Museum Retail Store Leader willing to relocate

Resume posted by Mark Millmore in Museum and Gallery.

Desired position type: Full-Time
Location: Chicago Illinois, United States

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A creative leader with a broad range of design and analytical talent who is known for crafting resourceful and innovative strategies to create profitable destination worthy retail experiences that are recognized for outstanding and continued excellence — Passionate about creating a sustainable future for high achieving institutions by connecting and collaborating with their talent, mission, goals, and structural capacity


DePaul University, Chicago Illinois

Bachelor of Fine Arts – Scenic Design, 1994


Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Director of Retail — July 2003 – December 2017

Store Manager — February 2003 – June 2003

  • Transformed a stalled museum store into an inventive, eye-opening, and experience focused destination recognized worldwide for great, ever-changing merchandise and personalized service that achieved critical acclaim and inspired guests to rave about “shop” or “store” on Trip Advisor
  • Built budgets, dashboards, and analysis for revenue crossing 5 million with maintained benchmarks of $51 avg. transaction, $15 avg. sale per visitor, and an excellent inventory turn
  • Developed a dedicated, museum conscious retail leadership team inspired to expand and maximize audience engagement, new technologies, social media platforms, and multi-channel sales
  • Produced a relationship-oriented sales team familiar with the museum’s programming that developed members and fostered ongoing interest in the institution while capturing sales
  • Selected and seasonally refreshed a distinctive and synergistic range of merchandise from creative talents around the globe that resonated with diverse and multi-generational audiences
  • Conceived a timely, relevant and effective digital marketing and communications strategy that landed national media placements, reached new audiences, and increased sales
  • Harnessed momentum for engaging in-store, online, offsite, and experiential sales events — twice achieving one-day sales over $275k with audiences queuing online and camping overnight
  • Created exclusive products from initial concept to sales and marketing with local, emerging, and well-established artists such as Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, and Jenny Holzer
  • Designed and merchandised multiple memorable and inventive pop-up and exhibition merchandising concepts including a groundbreaking concept for the David Bowie Is exhibition
  • Formulated a capacity for media partnerships and brand product development collaborations that resulted in high-profile sold-out merchandise and press release limited editions
  • Increased retail department employee survey results with scores in job satisfaction, new skill development, personal growth, teamwork, respect, culture, understanding vision & goals, and working environment receiving approval ratings from 92% to 100%
  • Provided an offering that added value and meaning to the institution, the employee, the visitor, and collaborative partner

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Buyer/Director of Retail — November 1998 – December 2002

Assistant Retail Manager — January 1996

  • Transformed a small tourist focused gift shop, which initially served as the Foundation’s only street presence into a recognized “Best of” architecture & design shopping destination that:
                • Illuminated the mission
                • Reflected the integrity and quality of the programming
                • Appealed to a wider market
                • Attracted new visitors
                • Enhanced membership benefits
                • Increased low-season cash flow with holiday shopping revenue
                • Established a loyal customer base
  • Increased merchandise sales from 1.2 to 2.4 million in first three years as Buyer with a contextualized assortment of inventory, visual merchandising, remodeling, and staff training
  • Completed an upscale full store remodel with an expansion and an additional expansion while remaining open for business during construction
  • Collaborated to initiate a successful publishing partnership, build an e-commerce website, produce products, and implement a new visual identity

Freelance Designer — 1992 – 2019

  • Conceptualized, designed, and fabricated immersive installations for parties, holidays, and other celebrations and gatherings
  • Performed a variety of design and creative production roles for professional theaters throughout the Midwest


Interior Lifestyle Tokyo 2015

  • Guest speaker – The Evolution of Museum Store to Merchandising and Design Destination

Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago 2015

  • #50 on the NEWCITY Magazine list of the creative forces that bring design to life in Chicago


  • vision, strategic planning, budgeting, data analysis, buying, merchandising, product development, e-commerce, digital marketing, logistics, visual merchandising, event planning, event design, various retail technologies, drafting, drawing, painting, sculpting

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