Visual Merchandising Manager
Artist, creative problem solver, writer, and self-taught handyman. If it involves being creative, Garrison is probably interested or has already dabbled in it a little. In the past he’s been referred to as a "renaissance man", which in his case probably refers more to his creative ADD, jumping between projects and mediums, rather than being a master at many things.
Garrison brings years of experience to the ZenGenius team in his role. From managing stores to visual merchandising and creative direction, he’s worked with notable brands like Macy’s, West Elm, Gap, as well as local retailers including Grandview Mercantile.
Read further to learn about Garrison’s expertise and his contributions to excellence as a member of the ZenGenius team.
How have your past roles influenced your work during your time at ZenGenius?
“After moving from Chicago to Lexington, Kentucky, I stumbled into retail. Desperate for a job, I took a gig at the mall. Yes, the mall. Within my first month I was promoted. In the next year, I was recruited by another brand for my visual work. At this point I figured I was pretty good at this retail thing and opted for a longer term retail career. As a pretty balanced right brain / left brain person, visual merchandising is an absolutely ideal industry for me. It satiates both my creative instincts, and desires to see tangible results.”
FAST FACTS : PART ONE
NAME YOUR HOMETOWN
“Originally North Carolina, but I spent high school in Wisconsin. There was also a nine year stint in Chicago. Each of these places have shaped who I am, but I now happily call Columbus, Ohio my home.”
“Here’s a pic of my shoes to prove it.”
Garrison regularly travels for ZenGenius and humorously documents his adventures. He often snaps photos of his shoes accompanied by a quirky anecdote highlighting a moment of his trip. Here are a few from his six week stint in Florida while rolling out a visual program for a state-wide dispensary.
What is it about ZenGenius that you love? The projects, the clients? The snacks?
“Helping our clients make their vision become a reality is one of the most satisfying things I've ever experienced.”
Where can we find you on the weekends?
“I'm obsessed with art. I love making my art, visiting galleries and museums, promoting art I love through conversation and writing. I myself am primarily a fiber artist, working in the medium of cross stitch. While traditionally seen as a craft, I like to think I am pushing what is possible by applying the technique to Abstract and OpArt styles. I will sit for hours and hours stitching, often foregoing social events and outings to get just a little more done on a piece that can take up to three months to complete.”
There's a reason my art Instagram is called @whymyfriendsneverseeme
FAST FACTS : PART TWO
“My beard isn’t necessarily a fashion statement, but the result of a strong disdain towards shaving in general.”
“I lied to my parents when I was in 8th grade and secretly went to see Metallica instead of going to the mall.”
How do you spark creative inspiration?
“If I'm stuck in a creative rut and need a jump start, I often step away, take a walk and pay attention. The key being to pay attention. There is so much in this world that I find inspiring. Even viewing a house from a certain angle or catching a small graffiti tag on the back of a street sign can stir up multiple ideas. It isn't always easy, but putting away my phone and having a look at the world around us is one of the best exercises to find inspiration.”
FAST FACTS: PART THREE
FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Don’t make me choose.
ROCK, PAPER, SCISSOR?
WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG?
A graph paper sketchbook.
To date, what has been your favorite project to work on during your time at ZenGenius?
Working with Florida-based dispensary brand, Trulieve, was really a great experience. Obviously, getting to go to Florida for a month wasn’t a bad deal, but being able to transform entire showrooms, while seeing the faces of both Trulieve associates and patients, was incredible. Each day was met with slight hesitation, but by the time we were done with the install, their teams were ecstatic about the finished products and results of our work.
Relief... Naturally. At Trulieve, we strive to bring you the relief you need in a product you can trust. Our mission is to provide compassionate care patients can trust when traditional medicine is not enough. Our specially-trained staff works hand-in-hand with your physician to provide the right products and the correct dosage to ensure you get the compassionate care you need.
Tell us two pieces of information that we must know about you. Well, okay. It doesn’t have to be critical. How about lighthearted instead?
This is my dog’s name, Daisyfuentes. She is the most special creature ever placed on this planet. I bring her to the office every chance I get, where she follows me around like a shadow. She gets a bit anxious on occasion, but Sunny (Meg’s corgi) keeps her calm.
This is Dolly Parton. As one of the most universally adored women of the last century, she is a beam of light in this ever-darkening world. Dolly has worked her way into the fabric of popular culture becoming an icon of joy and zeal for life. She would also be the first guest on my talk show.
Interested in working with Garrison?
See how he and our team can create an elevated visual presentation and in-store experience all your own with the experts at ZenGenius.