Get the latest news and trends on how to establish, brand and grow your medical or adult use dispensary.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Implementation retail designers, lame title for awesome people you need on your team

Retail interior design is a vital field that involves creating an engaging and functional environment for customers to shop and experience your brand. An implementation designer is a key player in this process, as they are responsible for turning the design concept into a reality. Have you ever hired a designer who did some awesome AI mood boards for you? Pulled together a great concept and then left you in a bind trying to figure out how to actually make your space look like that?

Concept design is so dreamy. No budget, no timeline, no restriction. It’s a fun place to design BIG and not worry about details like how we’re gonna make this happen for 200k in the space we’ve got. Conceptual beginnings are crucial to any good design, but then what? You’ve got to hire the “let’s make this shit real” worker bees.

In the retail design world, an implementation designer is responsible for the technical aspects of design, such as space planning, fixture design, and construction documents. They work closely with the contractors, and vendors to ensure that the design intent is executed properly and on time. We dig in the trenches with your branding designer, your building engineer and your local artists.

One of the primary responsibilities of an implementation designer is to create detailed construction (aka shop drawings) documents. These documents are used by contractors and vendors to build the store or fixtures, so they need to be accurate and precise. This involves creating detailed drawings, specifications, and schedules that outline everything from the placement of fixtures to the finish of the walls. At Sungrown, we not only specify what materials, dimensions and hardware go into a piece, we also source where your contractors can locally find the materials.

Another facet to this type of designer is project organization and scheduling. This involves coordinating with vendors, contractors, and other team members to ensure that all aspects of the project are moving forward as planned.I frequently hop on big team calls with everyone from lawyers to the gm to the civil engineers. These meetings can be a complete waste of time if there is no set agenda or action topic plan. It is so important to have everyone on the same page and work efficiently and in the best interest of the project.

In addition to the technical aspects of design, an implementation specialty designer also needs to be creative and innovative. They need to be able to take the design concept and find practical solutions for bringing it to life. I mentioned this above, but it really is a skill set not all designers have. Making the impossible not only possible, but profitable and on budget. This involves clever brainstorming ways to make the design more functional and cost-effective without compromising the overall aesthetic. I frequently lean on my cannabis industry connections to bounce ideas with. I value their expertise and their input while I’m creating new innovative ways to solve everyday dispensary problems for my clients. My many many years in the interior design field, first as a design intern (coffee getter), project manager, design assistant, jr designer, senior designer and then design director has blessed me with the ability to fully understand and actually implement what I dream up with my clients.

It’s not sexy work.

Sometimes it’s measuring cart boxes or color matching hex codes. Often it is fine-tooth-combing the detailed pages of plans and elevations. It’s reviewing boxes of wood samples and calling experts to get the locking mechanisms just right.