Patricia Sampson is the Director of the Bookstore Resource Center at The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also work for the High Museum of Art Atlanta as Manager or Retail Shops and Visual Merchandising.
She began her retail career in for-profit retail in her home state of New York. She wore many different hats in the early days of her career from assistant buyer to buyer, and even fashion show coordinator.
She is a dedicated and passionate member of MSA. She has previously served on MSA chapter and national committees, on the regional board of the South Atlantic Chapter, and now serves a third term on the MSA Board of Directors.
Lastly, she is an avid sports fan, volleyball being her favorite. She enjoys sewing, cooking and spending quality time with family and friends.
Connect with Patricia on LinkedIn.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- What is Museum Store Sunday and why does it matter
- How shopping at their local museum store supports museums and artists in Atlanta
- Special initiatives taking place at the King Center Store on Museum Store Sunday (i.e., discounts, events)
- Unique products at the King Center Store that make great holiday gifts
- Museum Store Sunday is prioritizing eco-friendly, ethically-made products created by local artists (highlight sustainable or locally made products available at your store)
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Atlanta Business Radio. Brought to you by On pay. Atlanta’s new standard in payroll. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:25] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Atlanta Business Radio, and this is going to be a good one. But before we get started, it’s important to recognize our sponsor, Onpay. Without them, we couldn’t be sharing these important stories. Today on Atlanta Business Radio, we have Patricia Sampson, who is the director of Bookstore and Resource Center at the King Center. Welcome, Patricia.
Patricia Sampson: [00:00:45] Thank you. Thank you for having me. Rick. How are you today? I am.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:49] Doing well. I am so glad to be sharing what you do with folks because fun fact this is my secret weapon when it comes to gift giving is museum stores. And we’re here to talk about Museum Store Sunday. Can you tell everybody what that’s about? Yes.
Patricia Sampson: [00:01:05] Well, I’d love to hear that. You’re one of our special shoppers at our museums. The museum Store Sunday is actually a program that was developed by the Museum Store Association, which is a nonprofit that brings information, collaboration and advocacy for our nonprofit retail professionals.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:30] And for folks who don’t understand, like people go to museums, but museum stores. You should go just for that. I think a lot of times the museum stores has a lot of great stuff that maybe kind of represent what’s what’s in the museum, but it also is really a great place to shop for original gifts that you’re not going to find at the mall.
Patricia Sampson: [00:01:52] Oh, absolutely. You know, museum stores have a curated selection of products that either reflect the art or the mission of the museum, as well as general great, unique items that we find in the market.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:10] And a lot of times you don’t have to, like, pay to enter the museum to kind of enjoy some of the museum and and buy some stuff at the museum stores. Right?
Patricia Sampson: [00:02:19] Oh, absolutely. You can come directly into the museum, either from the street level in some cases, or you go into the museum’s lobby and you can enter the museum store. The most important thing about the museum store is that we are there to support the mission, the programing and the work of our cultural institutions within our community, and that’s very important to us.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:47] Right. So it’s a great place to buy original stuff you’re not going to find elsewhere and support the mission of those museums that you’re enjoying.
Patricia Sampson: [00:02:56] Absolutely. So when you purchase from your museum store, you immediately become a patron of that museum because your dollars are going back into something that is developing and working towards the good within a community.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:17] Now let’s talk a little bit about the King Center. How did you get involved with them? And then tell us about your store there. How were you kind of making it special and taking advantage of of the holiday season?
Patricia Sampson: [00:03:29] Right. So I’ve been with the King Center a little over a year and a half. Prior to that, I was at the High Museum of Art managing their museum store. And so I’ve been in the museum store industry, so to speak, for quite a while, and worked closely with the Museum Store Association, which I am currently the sitting president and just love the work that I do within the retail sector and in the nonprofit sector. And here at the King Center. The focus is really to advance the work, the mission and the legacy of Dr. and Mrs. King. So here we develop products that are specific to the work that they have done. We have several new campaigns, one called love, which focuses on the beloved community.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:25] So now how do you come? How do you kind of go about curating and developing products? Like now you’re at the King Center, do you like every year or every certain period of time you kind of brainstorm, okay, this is this is the theme. Maybe going forward, maybe we should find some artists that can help us with this. Like how do you go about kind of creating the original works that are in museum stores like the King Center?
Patricia Sampson: [00:04:51] Right. So at the King Center, we focus mostly on Dr. King, his the words, his books we are selling in the book, in that bookstore, as well as looking at the center. Overall, how can we tell that story? How can we tell the story of Mrs. King founding, being the founder of the King Center and the mission and the work that she put into place? So you’re you’re looking at the organization overall and trying to figure out how you can tell that story through merchandise, which is can be tricky. But we work with local artisans, we work with in-house graphic artists as well, and we work a lot with the museum store vendors. They are also a part of our membership and they support us during Museum Store Sunday, which is very important because that’s coming up on this Sunday, which is the 26th of November.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:59] So tell us about that event. I know everybody’s competing with there’s Black Friday, there’s Cyber Monday. There seems to be lots of gift giving opportunities this time of year. How did Museum Store Sunday come about, and is there anything that’s happening collaboratively in the Atlanta area amongst the museum stores here?
Patricia Sampson: [00:06:20] Yes, actually we are in our seventh year with the museum store Sunday and we have over 2100 museums throughout all 50 states, four continents and in the UK. So we have this is not just an Atlanta thing. This is a global initiative and a global event that will be happening on November 26th. You can go to W-w-w Dot Museum Store sunday.org and find out what museums are participating in your local area. And it really came about because there was Black Friday, there was Small Business Saturday. And so the only other day that was open was museum was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. And the initiative came about to bring that awareness that as you’re purchasing from your museum stores, that we have great gift giving items as well as everyday items for any occasion. And your dollars go back, as I said before, they go back into the organization to create something sustainable within a community. And so we found that we got on board with Museum Store Sunday and we have not stopped since. It continues to grow to be a national and global event.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:55] So you mentioned that you are part of the Atlanta chapter, right, of the Museum Store Association.
Patricia Sampson: [00:08:03] Yes, yes. We have several other institutions that are part of our chapter, the High Museum, the Fernbank, the History Center, and throughout the state of Georgia as far as Savannah. So we have several museums that will partake in Museum Store Sunday.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:29] So now when a person comes in to shop, is there a favorite items you have at the King Center that they should be taking a look at?
Patricia Sampson: [00:08:39] Yeah, we have wonderful quote plaques, quotes of Dr. King’s and Mrs. King’s that’s a favorite for us. Also, we’ll be having a great book drive this year, which is going to benefit Sheltering Arms. So not only now are you giving back to the mission of the King Center, but you can extend that and give back to the community as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:05] So so for folks who want to check out the King Center, I mean that the King Center is a year round. You don’t have to just wait till Sunday. But if they want to go by this weekend or or during the holiday season to look for that unique gift that’s really going to capture the spirit and heart. Of the King Center and Atlanta. Is there a website for the King Center, or kind of the the best time to go? When would you recommend them coming to take advantage of all the good stuff over there?
Patricia Sampson: [00:09:37] Oh, you can start today and come and take advantage. But if you want to join us on Sunday, we’ll have trivia, activity tables, refreshments. We’ll give a swag bags for purchases of $75 or more, and we’re offering 20% off books so you can purchase a book to donate to a young child and give the gift that keeps on giving this year. And you can also purchase online at w-w-w dot King Center.org.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:14] Good stuff. Well, Patricia, thank you so much for sharing your story today. You’re doing such important work and we appreciate you.
Patricia Sampson: [00:10:21] Oh. Thank you. Lee and I enjoyed talking to you and telling you about the programs we have here at the King Center and through the Museum Store Association for Museum Store Sunday.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:33] Yeah, for those folks out there that are struggling with gift ideas, the King Center store is a great place to start. And really, any museum store is a great place to start when it comes to gifts that are unique. That is not going to be just another thing that you can see elsewhere. These are very they’re customized almost to those the spirit and heart of those museums. So I would definitely check them out. If you’re struggling to find a gift for a loved one this holiday season.
Patricia Sampson: [00:11:00] Oh yeah. Absolutely. We look forward to seeing everyone come in our doors and enjoy the holiday season. We hope that everyone has has a safe and peaceful holiday.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:14] Well thank you again, Patricia. Thank you. All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll be back next time on Atlanta Business Radio.
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