An oversized gingerbread mansion – complete with miniature solar panels on its rear roof – helped Greensleeves Boutique win the Downtown Somerville Christmas Window Decorating Contest.
The gingerbread mansion was baked and fabricated by Geri Lordi, district manager of Greensleeves and displayed in the store at 59 West Main Street.
Greensleeves received 75 votes. Second place, with 53 votes was awarded to the holiday mannequin display in the windows of Incogneeto vintage clothing, 30 Division St. Third place with 47 votes went to Saffire Salon at 72 W. Main St., which featured a revolving Christmas tree in their window decorated with gifts for their clients and beauty products sold inside.
Ballots were handed out to the crowd at the borough’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony; votes could also be cast on a special Facebook link created for the contest.
The event was a cooperative venture sponsored by the Somerville Business & Professional Association in conjunction with the Downtown Somerville Alliance.
The winner receives a $500 advertising voucher paid for by the SPBA and DSA.
“Considering this was the first time we sponsored the contest, we’re very pleased with the outcome,” said April Sette, executive director of the SBPA. “It was a great event, we got the merchants engaged and they all helped make Somerville sparkle during the Christmas shopping season,” she added.
“We are absolutely delighted to award the advertising voucher to Geri and the staff at Greensleeves,’’ said Beth Anne Macdonald, executive director of the Downtown Somerville Alliance. “Non-profit organizations have limited funds and can’t always spend the money they need to draw attention to their good work. We’re pleased to help out such a worthy organization.”
Greensleeves is a green initiative established in 2010 to provide gently worn clothing, vintage jewelery, furniture, home décor and other items to the public, while providing on-site job training and education to individuals with disabilities.
“As a non-profit, we do not have a marketing budget so this is a great opportunity for us to get the word out regarding some of the great deals we can offer the community and also our mission,” Lordi said. “The Greensleeves’ team very much enjoyed participating in the downtown window contest. Downtown Somerville always provides new and innovative ways to become connected and involved in the community,” she continued. “Greensleeves employees understand and are sensitive to the struggles of others and our mission has always been to foster good will and responsible citizenship.”
The Gingerbread Mansion, complete with solar panels, was put together one panel at a time to represent “Rebuilding Hope in our Communities,” according to Lordi. A modest collection was raised through donations to support victims of Hurricane Sandy and donated to the Red Cross.
Second place winner Stacy LoAlbo, owner of Incogneeto injected an element of humor into her window displays at the vintage clothing shop. One window featured a pink and white theme, including a mannequin in pink wig and ‘50s pink prom dress alongside a white tree trimmed in pink ornaments.
The other window recreated a Christmas party that had gotten out of hand, including a male mannequin with a lampshade over his head, a pair of shoes on his hands, wearing white and green paisley pants and an ugly Christmas sweater loaded with rhinestones.
“I thought the whole contest was great, especially since the borough’s Christmas tree was right outside our store,” LoAlbo said. There were hundreds of people there for the lighting and they all saw this funky window display.”
Kristen Reed, co-owner of the Saffire Salon, said everyone that came in to the store during the Christmas season commented on their window display.
“They really liked it; I thought the contest was a great idea, definitely something different, it helped to light up the whole town up and down the street,” she said.