July 2016  Volume 6 Issue 1

Summertime Gladness from ZenGenius!
Happy summer everyone! The sun is shining, creative juices are flowing, and we have many exciting announcements we'd like to share. 2016 has been a great year so far. We're in a new location, our client list has grown, new opportunities continue to come our way, and we won the International Special Events Society (ISES) Ohio WOW! Award for the second year in a row! For more ZenGenius updates, please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram.
In addition to our visual and event merchandising services, we've added sourcing, where we source, develop and purchase fixtures, visual elements, mannequins, props and more for stores located around the United States and Internationally. 

We appreciate and would like to thank all of our amazing employees, past and present, who have put their heart and soul into their work every day. We'd also like to thank all of our wonderful clients, artists, family, friends and supporters who have helped us grow and expand this creative business. We wouldn't be where we are today without you! Summer is a great time to give thanks. Remember to thank yourself and family by taking a break to enjoy the things that matter most. 

This Issue's Headliners
Zen Spotlight
Congratulations to Davinia Roberts from our talented New York team for being selected for our Zen Spotlight!   
ISES Ohio WOW! Award  
ZenGenius is ecstatic to have won the ISES Ohio WOW! Award for Best Corporate Event for the second year in a row!
NEW ZenGenius Office    
ZenGenius is in a new space! Take a peek at the new digs.
Also in this Issue: ZenGenius Mascot, 2016 Iron Merchant Challenge, Mondo Mannequins Pop-up Showroom, ZenCreates, SWAG, Connie Award, Stratosphere, and Favorite Boutique!
Davinia Roberts is a talented Visual Merchandiser who manages our New York team, and has been with us since November of 2015.  She is amazing and we are so fortunate to have her on our team! She embodies the Zen spirit and brings her calm, positive vibes to every  project. 

My inspiration: 
I'm inspired by so many nouns, (people, places, and things). I find joy and excitement in observing, exploring and experimenting with what strikes me and gets my creative juices flowing. I feel  so lucky to live in a place where we have basic freedoms and an economy that supports and thrives on an entrepreneurial spirit. Life itself and the people that fill it, as well as what they do with this life are my continuous sources of inspiration. They have seen and experienced what I haven't and vise versa. People are the vessels in which creativity can flow through. All that to say this: my greatest inspirations are People. Final Answer. 
My favorite part about working with ZG:
ZG has a broad client base. Being encouraged to implement what I know from my fashion visual Merchandising background and apply it to these projects keeps me learning and growing all while strengthening my craft.  And Joe Baer is probably one of the kindest bosses you could ever dream up. 

A favorite project/experience: 
We just wrapped up a booth install at the Javitts Center (NYC) with Herbal Science (the parent company that makes the tea, Good Nature).  The ZenGenius team designed the booth and, when we installed, it created a beautiful oasis in the middle of the Javits Center. All of the additional propping and details created an environment that celebrated their newest tea: b.calm. 

Random fun facts about me:
I was born in the smallest state, Rhode Island.  My childhood through college, I spent as a competitive gymnast.  I've been to 5 out of 7 continents. Along with working at ZenGenius, I am a 250 HR Registered Yoga Teacher teaching all over the city in businesses and to underserved communities. Davinia is available to teach yoga to your team or staff. Namaste.
Special Congratulations 
Congratulations to Joshua Bookman for joining the French company Pierre Fabre, and for being selected as one of the 40 under 40 award for retail design and visual merchandising from design:retail magazine! It has been an honor watching you grow and succeed. We are all so proud of and happy for you. All the best from your friends and family at ZenGenius!

Congratulations to Rickelle Viney who is embracing her entrepreneurial spirit and launching a biz. We wish you all the best and thank you for 7 years of dedication and fashion WOWS!
International Special Events Society

ZenGenius is ecstatic to have won the International Special Events Society WOW! Award for Best Corporate Event for the second year in a row! The ISES WOW! Award celebrates and honors the talents and contributions of ISES members in the special events industry, and provides statewide recognition for each of its members. We would like to give a special shout-out to our Events Director, Cassandra Darling, for her spectacular work and for representing ZenGenius at the 2016 ISES WOW! Awards Show.  
Side note: We received word that the ISES organization has a new name and is now known as the International Live Events Association (ILEA). 


Photos from our award winning corporate event, the Columbus Partnership Holiday Event
OfficeNEW ZenGenius Office 
This past March, ZenGenius moved out of our main office, a studio space and an additional warehouse space, and into a new office building. We have consolidated into one space, allowing us to position the company for the future. With a passion to expand the awareness on Visual Merchandising, we are in the process of setting up a Visual Merchandising Training Center and an E-Commerce Warehouse in our new space. The new ZenGenius office, on the edge of the Short North located right between Italian Village and the Milo Grogan Arts District, will allow us to continue to introduce Visual Merchandising as a career path for the Creative Community.  
Schedule your team for a Visual Merchandising training workshop. Take the ZenGenius visual challenge and beat the best time! To schedule a training, please contact Meg Lefeld by phone at 614-220-9040 or email at

It's hard to say goodbye to our quaint and charming office space in the Short North. Goodbye, Prescott! Thanks for the memories.
ZenGenius Mascot
Have you met Sunny? Other than being known as an extremely spoiled, adorable and mischievous welsh corgi, Sunny is ZenGenius's office dog. She started working part-time at ZenGenius when she was around 2 months old and is now a full-time greeter to anyone (and we mean ANYONE) who visits the office. Sunny's hobbies include playing with toys, going on walks, giving kisses, being ornery, and taking an average of 7 naps a day. Come say hello; she'll be waiting!

Beware:  If you give her a treat, she'll never leave you alone. 
2016 Iron Merchant at IRDC
International Retail Design Conference
The International Retail Design Conference ( IRDC ), held in beautiful Montreal, Canada, will be here in just a few months (September 13-15). This will be ZenGenius's 11th year hosting the Iron Merchant Challenge. In addition to leading the challenge, ZenGenius will also be giving a presentation on Working with Creatives. Check out the  video from last year's Iron Merchant Challenge as well as  photos of the final designs. Thank you to Richard Cadan Photography, Josh Quinn and the team at VMSD and IRDC for capturing the fun.

Video by Josh Klatt (Richard Cadan Photography & Video)

Mondo Mannequins Pop-Up Showroom
Mondo Mannequins is a branch of a company called Econoco, and is considered to be one of the top Mannequin producers and innovators in the nation, but in addition, the overarching company as a whole is extremely expansive and impactful at a national level.  

This past May, Mondo created a pop-up showroom located at 164 West 25th Street in the 12th floor penthouse in Columbus, OH.  ZenGenius assisted with the setup of the showroom, which is specifically staged for designers and store planners, by setting up and placing tables, and putting together and dressing mannequins. 

You can visit Mondo's showroom by appointment to see the latest styles of their Made-To-Order collections. 

Mondo_Mannequin Video
Video by OBLSK
We are introducing ZenCreates as a way to feature and promote the amazing creations our Zens make and sell outside  of ZenGenius.

Mindi Ortiz   
Mindi was born to design and create, and is one of ZenGenius's most talented designers. Her fashions are inspired by colors, prints, as well as the 40's, 50's and 60's. When she was a little girl she mended clothing, made odd shaped stuffed animals, and gave new life to unwanted garments. She is a maker of all sorts, from crafts, to decor, to garments. Place your custom garment order today by emailing her at
Addie Ashworth   
Addie is the entrepreneur of a dog accessories company called Sophie's Threads. Inspired by her dachshund, Sophie, Sophie's Threads offers stylish and unique collars and harnesses for dogs. It all began after realizing that typical harnesses do not properly fit dachshunds. After receiving custom order requests, additional sizes were added to the mix in order to fit just about all dog breeds. In addition to making dog accessories, Addie also makes bold statement rings out of rough natural rocks. Order your accessories today by emailing Addie at
Paul Cook
Not only is Paul a Co-Founder of ZenGenius, he is an incredibly talented artist and craftsman. He is a mobile maker, merchandiser, graphic designer, die hard gamer and George Clooney look alike. Two of our favorite crafts by Paul are his pillow covers and mobile bursts. Both of which are available to order by emailing Paul at! what's a GIF?
We've added new talent to our team, Michael Foley and Paul Foley, who have assisted with the largest retail  brands in the world, and are now providing services designing and creating GIFS. GIFS are image files that are compressed to reduce transfer time. They are extremely fun, entertaining and a great way to stand out among your competitors.  Contact us at  to request a  gif design!


Gifs designed by Michael Foley and Paul Foley
On the Forefront of Projection Mapping
The Hilton Columbus Downtown received the prestigious 2015 Connie Award for best overall Hilton in North and South America for the second year in a row!   ZenGenius was honored to be a part of the event production as well as help with the decor. There was tons of dancing, delicious food, great entertainment and happy people all around. Our events team, Cassandra Darling   and Lindsay Acker , went above and beyond to ensure this event was a memorable experience for all who attended. Partnering with tech gurus, Charles Erickson and Donnie Mossman, we were able to fulfill Hilton's General Manager Christain Coffin's dream by bringing the "Connie Award" to life by using projection and mapping techniques.

Video by OBLSK
Stratosphere by OBLSK
Artist and Zen Guru: Eve Warnock
This past March, a group of artists known as OBLSK, made up of Pelham Johnston, Brandon Reichard and our very own Zen, Eve Warnock, partnered with national and international brands to present Stratosphere. Stratosphere explores the projection of light and shadow, and their ability to transform and manipulate architecture, space and the human form via mannequins from Mondo Mannequins.  OBLSK, ZenGenius, and Columbus' own Ohio Art League came together to create a spectacular multimedia exhibition. Through projection installation, performance, and sculpture, the artists of OBLSK investigated and portrayed the ways in which art and visual merchandising overlap. 

OBLSK then created a custom installation for the new ZG office. Let us help you create your own projection mapping project.   

Mannequins from Mondo Mannequins
Addie: Director of Visual Merchandising
We want to congratulate our incredibly hard working zen, Addie Ashworth,  on being promoted from Senior Visual Merchandiser to Director of Visual Merchandising. Addie has 20+ years of experience in Visual Merchandising and Visual Operations, and will be overseeing all of ZenGenius's scheduling, visual merchandising projects and business development, ensuring both client and employee satisfaction. Addie believes that the key to any successful project is open communication and strong collaboration between all parties involved, and we are certain she will be a great resource to all of our amazing employees.

Please feel free to say congratulations and introduce yourself to Addie by emailing her at .

Favorite Boutique
Robert Mason
is a retail store located on the quaint alley of Brickel Street in the Short North Arts District.  The storefront features a heritage-inspired collection of beautifully designed, fashion-forward lifestyle supplies, handmade goods and unique gifts either designed by or curated by the CEO and Founder, Robert Grimmett. 

We had the pleasure of hearing Robert present his story at the Columbus startup week. Robert started his business selling ballpoint pens when he was twelve years old, and has spent the past two decades designing and personally handpicking exceptional products manufactured locally and internationally. This is a wonderful authentic brand with the best leathers, pens, accessories and grooming boutique. We love our wood wicked leathercraft scented candle!

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467 E Starr Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43201 614.220.9040