Today’s post is by Kate Rosenblatt, Berkshire Museum Shop Manager. 

Kate pic“How does it look to you, I ask?”  “How does it look to you, she replies?” My colleague in the museum shop and I say these simple phrases to one another countless times every week and we always laugh. (We laugh a lot here which is good!)

How many times can items in the shop be rearranged? The answer may surprise you. In between ringing in sales, unpacking new stock, ordering and reordering fantastic, creative and eye- catching products, it often comes down to touch. I am a touch-er. I am a re-arranger. I think in shapes and angles and colors. I like balance and I like a bit of whimsy. I like things. I like retail. I like knowing that I have met the artist that made that piece of jewelry, that piece of pottery, who chose to put those fabrics together in a way I never would have dreamed of.  I like taking the responsibility of buying and selling and making it fun.

I usually start with a rough plan about where to place things in the shop. As I get going, though, some kind of IMG_0261kinetic force quickly takes over and I dabble and shift and move with the moment. Something happens and I don’t want to lose the momentum. I feel gratified-even rewarded- when a colleague notices something as if for the first time, only because I chose to put it in a different location. I like making “it” work. I work at change; I work at simplicity; I work at showing something at its best.

The challenges of display are numerous. I have a plethora of hooks, shelves, easels, spinner racks, jewelry busts, and niches at my disposal. I have a custom designed center table and a custom designed cash wrap with lit jewelry case. I have space from top to bottom and then some! I have 16 foot ceilings and three arched windows, two sets of sliding glass doors and a 7 foot window that faces into an inner hallway. There is so much broken up space it sometimes makes my head swim!

I touch. I arrange. I rearrange, I set some things out gently. I bulk other items up en masse. I do this because I don’t want anything here in this beautiful museum shop to look the same. I don’t like same. I like this and I like to surprise you each and every day.