Paul Cook & Joe Baer

Paul Cook & Joe Baer

Once upon a time, Joe Baer and Paul Cook worked on the Visual Teams for major department stores where they learned the art of classic Visual Merchandising.  This experience combined with their love of fashion, design, art, music, culture and life continues to keep them inspired and motivated to live and work creatively.  Visual Merchandising allows them to experience all of the things they enjoy and inspire others by doing what they love. 

ZenGenius was born in 1999 with a vision to bring the knowledge of Visual Merchandising to the world, keep the art of Visual Merchandising vibrant and provide a unique type of creative support to retailers and businesses around the world.  We are extremely proud of the business we have built and the team of amazing talent and creative individuals that have supported us through the years.  We are thrilled to provide these unique creative services to benefit our clients and our community.  We foster a supportive and empowering creative environment and encourage community involvement and team spirit.

One of our most frequently asked questions is about the inspiration behind our name:  ZenGenius.  

At the heart of a great Visual Merchandiser is the ability to be ingenious.  The ability to think differently and solve solutions creatively is what keeps us invaluable to our clients and community.  The Zen influence came into the name because in order to create a major visual moment one must often complete multiple tasks in order to create a great effect. Folding a thousand origami cranes, gluing hundreds of paper flowers to a wall, adding individual crystals to a prop.  All of these tasks require focus and the ability to go into a meditative state, or "Zen out", on a project.  We also discovered that many of our projects require many hours of preparation, planning and production for a relatively short lived display, installation or event.  All of the hard work may only last for a short time before it's changed-out to the next installation.  We compared this to the Zen Monks that we would see creating beautiful sand mandalas, to then see them blown away in the wind.  This is a constant reminder for us to enjoy the moment and to appreciate the process as well as the end result.  

Years later, after ZenGenius had grown, we read a book by D.T. Suzuki and discovered a passage that confirmed our intentions:

"The Zen Genius sleeps in every one of us and demands an awakening." 

ZenGenius awakens creativity.