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The Story Behind Miss Behavin's Extravagant Window Display

Miss Behavin on the Square is known for their over-the-top window display, but I bet you don’t know what all goes into the design of the display. 

Designer Sarah Charlton, who began working for Miss Behavin while still still in high school five years ago, and owner Ivy Saxton tag team the window display. 
A lot of planning goes into each design as they create two new window displays each year. One design is planned for the spring in time for the Double Decker Arts Festival and the other in the fall for football season. Charlton makes multiple templates of designs while Saxton edits to decide the ultimate concept for the display. 
“It takes us the whole time in between [seasons] to come up with a concept and figure it out,” Charlton said. “It also takes us a while to figure out the most efficient ways to do things and to fulfill the concept.”
Because the display takes many days and nights to set up, they began working on the newest design installation in March. They begin the design with flowers, and then build from there. The flower chandeliers alone take nearly three weeks to build. Working busily, Charlton and Saxton didn’t finish the spring design until Wednesday, April 26, only two days before Double Decker. 
“It’s so many little things. I wish we could just come in one night and knock it out, but it’s impossible,” Charlton said. “It might not seem like a lot of work, but it is.”
Each window display is designed to reflect the theme inside of the store. However, the store is covered in decor that was featured in last fall’s display, even the flower chandeliers. 
“Our number one goal of the window is to stick out,” Charlton said. “The window out front is a big deal because how you see a storefront is your first selling point to everyone who walks by. It’s how you are going to get people in, and it tells a story of what your business is and what you offer.”
The most tedious part of the design this year was the placing of hundreds of flowers on the wall, all placed one by one, and of course the chandeliers. 
“The flower chandeliers were hula hoops that we wrapped with tape and got a ton of vines and wrapped around, so the base of them are 10 six-foot-long vines that we had to wrap and tie repeatedly, so it took a lot of time,” Charlton said. 
Charlton said she’s already heard several positive responses about the new display from customers. However, Charlton and Saxton have no time to wallow in the fruits of their labor, they’ve already begun planning for this fall’s display. They have corresponding with Ole Miss art students for ideas as they have always been welcoming to outside opinions. 
“My favorite part of doing the window display is the artistic satisfaction, coming up with the concept and being able to see the concept play out and become a reality,” Charlton said. 
This year’s spring design was the first to be created by Saxton and Charlton without their third set of hands. 
“Our recently deceased friend Eric Shepard… it would be us three that would always do it,” Charlton said. “But this season was the first one without him, and it has been especially emotional for us.” 
So go by Miss Behavin, and give the two props for an extravagant window display for all Square-goers to enjoy. 

Alex Kitchens is the social media editor for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at alex.kitchens@hottytoddy.com.
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