Step inside Pawsenclaws & Co. in Staten Island Mall (Staten Island, N.Y.), an interactive store where customers create their own custom stuffed bears, and enter the world of "Bearon Byron and Bearoness Grizella Pawsenclaws," owners of the Pawsenclaws department store in "Bearvely Hills."
"We created a fantasy story that was the foundation and background behind the whole themed concept of Pawsenclaws & Co.," explains Tony Camilletti, senior vp at JGA Inc.
Designers outlined the 3949-square-foot store to feel like a lush, historical department store and turned each step of the bear-making process into its own department, using colorful, scroll-framed signs and alternating wallpaper graphics. Customers start in "Fur-nishings," where they pick a plush animal skin, and end in "Computer Cubs," where bears are adopted and given a name.
Camilletti says designers used a black-and-white palette for the walls and floor and infused jewel-tone accents to create an energetic atmosphere that would appeal to all ages.
Department-store furnishings include a "Tiffany-like" display window and entrance and store columns made from inlaid gray and black field tiles that are water-jet cut and pieced together. A graphic mural on the back wall simulates a grand staircase, complete with grandfather clock, leading to the imaginary second floor.
"It's a very immersing experience, if you allow yourself to be taken by this whole fantasy," Camilletti says.
Client Team: Pawsenclaws & Co., Parsippany, N.J. - Steve Mandell, president and ceo; Patricia Peters, president, Peters Communications, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
Design Team: JGA, Southfield, Mich.- Tony Camilletti, senior vp; Mike Benincasa, creative director; Brian Eastman, graphic design director; Beth Sinacola, designer; Stephanie Bourdon, color and materials design manager; Mike McCahill, project manager; Dave Balfour, draftsperson
General Contractor: Alko General Contractors, Somerset, N.J.
Suppliers: Mohawk Group, The, Kennesaw, Ga. (carpet); Architectural Systems Inc., New York (tile); ICI Paint, Holland, Mich. (paint); Décor Group, Clawson, Mich. (wallcovering and signage/graphics); Design Finishes Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich., Interlamexpo, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (laminates); The Carlson Co. Inc., Madison, Wis. (fixtures and furniture); Lightolier, Fall River, Mass., Amerlux Lighting Solutions, Fairfield, N.J., 2000 Degrees, Richmond, Calif. (lighting); Creative Edge Master Shop, Fairfield, Iowa (column surroundings); Dillon Works Inc., Mukilteo, Wash. (props)
Laszlo Regos Photography, Berkley, Mich.