To continue our series about the departments of the museum, today we are talking to Jin Jo Garton of the museum store..
Name: Jin Jo Garton
Job title: Manager and Buyer, Muse Museum Store (NOT “the gift shop” I have a pet peeve about that!)
Educational background: BFA in Art; Minor in Art History
Describe your typical day. I really don’t have a typical day – and that’s what I like about it!
In what ways, if any, is managing a museum store different from managing any other store? It is VERY different than a typical gift store. Your customers are so varied and consist of people from all walks of life. There are a lot of people who are fans of museum stores – they expect to be wowed in a museum and to find the unusual. Customers also expect the genuine article in a museum store. No junk!
How do you find new items to sell in the store, and in what ways do you coordinate products with the exhibitions on display? Well I go to market in NYC and San Francisco and I look carefully for things I have never seen before. I also try to see what is trending. I look at Pintrest and Instagram and eBay.
What are some of your favorite products available at Muse? The turquoise is my very favorite. I like buying it and knowing about the artists and the stones that the different mines produce.
What is your favorite part of your job? Oh that is easy! It is when someone buys something that they really love! When they leave the store with a treasure that lifts their spirits or they have bought a “perfect gift” and they can’t wait to give it to a special someone.