By Regina Poltrack
“I’d live here if I could…” says Cristina, one of Girl AGain Boutique’s dedicated staff and she happily moves from sorting donations to waiting on customers or answering questions. It is indeed a colorful and cozy space – a beautiful home for a family of beautiful girls that represent all the wonderful things there are about being a girl.
I am a volunteer for Yes She Can and on a recent Saturday I filled in as store manager, with Cristina’s support.
Cristina has clearly developed a skill set for interfacing/breaking ice with young customers – she asks gently – “Do you know about Samantha or Felicity or Molly? …have you read much about her?” – engaging them in an interchange about their interests and why that doll is their favorite. She follows up with “…did you know that Kristen is one of the original dolls?” Cristina’s has developed valuable social skills of drawing out the younger girls and establishing a rapport with them over their choice of a favorite.
While filling out the sales slip and taking payment Cristina is able to chat with the girls, writing up and order and fielding their parents’ inquiries.
Later that day Cristina’s brother dropped by and the two had a lively discussion around the best marketing approach for displaying the Kristen dolls to their best advantage … they discussed marketing and merchandising concepts. Then she gave her brother and his fiancé a tour of the retail space – pointing out what each area is designated for and took her visitors step by step through researching the estimated retail price of a donated item, inventorying the item in the database and then pricing and tagging the merchandise. She led them through the process in a very understandable flow… touching on key points and the importance of each step.
Shifting fluidly among the roles she plays in the store – making the customers comfortable – Cristina imparts information where appropriate and uses new marketing skills in the presentation of merchandise to make it attractive to her target audience.
Cristina joined the Yes She Can training program in 2014. At the beginning of this year she was promoted to associate. You’ll find Cristina at Girl AGain every Wednesday and on several Saturdays a month. Cristina, a book lover, is now working in the Stamford library system three days a week.