museums&MORE Summer 2013
Rachel Deaile

Director Rachel Deaile
Prattaugan Museum & Visitor Center
Prattville, Ala.

1. What makes your store unique?

The Prattaugan Museum & Visitor Center relates to all things, City of Prattville and Autauga County,” and our museum offers a detailed look at the first factory in the south and its impact on the outlying community. With many of our historic sites still intact, we offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn of our history and then go out and see it.

Our motto is, “Serving through preservation.” We welcomed visitors from more than 30 states and eight countries last year to share our well-documented history that comes to life in quality displays with multi-media aids. It makes working, volunteering or visiting the museum an informative and fun-filled experience.

2. What are the most popular products you sell?

As a museum, we always have history books on sale, but we also keep up with current authors, and their works that highlight new aspects of our heritage and sometimes reveal some “history mysteries.” We also stock “antique” or wooden toys, wagon train dolls, and literature for children. We have t-shirts and water bottles with our logo, so visitors to the museum can fill up at the artesian well in back of the museum.

Children are small, but the biggest piece of the puzzle to take history into the future. If they love any product we sell, so will their parents. When we tour our younger guests, we try to have them taste, touch, see, as well as tell them about history. What excites them now will sustain our history for generations to come.

3. What advice do you have for other retailers?

Work with your community organizations. The city government, Chamber of Commerce, Service League, and other non-profits working together helps your organization and theirs. Getting on their calendars and putting their information on yours gives you a united front, as well as community support for your events.

Due to the various ages of our target audience, we try to reach people on all levels. Our senior community appreciates phone calls, and we send one recording to multiple people. Our boomers and below follow our social media. We send out monthly newsletters to members, but also to “new comers” in the community. In addition, local children follow “Cotton Daniel” (after our city’s founder, Daniel Pratt) and his trips all over the world via our website that can be viewed in most classrooms on a weekly basis.

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