Working as European Display Manager for Anthropologie, Bryn’s life is as creative as it is varied
Words by Amy Gerrish Photography by Dunja Opalko
We caught up with Bryn to find out more about his exciting career, his approach to creativity, and how his Bath roots have helped him get to where he is today
Tell us about your job – what does life as a European Display Manager involve? My weeks vary a lot. I work from home some days, I’m in London a lot at our head office, or in Anthropologie stores (particularly the Regent Street flagship) for a couple of days a week. I also travel to our stores across the UK and Europe. I just got back from opening our new Düsseldorf store, where I stayed for nearly three weeks in the lead up to the opening.
Walking into the Bath store feels like you’re walking into an independent boutique. How do you create that indie vibe? This is down to the very talented store team in Bath! Working closely with my merchandising and retail partners to keep it all connected, I make sure there is one creative thread running through all of the stores, to make sure that they feel like part of Anthropologie as a whole, but each store has its own identity. This is a pretty unique set up in retail, which allows that individual touch to be felt throughout each of our stores.
Tell us about your planning process when it comes to creating an in-store display. The processes vary from project to project as I work on stores, store openings, press days and photo shoots. The big ideas regarding windows and store display usually come from the US-based creative team, but Düsseldorf was a unique project, which we ran from our Europe office. I started planning in November 2017 and we opened in May 2018.
Anthropologie opened their Düsseldorf store in May 2018
Of the displays you’ve worked on, which were your favourites? My favourite window was the lovebirds in a large wreath for the Christmas window we did about three years ago. My favourite instore display was making the denim whale, which was 5m long and ended up in a local primary school!
The five-metre long Denim Whale (above) made quite a splash at the Bath store
Have you started any displays that turned out to be much more challenging than you anticipated? It happens all the time, as we make everything from scratch and often use new materials – teething problems are all part of the job!
When we installed the store display that comprised doors trailing up the wall and across the ceiling upstairs in the Bath store, it was a very long night. I remember at about 4am thinking, this is never going to work!
To those aspiring creative visual merchandisers – what advice would you give?
Get stuck in! There are always smaller projects to work on. Build your portfolio, and offer your services to independent shops and charity shops
If you can’t find somewhere to do it, create your own projects, stick to a budget, make it, and pull it together. It’s about proving you have the creative skills and ability to problem-solve, which you can demonstrate on a small scale without an actual real client.
Who inspired you creatively as you grew up? I used to draw constantly when I was growing up, and was always inspired by my mum to be creative. I was also inspired by many teachers at Somervale in Midsomer Norton, and I had a wonderful time at Bath College.
What parts of Bath to you find most inspiring? The city (as we all know!) is stunning to look at, and has some great places like the Holburne Museum, Edge Arts and Victoria Art Gallery. Bath offers the best of both worlds, with the countryside on your doorstep but within easy reach of London. Plus, you’re not far from Bristol, Frome or Bruton either.