Vice President of Retail, Space Needle, LLC
Could you tell us about your job?
As the Vice President of Retail, my position is responsible for the entire operation at four brick-and-mortar stores on the Seattle Center Campus: Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Expressly Northwest and Essentially Seattle. SpaceBase is my largest volume location, housed at the ground level of the Space Needle. The Bookstore is a hybrid museum-boutique store inspired by the works of the great artist, Dale Chihuly. The other two stores focus on Seattle-centric gifts and souvenirs with approachable price points for the typical city tourist. As my position has evolved over the past couple of years, I am more focusing on new opportunities and strengthening our brand positioning. There are some potentially exciting things in the hopper!
What is the best retail advice you ever received or could offer someone else?
A former boss once told me, “retail is easy. It’s about having the right product, at the right price, at the right location at the right time and sold by the right person.” That one has stuck with me and when something isn’t working, I look back to that phrase and figure out what part needs to be fixed.
My favorite comes from a very smart and visionary leader: “Be cheap so you don’t have to be.” It in no way means not to spend or to sacrifice quality, but rather watch what you spend. Be smart in purchasing decisions so when you do need to spend or splurge, you can. It’s something that has transferred to my personal life as well.
When you tell people you work at the Space Needle, what sort of reactions do you typically get?
Most people are in awe. To be able to work for such an icon is pretty remarkable. On my drive into work, I turn a corner and the Space Needle comes into view. There is not a single day over the past nine years that I don’t think, “I get to work there,” when the landmark comes into my morning sightline. I am truly blessed to come to work, be inspired by my co-workers, the environment and my incredible team.