Community Shop | significant retail at attractions
by Michael McCrory, Event network
Cultural Attractions – including art museums, zoos, aquariumsscience centers, sites of historical significance, monuments and gardens, and other unique places – are places of discovery where we come together to feel inspired and connect with ideas, values and missions that enrich our society .
These places are held in such high esteem and are so central to the fabric of our lives that they have a tremendous influence on how we perceive and participate in our world. They often become unofficial iconic symbols of the city where they are located.
Offering guests the opportunity to take home something special that truly reflects the values and character of the community adds another layer of connection to their visit. Sourcing from local suppliers, brands and owners who contribute to their communities boosts the local economy. And, it brings unique voices and initiatives to the forefront of customer outreach.
We share how the gift shop can reflect the richness of its surroundings and demonstrate the heart of a community.
Artist collaborations in the gift shop
Artist collaborations are a wonderful way to showcase the diversity of talent and creativity in a region. They also expose guests to regional influences and unique perspectives.
We continually collaborate with artists who reflect our “Common Thread” commitments, focusing on the values of Sustainability, conservation, DEIA and community that unite us and uplift us as humanity. In 2022, 70% of the artists in our supplier network represent diverse backgrounds.
Here’s a look at some of Event Network’s latest artistic collaborations:
The limited-edition Pride collection demonstrates Event Network’s intentional investment and sourcing, ensuring that the effort not only raises awareness of the Pride movement, but truly impacts the LGBTQ+ community in a positive way through the gift shop.
Carra Sykes, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, created art. She hopes that by being unabashedly herself in life and in her profession, it will encourage someone to do the same. Her designs Shine Bright and Take Care remind us all that caring for our planet and those who live on it helps everyone thrive and shine. The coins also represent love and support for the LGBTQ+ community and the planet we all call home.
Choke Industries, a small Seattle-owned LGBTQ+ company, produced the entire collection.
Collection of products by local artist Armando Silva at the Denver Zoo
Mexican artist based in Colorado Armand Silva painted an inspirational mural for the Denver Zoo’s Stingray Cove. As denver zoo Explain :
“The central image of the mural, a loggerhead sea turtle – a species native to Baja, which can harbor more than 100 marine species in the microcosm of its shell – is a metaphor for our own shared responsibility for wildlife protection. This vibrant visual ofrenda (offering) pays homage to the beautiful blended textures of our métissage (mixed heritage) while inviting our cultures and communities to come together in service of this beautiful planet we share.
In collaboration with the artist, Event Network has produced a sustainable product collection of bags, t-shirts and memorabilia featuring the meaningful wall design as well as personalized writing and drawing supplies for art enthusiasts.
Duncan Berry, Pacific Northwest Artist
Oregon-based artist Duncan Berry (pictured, top) creates delicate patterns and images of nature using a Japanese folk art technique called Gyotaku (rubbing fish). His work channels the beauty and power of the place he calls home, the United Nations Biosphere Reserve at Cascade Head on Oregon’s central coast. It shows what is possible when we care about the last great places.
We have collaborated with Berry to use her original designs on a collection of sustainably produced clothing. The assortment debuted in select Aquarium stores in the Pacific Northwest region this summer.
Kelly Malka / All for Science
Illustrator Kelly Maleka is a first-generation Moroccan-American living in Los Angeles. She creates bold images that empower, uplift and educate. Her designs reflect topics such as mental health, gender equality and socio-political issues.
Her “All for Science” collection landed in select Science Center stores this summer. It encourages and reminds clients of every identity (gender, ethnicity, age, etc.) that science knows no borders or barriers.
We love locally made products. The practice of local sourcing not only stimulates young and/or small businesses, but also responsibly manages the carbon footprint of transport. It can start a chain reaction to continually uplift people.
Here are some examples of how showcasing local specialty items and partnerships that are a force for good in a gift shop strengthens an organization’s ties to the local community:
Verano Bathery is a small company in Arizona, handcrafting all-natural soaps with scents inspired by the Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix, AZ). Ingredients include fresh herbs, detoxifying clays and many sweet fruit purees from the region.
A partnership between Lincoln Zoological Park and beelove, all-natural honey and honey skincare products made in the heart of Chicago’s North Lawndale, are pictured inside the gift shop
North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN) employs women and men returning home from incarceration. It provides the support, confidence and skills needed to re-enter the labor market. Lincoln Park Zoo is a proud partner of NLEN. He worked with the organization to co-create habitat for pollinators and other urban wildlife at their Workforce Development campus in North Lawndale.
Made in Baltimore is a community of over 200 dedicated makers, retailers and artists who work together to promote and create locally made products.
They represent the vibrant community of Baltimore. The Founders offer business networking support services, including free or free business development workshops, as well as print and media campaigns in conjunction with leading institutions and universities that have the resources to help the business to success. Event Network features several products from these local artists at the National Aquarium Gift Shop.
Representation of broader communities of support in the gift shop
Communities come in many forms, and among the most important are support communities. Identifying products for a gift shop whose mission is to create change for good also creates an extended community beyond geographic boundaries.
Every purchase of Conscious Step’s ethically and sustainably produced socks contributes to a meaningful cause. With a network of 18 mission-driven organizations, purchases help build homes, connect pets to loving families, clean up our ocean, support mental wellness and more.
Organized by scouts gate
This thoughtful jewelry company is owned by women. It pledges to donate 10% of its net profits to organizations that help support and promote women. Communities that benefit include Black Girls Code, which introduces computer science to girls of color ages 7-17, as well as Dress for Success, Safe Passage, and several other organizations dedicated to supporting and empowering communities. of women.
The end is only the beginning. In most cases, Event Network partner organizations receive unsold merchandise as donations. This is then donated to charitable movements and initiatives to help people in need.
When the gift shop emphasizes community, it strengthens our bonds with each other. In doing so, it also anchors your attraction as the trusted neighbor and ally we all need in life.