Peer Perspective: Best of 2017
Zoos, museums, aquariums, hospitals, vendors and even butterfly sanctuaries — Museums & More interviewed all sorts of people in 2017. Here are some of our favorites quotes.
“An important thing I have learned during my tenure (as ZAG president) is that the commonality we share as independent buyers is more powerful than any differences in our facility size or organizational structure. I have had the honor of interacting with leaders in the Museum Stores Association, national hospital gift shop buyers, buyers in caverns and gardens. I have found that the issues and challenges we all face as independent gift shop buyers are the same.” — Michael W. Davis, Cameron Park Zoo, Waco, Texas
“Being called ‘the world’s oddest store’ is a title we take great pride in, and it is a constant challenge living up to our history. At the moment, our most unusual items are jumping beans (available seasonally), full-body jack-a-lope mounts, and our assortment of alligator souvenirs (back scratchers, necklaces, gator heads, etc.). We also have phenomenal non-firing replica guns and a staggering assortment of Bowie knives.” — Yvonne Pedigo, Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, San Antonio
“Your problems are our problems, so talk to us about them. Whether it involves selecting a display, choosing the correct assortment, or just letting us know what your customers are asking for. We are here to help and we want to help.” — Heather Hoffman, AT Storrs Ltd., Toledo, Ohio
“The biggest challenge facing our retail operation is perceived value of our product. Many parents will tell their children that they can buy the same thing at a “big-box” store cheaper. Which is why we don’t carry items that are mass marketed.” — Brent Walter, Vilas Zoo, Madison, Wisconsin
“Don’t be greedy, especially if your customers are children. Give them something of value for their money, and you will end up making what you need and will feel good about it.” — Mari Gruber, Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania