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Opening Windows on the Drag

Undergraduates adding detail to the University Co-op window displays on Guadalupe Street

Pedestrians sauntering down the Drag now have an inviting peek into the University Co-op thanks to the work of retail merchandising undergraduates from the Division of Textiles and Apparel. Previously shuttered, the store windows now open onto Guadalupe Street, framing a display that includes photos of Austin's campus culture.

Students taking courses in visual presentation proposed window display ideas to their peers, to their faculty mentor, Peggy Blum, and to the visual manager of the Co-op, Cindie Mooney. The concept that triumphed included a series of photographs attached to a web string.

"It was a treat collaborating with Peggy Blum and the students from the TXA 119 and TXA 219 classes to create a unique and beautiful window display," says Mooney. "The Co-op is dedicated to using our resources to improve the academic experience for all University of Texas students which we do annually through direct financial support of students, student organizations, and faculty."

The plan was simple: develop a window display before Thanksgiving weekend. After first creating inspiration boards and sketches, the 21 students presented concepts to their client, the Co-op.The Co-op liked the idea of involving the community and requested photographs of their customers through their social media channels.The students then planned the budget, gathered materials, and assembled the displays at the store.

"The process of creating such large, public window displays is documented and will be used for each student's visual merchandising portfolio," says Blum. "The students are very proud of their accomplishment, our client was pleased, and the feedback from the Longhorn community has been tremendous and positive."

"The Co-op enjoys providing a laboratory for students to achieve real-world business experience through student internships and class project programs in our stores and corporate office," says Mooney.

Eyes on the Drag: Peggy Blum and students in front of their University Co-op window display