeliers, mismatched chairs, ugly table cloths with loads of crap on them and two mannequins making out on the floor under the table. Next month it will be snowmen chasing each other with hair dryers and writing holiday greetings in yellow snow. We have a lot of insane resolutions going in for new years, and Valentine's Day brings gooey Hallmark greetings and definitions of sexually transmitted diseases.

The windows have a lot of opportunity to be crafty and it is always a struggle to make them look awesome with no budget.

If you are interested, please email Dave at: haring222(at)aol(dot)com

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