In June, Hachem, an art supply company with multiple stores throughout Canada, participated in Montreal’s MURAL Festival: an eleven day event celebrating the international urban art movement. World class musicians and visual artists collaborated for a cultural celebration in the heart of Montreal on the Saint-Laurent Boulevard, a celebration that included live art, music, exhibitions and artist talks. Hachem utilized this community event as an opportunity to launch MONTANA in their stores.
Founded in 1982, the Hachem family opened up a retail space in Mont-Royal, followed by several other locations in Montreal’s Mercier East neighborhood, Mascouche, Saint-Jerome, Saint-Bruno and Vaudreuil for a total of eight stores as of 2015. In addition to exceptional customer service in a boutique setting, Hachem stores host events and offer courses and workshops. In line with their commitment to art materials and local artists, they saw a big opportunity, both to connect with customers, build community and launch a line of MONTANA products in the form of MURAL Fest.
Marketing Coordinator Emilie Lamarre paints us a picture:“The festival is in the heart of Montreal: there are so many people. All the coffee shops and stores are open; it’s really fun, people can go around and see the artists paint with MONTANA. It’s really about street art; aside from the eleven murals, there are other artists who work on smaller walls. There are also night shows, every evening there is a free show from 5 – 11pm.”
Creative Engagement: A Container Gallery, An Art Truck
The initial spark? A single contact. “We have someone on social media who had a contact with the festival; she made the first contact and when she told them that we were interested, they were very interested in having us since we are an art company.”
Hachem created a pop-up gallery in the form of a large shipping container where people could view artwork. Featured artists and Hachem ambassadors included Amelia, Clo Artist, Callen Schaub, Rock Therrien, Stikki Peaches, WUNA and Heist1.
Employee Artists, Employee Ambassadors
“In addition to the pop-up gallery and art truck, we had our employees present, our ambassadors of Hachem, Amelia and Clo. They talked with visitors about the company, gave out coupons, gave out information about our website.
We also had another area on the street for the Art Truck! Our artists made a graphic design on the truck over the course of the festival. The Art Truck was a fun attraction for passers by; our artists were there from 9 to 5, painting everyday, for eleven days. We had a lot of exposure.”
Making The Connection with Social Media
Hachem has a strong social media presence that drove a lot of interest, not only about MURAL Fest but also about their stores and products. The promotions around MURAL Fest before, during and after resulted in increased traffic and curious customers. “There were a lot of interest in MONTANA products, it was the first time we had the product in the store. There were a lot of people talking about the festival and the product, asking how to use it. People who didn’t know about the murals were asking about it as well after they saw it on social media.”
What local festival might your store get involved with? Have you already connected with an annual event or festival outside of your organization? We’d love to hear about it. Drop us a line at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com.