Three years ago, when the Warwick Education Foundation started to plan its first For the Love of Education gala, the committee needed help preparing an auction display. So they turned to Sandy Bock, merchandiser.
Bock at first intended simply to offer pointers on how to showcase each auction item to draw the highest bid. But she soon became the WEF’s new auction display designer.
“I have always been very creative,” admits Bock. “I’ll try anything artsy and fun, from sewing, calligraphy, and cooking to painting, designing and decorating.
“The Mad Men side of me loves the creativity in marketing and merchandising. I always feel like I can make something look more appealing to a customer.”
Having spent 25 years as owner and operator of a retail craft business in, Bock knows firsthand that creativity in display can add value to merchandise.
“Seeing a beautiful scarf lying on a table is one thing,” explained Bock. “But a beautiful scarf cascading over a colorful display helps you imagine all the possibilities it can bring to your own wardrobe.”
Bock likes to tell a story. For instance, a movie theater gift card could be overlooked. “But a bucket of popcorn spilling over, some movie theater candy and a coke will make you want to go to the movies!”
She likes the challenge of the unknown – having to be resourceful, working with what she has on hand, evaluating available space and traffic flow issues.
“Pulling it all together aesthetically takes a while,” explained Bock. “I can redo and rearrange forever until I’m happy … even then, when I show up at the event later on, I’m still critiquing my work and inconspicuously straightening things.”
Barb Mobley, WEF executive director, appreciates the unique talent Bock brings to the gala.
“This year there were 162 items and it took the better part of the day to prepare all of them,” said Mobley. “She does a marvelous job creating attractive displays!”
“From the beginning, I could see that this was a very ambitious, hard-working committee,” said Bock. “I was so impressed with all the grants the WEF provides to fund extra programs and teaching aids.
“We live in an amazing town, made truly outstanding by the willingness of so many selfless volunteers. I think most people who live in Lititz realize that a community like this doesn’t just happen on its own.”
Sandy Bock her husband, James, have lived in Lititz for 38 years. They have three grown sons – Chris, Ryan, and Jamie – and six grandchildren.