Operations Director & Retail Manager, The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum
Q: What is your retail background?
My journey as the Buckhorn’s Retail Manager started in June 2010. My scope of work broadened over the following year to include museum operations. I became the Operations Manager in 2012. My time at the Buckhorn has been the greatest challenge and most delightful endeavor ever!
While I had a background in retail having worked at Disney Store and Universal Orlando for many years, I was also the co-owner and business manager for a small electronics company, Marilyn Systems LLC. We designed and built audio players for the amusement industry. I ran the office and my partner (and husband) did the electronics work.
A client of ours, Phillips Entertainment Inc., had just taken on managing the Buckhorn’s daily operations when they had need of a retail manager. They knew I had a retail background and asked if I’d like to interview for the position. I did, and my life changed forever.
Q: How did the Curio Store get its name?
Mr. (Albert) Friedrich was a man of vision, and he wanted every aspect of his business to be interesting and unique. I imagine he wanted a store with a product mix that rivaled the extraordinary collection he amassed in the saloon. He would have wanted a selection that lived up to the meaning of the word curio — novel, rare, or bizarre. That would be my guess why he called it a curio store versus a souvenir store or gift shop.
Q: What’s the best retail advice you’ve ever been given or could offer?
The best retail advice I could offer is to understand your guest. If you have a fundamental understanding of who visits you, it shapes your service philosophy, the product mix, the pricing, and so much more. It’s fantastic to have a vision of what you think your space should be and what items you want to offer, but if it does not appeal to the guests that you serve, and their perception of what your venue is, then it does not benefit anyone.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My joys in life are my husband, Joe, and my 4-year old son, Jack Rhys. I spend every second I can with my men! Our days are filled with Lego and Tinker Toy construction and lots of action cartoons on Netflix! Running a saloon has given me a deep appreciation for Texas craft beers and spirits. I like to try the newest offerings our great state creates. I also am a theme park fanatic and love spending my time enjoying Texas tourism!