The Glitz & The Glamour: An Interview with Boutique Manager Matthew White

TZ:  Who are you and what do you do at Teatro ZinZanni?

MW:  My name is Matthew White and I am the Merchandise Manager & Product Development Manager.  I run the Teatro ZinZanni Boutique.

TZ: How did you get that awesome job?

MW:  I was 18, living in Atlanta, and working at Macys.  I received a scholarship to the Atlanta College of Arts and within two years I was promoted to Junior Executive Visual Manager.  I learned the ins-and-outs of product development and began a career in consulting work. After coming to Seattle I worked at Fireworks Gallery as a buyer and regional visual manager. And now, here I am!

TZ:  What is it like working at the Teatro ZinZanni Boutique?

MW: It is different from any other retail experience.  The hours are confined to when guests are in the tent, but because they’re watching the show, guests can only shop before and after the show. Within roughly 20 minutes we see 280 people all at once.  It is like Christmas rush every day.  We are, however, open to the idea of having shopping hours outside of the show, for example, a group-shopping day.

TZ: So what is going on in the Boutique?

MW:  Right now I am really looking for remarkable artwork. I have found some truly skilled artists that are being featured in the boutique.

Pat Dzan, of PMR Jeweler in Portland, utilizes different gemstones and unique jewelry, made specifically for Teatro ZinZanni and will not be available once our stock is depleted.  We have also commissioned pieces by Sarah Watson, who creates collage-style jewelry.  We’ve also brought in one-of-a-kind Floridian artist Brandy Schmidt who uses antique broach elements with urban undertones.

Aside from jewelry, we carry other handmade pieces ranging from greeting cards to head pieces. Mikele Keiffer of Tuzzy Muzzy created some original styles specifically themed to Teatro ZinZanni’s shows and color palette.  We also carry headbands made in-house.  All of these items are one-of-a-kind pieces.

TZ: Watching you talk about these artists, I can tell you have a real passion for art and artists.

MW: Well, the venue lends itself to unique art, as it is kind of a work of art all on its own.  It is a really unique space to showcase artist’s work in a different light, an attractive space to show a unique product.

TZ: How did you find the artists?

MW: Mikele has worked with us before.  Others have either been referred to me or have contacted me directly.  The thing I always have to keep in mind when selecting artists is that we are confined by the space.  The boutique has a limited amount of space, so I have to be mindful of the size of the work.

TZ: If readers know someone who they think would be a fabulous fit for the boutique, whom should they contact?

 If you have any local work that might fit into our retail establishment, send a photo of your work and info about yourself and the art to Matthew White at mwhite@zinzanni.org.

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