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We're Hiring: Manager

Job Title: Pop-up Retail Store Manager                                                             

Reports To: David Dennis, Ventana Co-founder

Location: Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf - Santa Cruz, California

Email your resume and a link to your LinkedIn profile to by March 30, 2020 with an overview of your job qualifications and why you're a great candidate for the position!

About the store

The Ventana Pop-up Retail Store is a semi-permanent surf shop on the Santa Cruz Wharf that will be created in a refurbished shipping container. It is part of a broader collaboration with Humble Sea Brewing Company and Santa Cruz Economic Development.

Ventana Wharf Pop Up Store

The lease runs from mid-May 2020 to mid-Nov 2020. If the store is successful, the job opportunity will continue either on the wharf or in another location. If it does not meet our goals, the position and the store might close temporarily or permanently. Your execution in this role will be critical to the future of the store and to Ventana’s growth!


The Ventana Retail Manager delivers an outstanding customer, employee, and community experience consistent with the Ventana brand values of artisanship, responsibility, and adventure, while exceeding revenue and profit goals.

The ideal candidate will be able to work autonomously with little oversight and will have a background in retail operations, product sourcing, sales, and management. We are looking for a person who is a “learn it all” rather than a “know it all.” We need a manager who learns quickly, has a basic understanding of lean startup methodologies, exhibits a growth mindset, surfs, understands surf culture, and is passionate about ocean conservation and sustainability.

While this role is managerial in nature, we are looking first and foremost for an inspirational and humble leader. The best candidate will motivate their two to three employees by example, surround themselves with those who have skills that compensate for their weaknesses, is generous with praise, and is clear with improvement feedback. The manager will provide employees with the opportunity to take risks and learn from mistakes without fear. And they will be willing to recommend changes and new ideas often to the Ventana co-founders.

Keys to Success

Customer Service

  • Elicit product and brand “love” from customers.
  • Empower staff to “do the right thing” in all customer-related situations while finding ways to say “yes” and turn difficulty into opportunity in even the most challenging situations.
  • Engage directly with customers on social media and in person in a positive, thankful, humble, or apologetic way every day. Provide dissatisfied customers with a reason to sing our praises after resolution.
  • Be an outstanding salesperson who can tell the story of every product in a deep and inspiring way.
  • Promote and monitor quality service, sales motions, and storytelling among staff through training and by acting as a positive role model.
  • Ensure that the customer always leaves fulfilled by the store experience even if that means losing the sale. Of course, our preference is to ensure that all customers leave with purchases in hand that they will love.
  • Be personally available to all customers to communicate and identify their needs and address their questions or concerns.

Budgeting & Planning

  • In conjunction with the co-founder, review and help establish the revenue, expense, and profit goals for the store, as well as other Objectives & Key Results (OKRs).
  • Ensure that goals will be met through appropriate planning and organizing of staff, inventory, and expenses for short- and long-term success.
  • Develop and monitor the capital expense budget to ensure that the store is properly maintained, upgraded, and kept fresh as informed by need and industry trends.
  • Maintain expenses as measured by a percentage of sales or other budget targets.
  • Meet or exceed budgeted revenue and profit goals.
  • Make staff aware of sales goals and work with the co-founder to implement a motivational incentive programs to ensure goals are achieved.
  • Develop a loss prevention program to protect the company’s inventory and assets.
  • Take necessary action to lower expenses if sales goals are not being met and help to develop “revenue recovery plans.”


  • Review on at least a monthly basis with the co-founders the store’s progress and any changes you recommend.
  • Hold bi-weekly staff meetings and submit relevant issues, asks, and feedback to the co-founder in prep for discussions with the owner.
  • Maintain an open and positive relations with all employees. Treat everyone with the utmost respect and do not “play favorites” or put yourself in a position to be perceived as doing so.
  • Track customer needs and wants daily to better inform future product orders…from colors to sizes to styles to new products.
  • Ensure proper inventory levels of the right products are always maintained.
  • Ensure that company policies and procedures are communicated in a timely manner to all employees and adhered to accordingly.

Leadership, Training, and Staff Development

  • Hire people who pursue passions that relate to our products and philosophy.
  • Inspire employees so that each person contributes to the productivity of the store.
  • Maintain staff levels that allow for the best possible customer service.
  • Delegate workload appropriately and effectively.
  • When necessary, discipline and terminate employees, but in a way that leaves them with a positive experience with Ventana.
  • Develop and support a positive attitude toward Ventana. We want our employees to think of their contribution as something larger than themselves, that they are part of changing the world and will be rewarded well for their efforts both financially and through praise and recognition.
  • Maintain employee attitude and morale by recognizing outstanding performance and service.
  • Motivate and develop staff to encourage their professional development.
  • Maintain training standards to ensure both product and systems expertise that will improve store operations and allow for better customer service.
  • Provide an “open door” policy where employees are free to express their concerns and feelings without fear of retribution or ill will.


  • Create an experience that helps to educate our customers on ocean conservation and sustainability issues.
  • Maintain a regular schedule of events and campaigns addressing environmental issues.
  • Provide opportunities that are mutually beneficial to Ventana and to local ocean conservation groups in our area.
  • Ensure we “walk our talk” living our “responsibility” brand value via recycling, upcycling, reuse, conserving energy, using alternative modes of transportation, and being socially responsible…both in the context of the store and in the community.
  • Support the Ventana approach to giving.

Merchandising & Marketing

  • Work in conjunction with the co-founder to develop an event, advertising, and promotional plan that will maximize retail sales and drive relevant press and media attention.
  • Develop a merchandising plan for each season or as often as is necessary that enhances product presentation, fits with the Ventana aesthetic, and drives up sales and profits while create a relaxing and easy-to-shop experience for customers.

Legal Compliance

  • Ensure that the store is in compliance or better with all State and Federal employment laws, including wage and hour, human rights, and equal employment opportunities.
  • Maintain safe working conditions for employees and customers. Resolve safety concerns quickly.
  • Ensure store security from internal and external theft and know proper apprehension and prosecution procedures. Always focus on employee and customer safety over protecting money and merchandise.

Other Job Functions

  • Perform additional duties as mutually agreed upon by you and the co-founder.

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to stand/walk for extended periods of time as necessary to provide sales floor coverage related to customer service and loss prevention.
  • Ability to reach overhead, bend, squat, kneel, and carry product, necessary for customer service, inventory re-stock, and store merchandising.
  • Ability to carry boxes, products, and other necessary store related items.
  • Ability to perform store maintenance: sweep, vacuum, empty trash, clean.
  • Ability to safely lift boxes up to 40 lbs.
  • Typical work week is 40 hours - available to work minimum of one weekend day and various opening and closing shifts during the week

Minimum Job Qualifications

  • Five years’ experience in retail store management, preferably in the surfing and/or adventure sports industries.
  • College degree preferred
  • Strong preference given to candidates who surf and can “talk the talk.”
  • Ability to plan and manage events and other weekly programming
  • Willingness to respectfully challenge the business owners when you believe improvements or changes of any kind are needed or if you believe they themselves are incorrect or making mistakes in some way
  • Ability to accept and act on feedback from employees and owners without resorting to excuses
  • Ability to be honest about your skills and willingness to say “no” when you aren’t able to execute on something to a high-quality standard
  • Ability to use data to make decisions and to make the case for improvements to the store and to the product line/mix
  • Demonstrated ability to build effective teams, to help employees find their intrinsic motivation every day and to give employees growth opportunities that focus on their strengths and career/experience goals
  • Ability to create and maintain an employee schedule that ensures proper coverage during open hours and events
  • Ability to establish and maintain high standards of performance.
  • Ability to give clear directions and set expectations for staff.
  • Knowledge of and ability to execute on highly effective merchandising approaches that drive up sales.
  • Understanding of basic retail concepts and the context in which to apply them (gross margin, markdowns, wholesale, RTV, etc.).
  • Microsoft Office and/or Google Apps proficient
  • Ability to operate and troubleshoot an iPad with a Shopify eCommerce/Point-of-Sale solution
  • Social media and technology savvy in the context of brand and retail requirements
  • Strong initiative and leadership skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Flexibility, ability to adapt quickly and react positively to business needs and changes in strategies.
  • Ability to negotiate favorable purchasing and payment terms with vendors.
  • Strong problem-solving skills.

Employee Conduct

It is the responsibility of every employee to contribute to a positive work environment through cooperative and professional interactions with co-workers, customers, and vendors. Drug and alcohol use on the job is inappropriate and will not be tolerated.


  • Competitive hourly pay rate
  • Paid vacation plan
  • Bonus structure based on achieving or surpassing in-store profit and revenue targets
  • 30% discount off retail for apparel and supplies
  • Special pricing on surfboards
  • Friends and Family discount program


Re-applying and EEO

We review and retain all applications/resumes indefinitely. If you have not been contacted by us within 6 months, you may choose to submit a new application via email.

We are proud to designate our organization an Equal Employment Opportunity employer, and we encourage all who meet minimum requirements and conditions to apply regardless of race, color, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, religion, marital status, pregnancy, military status, physical or mental impairment, or medical condition including genetic characteristics and any other protected characteristics.

About Us
  • Ventana Surfboards & Supplies has the highest bars for artisanship and environmental responsibility. We create hollow-framed, reclaimed wooden surfboards; bodysurfing handplanes; eco surf apparel, and sustainable surf supplies that are loved by adventurers everywhere. The Ventana team lives and works in Santa Cruz, California where we test our products on some of the most challenging waves on the planet. Ventana donates at least 5% of profits to ocean conservation.

  •   +1-831-915-4326
  •   We're an online surf shop and wholesaler with occasional pop up shops around California.

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Twitter @ventanasurf