Associate Director of Store Experience – Essense of Australia, Inc. – Lenexa, KS

Essense of Australia, Inc.

Essense of Australia, Inc.

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Full Job Description


As an international leader in bridal fashion, Essense of Australia has been making bridal dreams come true for more than 20 years. With offices in Lenexa, Kansas; Perth, Australia; and Zug, Switzerland, our designs are sold in over 1,500 retail stores across the globe, including our network of company-owned and franchise stores, True Society. Located in the US and Europe, True Society is a collective of premier bridal shops that exclusively offers our designs and delivers the ultimate wedding dress shopping experience to brides of all styles, shapes, and sizes. Together, we are a dynamic and rapidly growing company focused on innovation, excellence, drive, and collaboration.

The Role

As a company, we define “experience” broadly and dimensionally – after all, the best experiences never boil down to one thing or one dimension. A GREAT experience is the intentional and harmonious sum of several magical moments, big and small. The Associate Director of Store Experience is hyper-focused on delivering they-think-of-everything experiences for three audiences: our brides, our store owners and their staff, and our employees. The person in this role is obsessed and skilled in delivering amazing environmental and gifting solutions, one magic moment at a time, that surprise and delight these audiences at every turn.

If you are obsessed with exceptional and immersive experiences for retail customers, let’s talk! From space planning to interior design consulting, the Associate Director of Store Experience will provide guidance and deliver solutions that artfully blend local tastes with our True Society brand and aesthetic standards. No detail is spared as this leader helps our owners deliver a dreamy store environment for our brides. Essentially, this right-brain, left-brain role is a spatial and creative visionary that inspires breathtaking experiences, and they are an expert pragmatist who can bring these visions to life, one store at a time. They keep this momentum going as they eagerly look for opportunities to invigorate our seasonal sets to provide surprise and delight at every turn.

If your experience and passion translates to B-B experiences, read more! Gracious hospitality is in our DNA so we put an equal amount of passion into creating environments for our hosted store events as we do on retail store design. From bridal collection launches to training events, this role works closely with our Events team to transform office and hotel spaces into rich sensory and dimensional environments that make our guests feel special and motivated. It’s more than décor. It’s more than a showroom. We consider all the places and spaces our guests will encounter throughout their visit with us.

If you are an avid shopper with an eye for meaningful gifts, bring it on!
Did we mention this role is all about experience? We mean ALL about the experience. For our brides. For our stores. For our teams. That is where gifting comes in. We want all the warm-and-fuzzy and wow-they-are-so clever feelings as we handpick and source gifts just right for each situation. This leader will thrive in staying up to date on the latest trends and can spot them before they are mainstream. And they are not shy about sourcing gifts and negotiating prices from a variety of vendors – after all, the more we save, the more we can spend on more great gifts!

If you are a relationship connector and builder, we can’t wait to meet you!
This person thrives on making new connections and knows what it takes to bring people together for a common purpose. They pride themselves on mentoring and managing teams in ways that set everyone up for success. They aren’t afraid to take risks and flourish in an entrepreneurial environment where being comfortable selling innovative ideas is a must and delivering those ideas is a double must. All in all, we are looking for someone awesome – equal parts creative, strategy and delivery with a contagious enthusiasm and willingness to dive in and do what needs to be done on every project. A born manager who leads from the heart and knows how to bring the very best out of their teams and partners.

If that sounds totally fun and fulfilling, you’re in luck. It is.

A Day in the Life (What You’ll Do)

Visual Planning and Merchandising for True Society stores

  • Oversee the end-to-end store fit-out planning execution process, including floor layout planning, interior fit-out and furnishings.
  • Work closely with HQ and owners to ensure fit-out phases are tracking against key milestones, standards, and opening/conversion schedules
  • Lead ongoing development and documentation for visual display standards supporting fixtures, display items, accessorizing, furniture and more.
  • Partner with Graphic Design, Retail Operations and Communications, to create scalable, seasonal window strategies, themes, mood boards and execution plans including development of playbooks and store execution guidelines.
  • Participate and support manager for all global visual merchandising initiatives, including global calls, presentations, floor set reviews, training initiatives, store visits, and more.
  • Look left, right, forward and backward to create a full 360 approach.

Event and Market Support

  • Develop strategic and aesthetic plans for merchandising, floor planning and planograms for all showrooms, international and market experiences, and training conferences.
  • Work cross-functionally to support and execute the plans to bring plans to life on time and on budget

Gifting Sourcing and Branded Experience Management

  • Direct the development of gifting and branded merchandising items and strategies for employees, stores, and brides.
  • Proactively identify gifting needs across employees, stores, and brides to maximize and create efficiencies for gift sourcing, MOQs, vendor wholesale negotiations and offshore sourcing.
  • Find, develop and manage strong vendor partners.

Leadership and Talent Development

  • Recognize, reinforce, and demonstrate desired behaviors and skills to reinforce our visual and gifting standards.
  • Manage and mentor team to ensure goals and audience expectations are always exceeded, and that our brand is well represented.
  • Partner with and mobilize peer groups to create cross-departmental processes, feedback, and synergy.
  • Manage team project workflow, ensuring daily, weekly, monthly projects are completed on time.


What We Are Looking For
  • Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, Environmental Design, Visual Merchandising, or related emphasis required.
  • Minimum 7 – 10 years of experience in Visual Merchandising or a related function. Must have 5 years experience in a supervisory management capacity. Retail experience preferred.
  • The right culture fit is critical – must be curious, relationship-focused and agile.
  • Must have the ability to work at a fast pace with a sense of hustle while remaining detail-oriented.
  • Passion for inspiring others with your ideas.
  • Experience in leading a variety of cross-functional projects.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Exceptionally organized and detail-oriented with strong time management skills.
  • Strong team player who is also able to work independently and take initiative.
  • Experience working in a virtual and global team environment.
  • Ability and willingness to travel as needed – nationwide and globally.
  • Ability to work outside of normal business hours to accommodate our global presence.
  • Strong leadership skills with high emotional intelligence with the ability to motivate a dynamic and creative team to detailed project timelines.
  • High level of sophistication and maturity in professional and social settings; ability to represent the Company to customers, vendors, retail business partners, and other outside entities consistent with brand image and standards.
  • High level of proficiency in all Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) with superior organizational coordination, and time management skills; a plus is experience with Adobe Creative Suite and space planning programs.


What We Offer

We look forward to welcoming the successful candidate to our fast-growing global team! In return for your skills, we offer you the opportunity to join an international industry leader and be part of a creative and collaborative culture that empowers its people, promotes teamwork and embraces sustainability. We recognize and reward excellence, innovation, and loyalty. Our goal is to offer an inspirational and modern workplace that allows for talented individuals to thrive. As such, we provide competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, with significant opportunity for exceptional team members to grow with us as we continue to expand.

If you have the skills and drive to help us further our growth, please go to and follow the prompts to submit a cover letter, resume, and online application. Please note: We believe cover letters are important to help us understand why you are interested in this position and your unique story and qualifications. If you sincerely desire to work with us, please take this into consideration when submitting your materials.


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