Window display for Maru Second Hand & Outlet


As a part of Visual Marketing course in JAMK, we had to design and create a window display for a store. It didn’t matter what kind of products the store sold, but as I am in the fashion class I wanted our store to be a fashion store. This week we created our window display. For the project, we decided to go with Maru Second Hand & Outlet.

Maru is run by three of my seniors in JAMK. Neea Takala, Iiris Nokka and Janita Mikkola study in JAMK’s Team Academy. They took over Maru as a project related to their studies. As the name suggests, Maru sells both second hand and outlet products. They give a second chance for clothes with a story. You can read more about Maru in their website (finnish).

A window display’s role is to give passing by consumers an idea of a store and lure them in for more. It’s a tool of visual marketing. There by, a window display needs to match the image of a store. A window display that gives a misleading image of a store may lure people in, but will also have them making a U-turn at the door.

In order to create a window display that embodied Maru as a store, we researched them online, visited the store and interviewed Neea Takala. Through the interview, we got a deeper understanding of what kind of an image Maru wants to convey of themselves and how they create their window displays. Through analyzing the information given to us, the trends of the season and Maru’s display of the time, we created our concept for our display. This weekend will be mother’s day in Finland, so we decided to have mother’s day as our theme.

Trends behind the design – Pause (pictures from WGSN)
Trends behind the design – Edgelands (pictures form WGSN)

Maru has used decorations made out of newspaper in their display. We wanted to continue on with that theme. As our theme was mother’s day, we decided to create roses out of newspaper and book pages. It embodies the image of Maru: we’re giving a second chance for newspapers and disregarded books, as decorations. They’ll be appreciated again in the hands of a new owner. This also fits the trend forecasts of WGSN for the current and up coming seasons.

We kept in mind the spirit of re-using and giving a new purpose in our decorations. We bought glass vases from a flea market, got shoe boxes and covered them in paper pages and dried some branches to create decorations.

We chose the products for the window display based on our theme, current trends and Maru as a store. In our interview, Miss Takala mentioned that they would like to emphasize that they have both outlet and second hand items. They want to give an image of a high class second hand store. They also wanted to advertise the fact that they have items for both women and men. As Maru’s products change constantly, we went to choose the products for the display the day before the installation.


Maru has different types of mannequins available. In order to create a visually dynamic display, we decided to go with mannequins of similar style. This limited the amount of mannequins in the display to 2 female ones. We also tried to add a male mannequin to the display as Maru had expressed the fact that they wanted to advertise their male selection. However, we couldn’t balance the said mannequin to the display. Instead we styled it according to our theme and placed it at the entrance.

As a detail in the display, we added a mother’s day card and gifts on a table. This also created a funcional display setting for the YO ZEN jewellery that Maru has in their selection. We also displayed some of YO ZEN earrings on a mannequin. These choices were based on Maru’s wishes to advertise the said brand.

Maru’s display – Before
Maru’s display – After
Maru’s display – details
Maru’s display – details

All in all, I enjoyed creating the display. If I had the chance, I would’ve improved the lighting to make it pop out more. I also would’ve loved to include the male mannequin to the display. The addition of the male mannequin would’ve created a whole different setting and answered to our clients wishes better.

Mango A/W 2015

As an assignment for the Retail Selection Planning course in JAMK, we created a selection for a store on an upcoming season. The selection was to consist of 15-20 products. While creating the selection, we needed to have basis for the depth and width of it as well as the brands and products used. My group chose to do the selection for Mango in the A/W 2015 season. The other group members were Satu Piippo and Tarja Olli.


Mango tries to be up with the current trends. Mango sends scouts to fashion shows to re-create the looks under their own, private label brands. In order for the products to be legally sold in their selections, Mango’s recreations need to have at least 15 differences to the original product. In the past, Mango has had to re-call some of their products, because they were too similar to the original ones.

Creating the selection

We used WGSN’s trend forecasting services as a reference for the trends of the season. Other sources we used while creating the selection were Mangos current selection, Mango’s fashion show for that specific season and the quality and price levels of Mango’s products.

According to WGSN, some of the key materials for A/W 2015 season were leather and mocha. The clothes were preferably loose and the sheerness of the fabrics continued as a trend. In the patterns, geometric prints were preferred. Three dimensional properties in decorations started to rise and could for instance be seen in fringe and feather decorations.

Selection for Mango A/W 2015

Our selection for Mango

Our selection consisted of 19 products. in the selection, we chose to use New Look’s, Zara’s, River Island’s and Style Moi’s brands. We felt like the quality and the price levels of the products suited those of Mango’s. The stores also have the same customer segments, which meant that they could appeal to Mango’s consumers as well. Zara is also Mango’s biggest competitor, which made it a good choice as one of the brands used.

In our selection, it was important to us that the products could be combined together in a variety of different ways to create different kinds of looks. We also wanted the selection to be clear and balanced. As we created the selection for a Mango store in Finland, we decided to include a total of three jackets in the selection.

Our jackets vs Mango’s jackets

The selection of blouses was the most colourful part of our selection. We wanted them to enable the combination of different kinds of looks in the selection. All the blouses were loose and mostly of sheer fabrics as per the trend forecast. The mustard and red coloured blouses were chosen due to the colour forecast for the season.

Our blouses vs Mango’s blouses

Loose cardigans with a fringe hem were one of the key trend items of the season, so we decided to include two of them in our selection. To give some structure for the selection, we decided to add a blazer to it. Stripes weren’t a trend pattern according to WGSN, but we wanted to include a striped cardigan as we noted that Mango had a lot of striped items in their own selection for the season.

Our cardigans vs Mango’s cardigans

As the selection was for a Mango store in Finland, we tried to keep the dresses and skirts  to a minimum. We did however decide to add one mocha skirt and a print dress to the selection. The mocha skirt was one of the key trends of the season, so we didn’t want to ignore it. The decision to add the print dress came from Mango’s own selection.

Our bottoms vs Mango’s bottoms
Our dress vs Mango’s dresses

Mango had a lot of white products in their fashion show for the season, so we decided to add 3 white products to the selection. The black straight pants were added, because they gave a bit of an uplift to the selection and were a key element in making the selection multi functional.

To make the selection complete, we added two bags and two pairs of shoes to it. Both of the bags had the fringe details that were in the trend forecast. We decided to add to the leather and metal trend of the season with the selection of the shoes and the materials for the bags

Our bags and shoes vs Mango’s bags and shoes

Example outfits from the collection

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All the product pictures are from Mango, Newlook, Style MoiRiver Island

Studies in JAMK


My sister suggested that I should start off by telling you guys a little about my studies. You will learn more about them as the posts start accumulating. But for now, I figured I’d tell you about the structure of my studies.

I already mentioned that I’m doing my studies at a faster pace than normal. It’s something I had to do due to my circumstances, but I think that it has made my studies more fulfilling. Because of it, my first year of studies wasn’t limited to the basic business studies that everyone has to go through. I was able to start learning about fashion business right off the bat. I was glad. I was done waiting around as I had found the right field for me.

My teacher and seniors told us that we should take a maximum of 1 or 2 courses on top of our basic courses during our first year, as studies would get tough. Luckily I didn’t get scared off by them; I managed to complete over half of my studies during my first year. Considering that I barely made enough credits to receive my student welfare during my physics studies, it felt surreal.


The studies in JAMK are divided to basic studies, career studies, elective studies, internship and thesis. As a part of career studies, students must do projects. The career studies give the students an opportunity to specialize in different fields of business like finance, sports, brands or fashion. The students can specialize by selecting the courses that interest them or by passing an interview for specializing class. The difference is that a specializing class has to have a certain amount of study credits from the field they’re specializing in. In addition to that, their project’s and thesis’ topics need to address their field and at the end of their studies they get a certificate stating the field they specialized in.

Last year ten students were selected for the class specializing in fashion business and I was fortunate enough to be one of the selected few. My advantage was that I was two years older than most of the applicants. While they were still trying to figure out what they wanted to do, I knew that this was where I wanted to be.

It’s probably obvious, but most of my career studies have dealt with fashion business, retail and international business. I’ve also taken a few courses about sales and management. Some of my favourite courses in JAMK have been Product Know-how in Fashion Retail and Retail Selection Planning. They were my first two courses focusing on fashion business. I’ll write about some of the assignments in these and other courses later on.


I’m currently at the stage of my studies where I’m working on my projects and my thesis. It’s a hectic time in my life, yet I decided it was the perfect time to start a blog.

As I am a fashion class student, all my projects and my thesis deal with fashion business. I’m currently working on four different projects and they all deal with different sides of fashion business. I’m doing research for a fashion show and a trade show, I’m creating a marketing and a business plan for a clothing artisan and I’m a part of a team creating a flag ship store for a clothing brand.

The projects are a valuable way for students to accumulate experience in their fields. It’s a chance for them to network and promote themselves for potential employers. They also allow the students to learn about project skills, time management, doing research and answering to client needs.

The last stage of my studies will be my internship. In JAMK, you can do your internship whenever it suits you. I arranged my studies so that I would be done after the internship. I want to do it abroad and hopefully continue to work in the company after its over. Then, I’ll say goodbye to living in Finland. Maybe for good.

Why Fashion Business?

I feel like in Finland, fashion business isn’t advertised as a career option as well as it should be. Fashion business is a huge driving factor in the world economy. Because of things like obsolescence factor and new trends, fashion keeps changing, creating new needs, new looks to buy. The global apparel market is valued at 3 trillion dollars, 3,000 billion, and accounts for 2 percent of the world’s GDP (Fashion United).

One of the major misunderstandings people have my studies, is what they actually entail. When I say that I study fashion business, the usual responses are: “you must hate me because of what I wear” or “oh, so you can give me styling tips then”. These are unfortunate misunderstandings. The focus of my studies is in the business side of fashion. I’m taking courses about marketing, advertising, wholesales sales management, fashion history, color and trend forecasting for instance. I do know about styling people, because it is useful knowledge in my field, but it is not the focus of my studies.

During my high school years, I wasn’t aware that you could study fashion business or what a career in fashion business entailed. After studying physics for two years while aiming for med school, I realized that I didn’t even want to be a doctor. Up until then I hadn’t understood that your values and goals in life may change. You shouldn’t let the rest of you life be determined by what you valued as a kid.

I started analyzing myself: what do I want to do, what are my values, what are the risks I’m willing to take etc. I found out a lot of things about myself during that time, but two of them are relevant at the moment: A. I didn’t want to limit my life by the boarders of Finland and B. fashion business was what I really wanted to study.

Finding a school that had a fashion business program wasn’t too easy. The options are limited in Finland. I ended up choosing between Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences and Aalto University. Other options I had, were international, but I felt like it was important for me to learn the basics in Finnish first. My knowledge in molecular structures and evolution ecology didn’t really offer me an advantage when it came to business studies.

Unlike with my physics studies, I had a clear understanding of what I wanted to achieve. Before my studies even started, I had made a plan for the structure of my studies. I had to graduate at a faster pace than normal, I wanted to include an exchange period to my studies and I wanted to do my internship abroad as the last stage of my studies. That way I could hopefully continue working abroad in the company I’d do my internship with.

I can see the difference in my motivation levels all the time when I compare my previous studies to my current situation. I love what I’m doing and I’m constantly looking for new opportunities to broaden my knowledge about fashion business.