Staff at independent outdoor gear retailer Outfitters were astounded when a large, suspiciously chalky-looking crevasse opened up right outside their store. Owner Neil Stichbury spoke to us about this mysterious weather event.
The crevasse was created by Auckland chalk artists Chalk FX according to Stichbury’s specifications. He supplied the artists with an image taken from a real-life crevasse and they recreated it in lifelike chalk on the pavement outside Outfitters. Stitchbury says the idea came from similar projects he had seen online.
“I wanted to create something a little bit different and create some excitement on social media.”
The project was completed last Friday, and succeeded in causing a stir when the images were posted to Outfitters’ Facebook page.
“We had one woman who suggested [on Facebook] that it was fake, and I was thinking, ‘It’s not likely an ice age has hit Newmarket and a glacier has formed,'” Stichbury says. “The general reaction [to that comment] on Facebook was, ‘Well done, Sherlock.'”
Stichbury believes too many retail stores do “the same stuff over and over” in terms of promotional activity, but he’s keen to differentiate Outfitters from its chain-store competitors. The store’s interior design speaks to this, with remnants from its past life as a motor vehicle shop – “The floor’s about eight different colours” – and aromatic Lawson cypress panelling adding texture.
Plans are already afoot to create more chalk art in August. Watch this space.