If you’ve been paying attention to Facebook, or if you’ve seen me in person, or maybe even if you were a stranger passing on the street and happened to catch my eye, you probably already know that I have a new job, and I quit Banana Republic. I am very, very excited about this development in my life. So excited, in fact, that I can’t quite believe that my last day really is on Saturday. Let me emphasize: last day.
Now, what you’re probably really interested in: I am now employed as a full-time sales consultant at the Wentworth Art Gallery.
You might be asking, “what do you know about art?” Very astute question.
I know it’s pretty. And if it’s good, it will make you feel something the moment you see it. And that is honestly about it. But according to my new boss, you don’t need to know art to sell it — you just have to be a good salesperson. I’m still excited, however, about learning as much as I can about art, and even a little about interior decorating.
I also know that the art I will be selling is very expensive. Meaning that a $2,000 painting is relatively cheap for the Gallery, and that is already a very intimidating number. Many paintings are in the $10-20k range, and there are even a couple which are $100k. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that number.
But you know what? I thought that a $500/hr sales goal at BR was intimidating, and my average sales per hour was well over $700 for the hours we were open. In fact, I just found out that I sold a little over $400k in my career as a Sales Associate at BR. And that number is astounding.
And you know what else? I knew absolutely nothing about fashion when I started at BR. For the first month I worked there, my daily outfit consisted of khaki pants, a black shirt, and either a scarf or the one Banana-Appropriate piece of jewelry I owned. Now, I am considered one of the better stylists at BR; multiple guests know me by name and regularly seek out my advice. I actually know what I’m talking about when it comes to fashion. And I’ve only been at BR for just over a year.
I admit: selling art is incredibly different from selling clothing. People are used to spending money on clothing — and while I have become adept at convincing them to buy more than they originally intended, they come in on their own.
But people do not “shop” art. They pass through, they admire, and they leave. For the most part, they generally have no intention of buying (though if you meet someone looking to drop a couple thousand dollars, feel free to send them my information!). I have to figure out how to convince them — tell them — to buy art. And succeed. And while this intimidates me, it also makes me excited: I am going to succeed, no matter how difficult it might be.
So the next chapter: learning about art, and learning how to sell it. I am anxious, nervous, intimidated, curious, and — most of all — excited.
PS – while I am aware that I might return to BR in the future, it will be under the following conditions: (1) it will be for fun, because I like fashion and the discount, and not because I need it to have a roof over my head; (2) it will not be at Lenox, but rather at a smaller store, which would be less stressful and more personal.
PPS – and because I really am so unbelievably excited, I might throw a party after I get off BR on Saturday. Literally, a party, with alcohol and happy people and music and snacks. Anyone interested?? Because there is a celebration to be had. And I don’t know how to throw a party involving alcohol, because I’ve never had any interest in doing so before. Now, however, I totally understand the urge.