Thanks to an influx of new vendors, some well-timed marketing and a donation of tapestries depicting landmarks of Paris, our gift shop was a busy, profitable place in the last two months of 2017.
In the final four days before our Dec. 17 Christmas break, we chalked up an extraordinary $700 in sales.
The hottest selling item of the season was our Paris afghans/tapestries, depicting town landmarks. Volunteer Steve Pinkett brought in a donation of 42, provided by Mary Maxim. Just one — the display model — remained on closing day.
Other top sellers included copies of At the Forks of the Grand — Parts I and II, written half a century ago by Donald A. Smith, one of the founders of the Paris Museum; photographic prints of Paris scenes by volunteer Wayne Wilkinson; one-of-a-kind jewelry, hand-crafted soaps with ceramic dishes and maps of Paris.
Under the leadership of gift shop manager Chris Galloway, the entire inventory of the gift shop is now digitized for our new tracking system. It is now possible to produce a daily, weekly or monthly account of how many items were sold, how each was paid for and what needs to be re-ordered.
As a back-up, our paper bookkeeping is being kept in operation until all front-desk volunteers are trained to operate the museum’s new electronic system.
The steady improvement in the museum’s 2-year-old gift shop is the result of a team effort. Chris recruited and interviewed vendors, welcoming suggestions from PMHS volunteers. Sharon Murphy got the word out, Ursula O’Brien recommended new artisans. And Steve Pinkett, as mentioned, delivered boxloads of Paris afghans donated by Mary Maxim.
For those seeking warmth as the temperature plummets in January, there are plenty of winter hats still in stock. We also have a good supply of 2018 calendars with spectacular photos of Paris, produced by Concerned Citizens of Brant.
The museum and gift shop re-open on Jan. 3, 2018.