The Geneva History Center Museum Store
Q: What makes your store unique?
A: The Geneva History Center Museum Store offers a variety of items that are related to Geneva or its history. We also work with local artists as much as possible to supply some of our merchandise such as posters, notecards and pottery.
Q: What is your retail background?
A: I started working retail when I was 13 years old at a downtown Geneva clothing store called The Teen Shop. My sister was working there and I filled in for the busy festival season and summer hours and ended up staying there until I was 18 years old. I also worked summers during college in the toy department of Geneva's most infamous Little Traveler.
Q: What is the most popular product you sell?
A: Our Geneva sweatshirts are very popular and we are now carrying a similar design in T-shirts for men, women and children for the summer. The most recent hit is a 24-by-36-inch poster by Brian DeWolf, a local photographer, entitled "Geneva Heritage." It is a knock-off of the Doors of Ireland poster with a collage of historic homes, porches and scenes throughout Geneva. People love trying to guess who lives in each house.
Q: What is your favorite part about working in this industry?
A: It is a lot of fun to come up with new ideas that people might like to collect, give as gifts or send to someone who has a connection with Geneva. I also like incorporating historic images we have from our archives into the merchandise, such as magnets and postcards.
Q: What advice do you have for other artists and retailers?
A: I try to keep things fresh and always ask suppliers what items are popular with their other accounts. The staff and volunteers also keep me posted on what customers are looking for when they shop our store. Since we are a small staff, I just recruited a volunteer to help design our store window, since we are located right on the historic shopping district.