Frank Perry, retail sales manager at Keeton’s Office & Art SuppliesWhat kinds of customers shop at Keeton’s?

We have diverse customers, from a school with very little arts budget to an older customer who needs a typewriter ribbon. We’re seeing younger faces because of the murals, Realize Bradenton and everything that’s happening in downtown Bradenton.

How do you compete with mail-order companies?

Give folks a reason to come in here. We try to lure people in for that sensory experience where they can touch, feel and sample the merchandise.

What makes a good salesperson?

A genuine listening ear. We make recommendations, but we don’t want to overtake the conversation. We want to offer what the customer needs with a smile and a competitive price.

What sale are you most proud of?

Manatee High School came to us and said, “We need to support our local art store.” They partnered with us, and now all the other public high schools purchase their art supplies from Keeton’s.

What’s the best part of the job?

When customers come in and share a finished product, you see that you played a small part in that journey.

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