museums&MORE Fall 2014
Donna Steakley

ZAG Board President Donna Steakley
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Glen Rose, Texas

1.What makes your store unique?  

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a 9 ½- mile drive through Wildlife Park, in which most of the animals are free roaming in several pastures. Our nature store is located halfway through the drive on the Overlook, a beautiful natural area where you can get out of the car, have lunch and shop.

We look for unique, handmade, fair trade safari-themed items that are not readily available to most businesses, such as an ostrich egg chandelier, antler wine bottle holders and lamps, painted ostrich eggs and emu eggs to name a few. We want our guests to find items that you can find at just any store and want returning visitors to find something different every time they visit.

We also make sure to stock low-priced items for the school groups and high-end items for the guest looking for that special item.

2. What is your retail background?

I have 24 years of experience with the “big box” stores and almost 10 years in the zoo industry.

3. What is the most popular product you sell?

By far our most popular products are plush. Since we are a wildlife drive, our main store is located halfway through the 1800-acre drive. Most children are excited about getting to feed the animals and want to take home plush, while adults purchase T-shirts and home décor.

4. What are your top three retail tips?  

1. Watch your customer base, know what they want and fill your store with that. It’s not about what we like, it’s about our customers.

2. Merchandising is important, so do the best you can with what you have.

3. Most importantly, it’s all about the customer service and smiles are free. Training your staff that every guest is special is essential. When a customer leaves happy, they tell a few friends. But when they leave angry, they tell all their friends.

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