Working in a Wonderland

Do you enjoy 🎶 walking in a winter wonderland 🎶 when you visit Bronner’s? You’ll also find many who love working in a winter wonderland!

You know the saying, “It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round”? Well, it does take all kinds to keep the “World’s Largest CHRISTmas Store” merry and bright year-round! Meet some members of our team who keep the spirit of Christmas alive 361 days a year at Bronner’s!

Lines outside Of Bronner's Christmas Wonderland In Frankenmuth, MI In The Early 70s.
Bronner’s has enjoyed a decades-long history with many visitors. Photo circa 1970s.

With about 750 employees working the busy season, there is a LOT happening on the front end and behind the scenes to keep things moving seamlessly. We figured you didn’t want the “3-hour tour” (“Gilligan’s Island” reference🤣), so we’ll just highlight a few!


FRONT OF THE HOUSE

Our front-of-the-house team are the smiling faces you’ll encounter throughout the storeroom. In addition to our sales clerks and checkout, this group also includes reception (where Irene Bronner still regularly works) and our friendly customer service team!

SALES CLERK

Our guests continually joke that our clerks are better known as Santa’s elves, and it’s kind of true! Like Santa, Bronner’s buyers have made their list and checked it twice, and then our sales clerks take a turn making the store look nice!

In addition to beautifully displaying our “over 50,000 trims and gifts for all seasons, reasons and budgets” and keeping them well stocked, our sales clerks have the opportunity to meet guests from all over the world and help them find just the item they’re looking for!

Our incredible crew familiarizes themselves with the massive layout of our store (our salesroom alone is the size of 1.7 football fields!) and product in their area. They are happy to assist guests, sharing from their wealth of knowledge to answer questions or offer suggestions!

We asked Larry and Dianna what their favorite part of their job is, and this is what they had to say:

Larry from our tree department, also part-time, Bronner’s ugly tie model in his sixth season at Bronner’s, said,

“My favorite part of the job is working with customers and hearing their stories!”

Dianna from our gifts department, in her 15th season at Bronner’s, said,

“My favorite part of the job is interacting with the guests.”

Staff Inside Bronner's, The World's Largest Christmas Store, in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Pictured (Top) Pam; (Bottom) Candace.
PERSONALIZATION

Bronner’s is able to offer a variety of “Gifts With Personal-ity™” thanks to our talented hand-lettering and embroidery artists. Our painters, penners and embroidery machine operators train in techniques to customize a variety of plaques, ornaments and Christmas stockings.

While many companies today offer personalized items, you’ll find few that still personalize by hand. It doesn’t get any more personal than that, does it?

In addition to the many talented staff our guests see personalizing on the front end, Bronner’s also has a great crew working behind the scenes fulfilling Internet and catalog orders.

(Learn more about our personalizing techniques and frequently asked questions at bronners.com.)

We asked some of our painters what their favorite part of their job is, and this is what they had to say:

Mari, who is in her 13th season, said,

“I love my co-workers and working with the public on the floor.”

Beth, who is in her 10th season, said,

“I love the variety and challenges of different names and placements.  Also, interacting with the guests who come from all over the world!”

Pictured: (Top) Dorena; (Bottom Left) Jamie; (Bottom Right) Theresa.

We asked some of our embroidery machine operators what their favorite part of their job is, and this is what they had to say:

Meredith, who is in her 5th season, said,

“My favorite part of the job is personalizing stockings and having that become the guests’ special item for Christmas.”

Theresa, who is in her 10th season, said,

“My favorite part of the job is sewing and working with guests from all over the world.”

We also asked some of our penning artists what their favorite part of their job is, and this is what they had to say:

Mary, who is in her 13th season, said

“Working with the customer, hearing their stories and making them “happy.”  

Rebekah, who is in her fifth season, shared,

“Favorite part of the job is meeting people from all over the world and learning bits and pieces of their culture.”

And Karen, who is in her 13th season as well, said,

“My job in personalization is very rewarding.  To see the excitement when customers see their name on an ornament is very special.”

CUSTOMER SERVICE

From helping guests to place or track orders, answering questions regarding products, orders or even store events to helping in-store guests order personalized bulbs or ship purchases home and everything in-between, our customer service department aims to satisfy! If you’re not able to find the answers to your questions online, our crew is just an email or phone call away! (No machine-operated questions to answer!)

We asked Connie and Michelle what their favorite part of their job is, and this is what they had to say:

Connie, who is in her eighth season, said,

“I have to say my favorite part of my job is listening to countless stories from our guests about their memories of Bronner’s.  So many memories … from shopping here as a little kid to years ago receiving their first ornament as a wedding gift. Many stories of selecting ornaments in remembrance of lost loved ones or to celebrate new births. Some conversations of memories past start in tears but almost all end with happy smiles from both ends of the phone lines.  Knowing I have made someone’s day with the tiniest bit of listening is priceless.”

Michelle, who is in her 21st season, said,

“My favorite part of my customer service job is task variety. No two days are the same. Never know what the day will hold till you are into it.”

Bronner's Customer Service
Pictured: (Left) Connie; (Right) Kendra.
CASHIER

Originator Wally Bronner used to joke, “It doesn’t cost you anything to get into Bronner’s, but it may cost you something to leave.” And we joke that our cashiers have the best job because our customers do the shopping for them🤣 … or at least help them to see everything in the store!

Our checkout clerks are trained to carefully wrap guests’ purchases for safe travel. They also love interacting with guests and hearing about their selections, experience or personal history with Bronner’s and the Frankenmuth community.

We asked Katie and Karen what their favorite part of their job is, and this is what they had to say:

Katie, who is in her fourth season, said,

“My favorite part of my job is all the people I’ve met and friends I’ve made. It’s a happy place to work; I like working here!”

Karen, who is in her 31st season this year, shared,

“I love meeting all the people and serving them.”

Bronner's Cashiers And Packers Carefully Wrap Guests Purchases For Travel As They Checkout.
Pictured: (L to R) Chris, Judy.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Behind the scenes are the smiling faces you may never encounter; yet they still manage to touch the lives of those who enjoy Bronner’s. Some of our behind-the-scenes departments include receiving, catalog and Internet order fulfillment, shipping, maintenance, decorating, air-brush artists and our lovely sparkle team, who keep Bronner’s merry and bright!

RECEIVING

You just may find the kids who loved playing with the packaging on Christmas morning working in this department! We’re kidding, of course. What you’ll find in Bronner’s receiving department is a hard-working crew of men and women who make it possible for the rest of our team to serve our guests.

… But maybe love boxes just a little, too.😊

Bronner's Receiving Department Bursting At The Seams
Graphic Artist and Blogger, Erin, is amazed!

Bronner’s receiving department sometimes bursts at the seams with merchandise that must be accounted for and sorted. Theirs are the friendly faces you’ll likely not see because they are so busy checking in new merchandise and distributing it throughout our entire store (and even into additional warehouses.)

We asked Connie, who is in her 17th season (meet her in this post), and Kathy, who is in her 11th season, what their favorite part of their job is, and this is what they had to say:

Connie said with a smile, “We love getting to move all around the building and seeing different areas not everyone gets to see.”

“Yeah, and getting to see all the new items!” Kathy added. They even jested, “Who knew ornaments could be so heavy?!”🤣

And from the traditional to wacky, we’re sure these ladies have seen all sorts of things come through Bronner’s bay doors over the years!

Pictured (L to R) Connie, Kathy.
CATALOG/INTERNET FULFILLMENT
Bronner's Christmas Wonderland's First Employee To Celebrate 50 Years Employment.
Mike, from our maintenance team, was Bronner’s first employee to celebrate 50 years in 2017!

Bronner’s catalog and Internet fulfillment department makes up a huge portion of our staff, roughly one-third!

This is the team responsible for picking items ordered through Bronner’s catalog or website, personalizing (see above) and confirming that completed orders are correct. Then they carefully wrap and pack them (in our house-made biodegradable packing peanuts) in that pretty white Bronner’s box for shipment to your doorstep.

They are also the ones who add that sweet little candy-cane thank you and tract to every order!

We asked Jeanne, in her 19th season, what her favorite part of her job is, and this is what she had to say:

“I love that every day is different! No two days are the same!”

Bronner's Catalog And Internet Fulfillment Department.
Pictured: (Top Left) Jeanne, (Bottom Left) Deb, (Right) Karen.
DECORATING

From Christmas trees decorated in a variety of themes (Did you know we have over 130 of them on display?) to life-sized, hand-painted murals and incredible showroom displays, Bronner’s decorating team is bustling with talent!

Our crew of creative thinkers combine their talents and come together to build fresh, innovative displays that transform our building from ordinary to extraordinary … into a wonderland!

Many of these displays create fun photo ops for our many guests. (You’ll often find our decorating team featured in action on Bronner’s Facebook.)

In addition to displays inside and outside the store, our team also occasionally sets up promotional displays at offsite locations and assists Bronner’s Commercial department in fulfilling orders as well.

We asked Deb, Eileen and Jason what their favorite part of their job is, and this is what they had to say:

Deb, who is in her 31st season, said,

“I love decorating trees and working with people.”

Eileen, who is in her fifth season, said,

“I love that I can use my creativity  … and my college degree!”

Jason, who is in his 12th season, said,

“I love making the store look good.”

Bronner's Decorating Team Hard At Work.
Pictured: (Top Left) Eileen; (Top Right) Deb

IT’S CLEAR!

What do we hear our team say over and over again when we ask them what they like about their jobs? It’s serving you, our guests! Thank you for 73 wonderful years!

Bronner's South Entrance In The Summer.

Want to meet more of our team? Get acquainted with our ornament artists in our annual design ornament series and get a glimpse into the world of our commercial department in our “Ho-Ho-Hollywood” and Bavarian Festival parade float design posts.


JOIN THE TEAM!

Do you live locally and wish to work with us? Check out Bronner’s employment opportunities.

 

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