Gift Shop Manager
Sedgwick County Zoo
Q: What makes your store unique?
A: Every gift shop is unique in some way, in large part because of the influence of the people who work there.
Q: What is your retail background?
A: My first job was actually at a Coast to Coast in a small town in Northwest Kansas, and I loved retail from the very start. When my husband and I moved to Wichita, I found a job as a sales clerk at JC Penney and worked my way up through invoicing and sales audit and was offered a position as a department manager. I spent just a few months shy of 20 years with them when this position opened up and was offered to me.
Q: What is the most popular product you sell?
A: This year, I would have to say inflatables. I set up a tent on the outside of the gift shop and sold the inflatables to folks after they had gone through.
Q: What is your favorite part about working in this industry?
A: I really enjoy the ordering process, thinking about how different items will come together and make a statement on the floor. And of course, all the people I get to meet and work with.
Q: What advice do you have for other retailers?
A: If you really think an item will sell, don't let the price stop you. I used to be shy of higher-end items even though I felt they were a great item. I have found that the item will stand on its own merit.