We’re so lucky to have bibliomaniacs of many talents throughout the company. If you’ve ever had the chance to visit the Half Price Books Flagship in Dallas, you’ve probably seen some of the fun and unique displays around the store. In this edition of Meet the Bibliomaniac, we’re pleased to introduce you to Kiki Baughman, Display Specialist at our Flagship and the mastermind behind all those awesome creations.
Name: Kiki Baughman
Job Title: Display Specialist
Store Location: 001 Flagship
When did you join the HPB Team?
August 1 will be 11 years at HPB. 10 years and 9 months of that I have been a part of the Store Inventory Merchandiser team at 001 Flagship.
What is your favorite part about working at HPB?
My favorite part would be that I get to be creative every day. Second favorite thing would be my co-workers. They are the best.
As a Display Specialist, what’s an average day like for you?
As the Display Specialist for 001 my days are very diverse. One day I may spend all day working on a custom display for a book signing. Another day might consist of planning the holiday decor for the store and ordering product. Another day is spent displaying merchandise and helping with a book signing.
What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had since working here?
Someone once stole parts of one of our displays from a book signing. I loved that giraffe and elephant. I hope they found a good home.
What is your favorite display you’ve made so far?
That’s like asking a parent which is their favorite kid. I really like the Peacock (Nigel) that was made for our new Nostalgia area. I’m pretty fond of the Tiger (Einstein) made for our John Sanford book signing. (Yes, I name my display animals.) Rory the Raccoon, who I made for our Jenny Lawson book signing, was pretty awesome, too. My favorite is probably the carousel that was made for our Sarah Dessen book signing.
How do you come up with ideas for displays?
I wish I knew! I get ideas from a lot of different places: Books, Pinterest, we have some creative Store Inventory Merchandisers in this company and I get inspiration from displays they have done. Sometimes ideas come to me in my car on the way into work. Someone once asked my dad how I come up with ideas for my artwork and his answer was … she just looks at things differently than the rest of us. I think that was my dad’s way of saying she’s a little weird.
Have you always been a creative person?
I come from a very creative family. I went to a high school that had a specialized program for graphic design and I have a college degree in graphic design. I worked for a long time in advertising before finding a job at HPB that I love.
How long does a project/display usually take?
A lot longer than I always estimate. It depends on the job. A large installation of artwork in the kids section of one of our stores might take a month. Building a Tardis or Game of Thrones bookcase, a couple of weeks. The peacock took about 40 hours. The St. Patty’s Day display or the Valentine’s Day display may take 3-4 hours.
What is your all-time favorite book?
My favorite book is also my favorite movie, The Princess Bride. I even have a tattoo that says “As You Wish.”
What is your favorite book quote or author quote?
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson
What are you reading right now?
Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi
What do you do in your free time? Have any hobbies?
A couple of years ago I took up running. I have done a lot of 5Ks a few 10K & 15Ks and 3 half marathons. I volunteer for The Vogel Alcove, an organization that supplies daycare for homeless children. I love traveling, spending time with my dogs, Hoover and Dyson, and spending time with good friends.
Anything else to add?
They say find a job you love and you’ll never work another day in your life. I can honestly say I love my job! It’s always interesting, sometimes frustrating, always a challenge and never boring. HPB is a pretty good company to work for.
Make sure to visit the HPB Flagship in Dallas to check out Kiki’s work!