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2024 Designer Dozen: Evan Harkrider

He drives merchandise initiatives at Walt Disney World, specifically for Disney Signature Events and EPCOT




2024 Designer Dozen: Evan  Harkrider
Evan Harkrider
Visual Merchandiser, The Walt Disney Company
Age: 27

Favorite celebrity: Whitney Houston
Favorite video game: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”


As the Visual Merchandising Specialist supporting Disney Consumer Products for The Walt Disney Company, Evan drives merchandise initiatives at Walt Disney World, specifically for Disney Signature Events and EPCOT. Between execution, product management and strategic planning, Evan creates new ideas to engage guests across multiple retail locations. The key contributor to an 18,000-square-foot retail store called Creations Shop in EPCOT – supporting the development of custom fixtures and tabletop components, planning, product placement and window displays – Evan was also responsible for sourcing a diverse and inclusive mannequin package that emphasizes representation of all abilities.

His co-workers say, “It’s his passion and dedication to support the Disney brand – and creating a magical shopping experience for our guests – that makes him shine. His ‘let’s do it right’ motto consistently elevates himself and his peers … we are proud to have Evan as part of our team.”

2024 Designer Dozen: Evan  Harkrider 📷 Don Schultz, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.


Retail changes every day. What role do you see physical stores playing in the future?

I believe there will always be some capacity for physical retail in the future. Although online retail provides convenience, physical retail is tangible and allows consumers opportunities to interpret merchandise. I predict we will see a renaissance in physical retail as companies continue to invest and conceptualize new ideas and experiences to capture consumer attention.

What’s a place you’ve visited that’s made the biggest impact on you and why?

As of today, visiting New York City has left the biggest impression on me. My first visit was in October 2022, and I fell in love. My peers had always told me how much they thought I’d enjoy it, and I wasn’t disappointed. From the elaborate window displays to curated interiors and seeing all the city had to offer, I left with many takeaways and inspiration. That trip gave me a new perspective on the industry and optimism for future opportunities.


Who or what has been the greatest influence on you in your work?

It’s hard to choose one person because there have been many people in my 27 years of life who have influenced my work. My other half, Zack, and my family are my support system, encouraging me to pursue my passions. They’ve instilled in me the confidence to be ambitious and dream big. It’s also important to mention my leadership and peers, as they’ve given me the tools and nourishment to invigorate my professional development. These individuals and their influence have provided the motivation to persevere and the optimism for the future. I’m thankful to be surrounded by people who foster an environment allowing me to live and work authentically as me.

The best part of my day is…

…whenever I get to enjoy my coffee.

I find (design) inspiration in…

…art, nature and architecture.

My dream project is…

…to be selected as the designer for the White House Christmas decor.




MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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