Buddy is a store featuring one-of-a-kind, artist-made objects and goods from small businesses and makers working in and around Chicago. Created in collaboration with DCASE (Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), the store is currently online and will eventually open to the public inside the Chicago Cultural Center. Buddy exists as a cultural hub hosting online and in-person curated exhibitions, performances, talks, product releases, live radio and video broadcasts, and a research and performance residency called Re:place. Thanks to a grant Buddy has been able to give 100% of sales back to our vendors, which will continue through June 2021.
Buddy is a program of the Public Media Institute, a non-profit, community-based arts and media organization headquartered in Bridgeport. PMI produces Lumpen Magazine, Lumpen Radio, the Co-Prosperity art center, Community Kitchen and Canteen, and soon Lumpen TLVSN.
Buddy is seeking a new part-time employee with a strong interest in the arts and the Chicago community of makers to join us in managing the online store, launching our in-person store, and assisting with various forms of programming. Our mission is to create opportunities and exposure for Chicago-based artists, and this person would play a crucial role in accomplishing that as we grow. This is a permanent, part-time job beginning at 20 hours per week. We hope to work toward expanding this to a full-time if possible position as the store opens and expands.
Buddy is committed to representing artists in Chicago of all identities—including BIPOC, crip/disabled and LGBTQ2IA+ folx. We believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities.
The right applicant would first and foremost have an interest in, and commitment to, promoting artists and their work in Chicago. They would have experience with arts administration, retail, or management in an adjacent field and a commitment to joining our small team to help shape Buddy in its first full year. This job will be a combination of online store management, shipping fulfillment, customer and vendor communication, and in-person sales and store management when the shop opens.
The job would include assisting in the following areas of store management alongside the Director:
- Maintaining Buddy store website: photographing and uploading new products, generating product descriptions, tracking inventory
- Managing online store orders and shipping fulfillment: customer service, order fulfillment, shipping from the downtown Cultural Center location, ordering shipping materials
- Bookkeeping: assistance with tracking sales and payments to consignors
- Assist in creating and sharing promotional material through MailChimp, social media, and press releases alongside PMI’s Communications Manager
- Working with our graphic designers to assist with website, promotional material, and in-store branding
- Upkeep of store and physical inventory
- Eventual in-store retails hours at Cultural Center location and periodic outdoor markets
- Assisting to bring in new artists to the shop through application review, and seeking out new work
EXPERIENCE & SKILLS
- Two years or more experience with one or more of the following: arts administration, retail management, program management
- Ability to confidently take on tasks and manage aspects of the business independently
- Strong verbal communication and writing skills; this job requires frequent interactions with our vendors and customers online and in person, and working closely with other employees
- Interest in curating and merchandising products and art within the physical store; preferably experience and comfort handling and installing art
- Website and database management, and/or the ability to quickly learn new platforms
- Proficiency with Google Drive (especially spreadsheets), the Adobe Suite, Shopify & Mailchimp, and/or ability to learn new skills where needed
- Basic photography and photo editing skills; studio photography and Adobe Photoshop editing are a plus
- Graphic design skills working with the Adobe Suite is a plus
- Experience with a POS system and retail sales (we are using Shopify)
- Website creation or coding skills a plus
- Interest in the arts in Chicago
- Ability to work some evenings and weekends for special events and markets
- Must have access to a computer to be able to work remotely
- Must be able to travel to our location in the loop weekly
- Willingness to work within our COVID safety guidelines
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Part time 20 hours per week at $17.50 per hour. As more hours are available the job could grow to a full-time salaried position.
Average of 20hrs/week with flexible schedule.
PMI is committed to making this and all roles work for interested folks with visible and invisible disabilities, and will work with the person hired for this role to make accessibility accommodations as necessary.
Buddy is located at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Ave. in the loop with close access to the CTA. While we continue to maintain safe working practices during the pandemic, applicants would be asked to work some days from the store location with supplementary hours remotely. For those who drive, we can offer some reimbursement for parking downtown.
Applications are due by Monday, February 1st. After an interview process the new hire would ideally begin by mid-February.
Any questions about the job listing can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
We require your willingness to work with our COVID safety guidelines. This job may require both working remotely and working with a limited number of people while adhering to safety measures including social distancing, wearing a mask inside at all times, and cleaning precautions.