Nebraska Furniture Mart officials woke up to quite the surprise Monday morning.
By the time regional marketing manager Rebecca Ritterbush arrived at the office, the Nebraska-based retailer's Facebook page had received 1,200 messages. A video of some throw pillows at the Mart's new store in The Colony, Texas, filmed by a TV reporter in Dallas, had garnered about 16 million views.
Pillows? Yes, pillows. Designer Aviva Stanoff's "mermaid pillows" with reversible sequins that change color with the swipe of a hand were the subject of Steve Noviello's video on his Facebook page. Noviello is a journalist with Fox 4 in Dallas.
"I'm going to be honest, of all the things," Ritterbush said. "Everybody wants a viral video. We at Nebraska Furniture Mart by no means thought our viral video would be mermaid sequin pillows."
BuzzFeed — purveyor of "viral news" — picked up the story on Tuesday. By Wednesday, Noviello's post had been viewed more than 29 million times and shared on Facebook more than 465,000 times.
Ritterbush said Noviello joked that he's been a reporter for 20 years, and his lasting legacy will be sequined pillows.
The pillows aren't new, and they're in limited supply, Ritterbush said. Stanoff "is more of a boutique designer, not a mass producer of pillows," but she is working to get more in stock at Mart stores and online. They run about $100 to $170 each.
Ritterbush said the California designer was thrilled with the pillow talk. The Mart has made them available for sale on its website, and it's having a giveaway. Three lucky winners will win a set of two pillows on Monday.
Auto detailer gets a shop
An automobile detailing service has a new location.
Owner Joe Moore has leased space at Pristine Automotive Detailing at 14305 C Circle. Previously, his services were mobile. The business is located inside R&G Service Center.
Moore said he is certified by a detailing program in Pittsburgh. He moved into the new spot in mid-December. The move allows him to operate year-round rather than only in the spring and summer months, before he had a garage, he said.
Formal dresses for $30
Max I. Walker will host its ninth annual Ultra Chic Boutique later this month.
The event allows people to donate used formalwear dresses, which are then sold for $30 each, cash only, to those who are on a budget when hunting for a formal dress for prom or another occasion. This year, the business dropped "prom" from the name because the event continues to garner a variety of dresses for every event, including wedding dresses, evening gowns and cocktail dresses.
Max I. Walker also will host a "dress flip" at the event. Nine local fashion designers will take three to four of the donated dresses and "flip" them into something new. The dresses will be showcased at the Ultra Chic Boutique by models from Develop Model Management and reviewed by a panel of judges from Fashion Institute Guild and Fashion Institute Midwest. The winning dress will be announced at the Jan. 30 event and its designer will win $500.
The event will feature local vendors, including Scout Dry Goods & Trade, Gentleman's Choice, Belle's House of Design and Lime Light by Alcone. Raffle tickets will be for sale and prizes will be drawn throughout the day.
Proceeds are donated to the Open Door Mission's Lydia House. Dress donations are still being accepted at all 23 Max I. Walker locations, and employees will clean, press and mend donated dresses for no charge.
The boutique will be open Jan. 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Omaha Ballroom of the Ramada Plaza Hotel convention center near 72nd and Grover Streets.
Nutrition store opens
A new Max Muscle Sports Nutrition store is now open near 90th and Blondo Streets.
The store, at 2219 N. 90th St., opened late last year and offers vitamins and supplements as well as meal-planning services from trained nutritionists.
Owner Matt Showalter said he also owns and operates the store in Bellevue near Highway 370 and Golden Boulevard.