New & Improved!

I asked, you commented, I got busy.
(Actually, I was already busy with the redesign of my blog graphics, I just wanted to know what features you'd like to see here, and on my website if I decide to keep it.) I thank you for your many thoughts, ideas, and shall we say 'opinions' offered in the comments. Yes, all of them. I appreciate the feedback.

So here it is - my newly-designed blog. A few points of interest about the changes:

1. No 'theme music' caption - the music is still here though, because I get a LOT of positive feedback on it.
2. No 'DivaDeb', 'DecoDivaDebi' or 'Decorating & Display Diva' references at all. I changed the blog name to 'Debi Ward Kennedy, Retail Designer'. (If I could change my blog address, I would.) This is to prevent any confusion that these terms have been causing for anyone.
3. My Diva Chick avatar has been simplified and updated. I will continue to use her. I like her!
4. As I post this, I'm adding Photo links here that will take you to my Portfolio. Before & Afters, as requested.
4. I've consolidated my other web resources ('other' than this blog) into one sidebar category to make it easier to find all of them: blogs, videos, columns, articles, photos, resume', and FB Page.
5. Updated profile photo, bio, and email. Please note the email change.
6. The video player for my GHC video series is still at the bottom of the page, and the video segments will continue to rotate there.

BTW, I AM going to have a website, under the url 'DebiWardKennedy'. I'll link it here once it's live. I will not be using 'TheDecoDiva' url anymore, hence the email change.

The top two-thirds of the sidebar is one big Deb infomercial, actually. Consider it my sales pitch. The lower third is filled with resources, links, and other content to promote and help other businesses & people - that's the networking part.

Coming attractions will include a consolidation of post Topics, making it easier to find subjects you are looking for. I also have additions for the 'Recommended Reading' list, and a few new widgets to install. Exciting things and exciting times as I embrace change. (Yes, there is an underlying message there!) I'm striving for a balance here - professionalism without sacrificing my personality.

If you watch the GHC video at the bottom of my screen, you see ME, as I am in my life, onstage, on camera, on the phone.... it's just ME. I really am that energetic and peppy and excited! I am passionate about what I can do to help other people & businesses succeed visually. I get results for people, I break attendance records for seminars at venues, I get standing O's when I speak. People tell me they like my approach to teaching and this subject.

And most importantly, I receive hearfelt gratitude from people I have worked for, from corporations to mom & pop retailers - whether I have charged them for my time or not. So, I won't dial all of that back to the point where I look like just one of a few hundred Power-Point-using deadpan-joke-telling droning-on-and-on speakers on a platform who are out there. That's not me, and anyone who is looking for that kind of designer or speaker isn't my customer anyway.

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my take on retail visual design:

"The thing is, retail design is driven by psychology. It is by manipulating space, visuals, lighting, sound, smell, and mood that we influence customers to enter, stay, browse, buy, and return. It is an endless exercise in change, endurance, growth, education, and imagination that enables retailers to stay on top of their game and at the forefront of their customer's minds. Yes, what you sell IS important - but even the very best merchandise won't sell at full price if it's presented in torn boxes on dirty shelves in a store that is too crowded to turn around in. Visual impact is a huge part of business, and utilizing the principles that have been proven to work can help you build a better business." ~ DWK