Bracker’s Good Earth Clays has been experiencing significant growth for the last 3 years.  We are looking to add more people to our team in virtually every area.  Interested or know someone who is?  Send a resume or a simple email stating your interest, skills and a bit about you to mail@brackers.com, (use subject line “employment” or something similar).  Want to know more about what’s available and what it’s like to work here?  Read on….

General notes about Brackers – we maintain a relaxed atmosphere in terms of rules and regulations.  (although we do have about a 16 page handbook full of the legal mumbo jumbo and complete policies).  All employees have a voice in company decisions.  We support and help each other out as much as possible, which sometimes means some crossover in job duties.  Each person out here is valued and respected.  We do not discriminate against anyone for any reason.  We do have some minimum requirements, however.  Everyone out here HAS to be able to lift and carry a box of clay, which weighs 50#.   It’s about 100 steps from where the clay is stored to a customer’s car, so you have to be able to carry it that far.   If you work in the warehouse or as a delivery driver, you need to be able to lift and move those boxes repeatedly.   Our company also leans heavily on technology for communication, Order tracking, resources etc.  We’re a Mac based business and everyone out here needs to have a minimum level of comfort with Mac computers, email and web browsers.  We also use a program called Monday.com for our communication and one called Big Business for all of our inventory tracking and sales. You don’t have to know those off the bat, we’ll teach them to you, but you will need to use them.  If you work up front, you’ll need significantly more computer savvy and the ability to remember item codes.  Starting pay is based on a few things-  education, experience, full or part time hours, and job responsibilities.  During your first 90 days of employment, you may received 3 raises based on how quickly you learn your job.  After that, employees are always being considered for merit raises, which are generally applied quarterly.  Additionally, we enact yearly cost of living increases commensurate with the Federal guideline.

Descriptions of the job duties for positions we are currently looking to fill:

Front Staff/retail/customer service – This job includes everything from answering the phone, greeting and helping customers in the store, managing and filling orders for shipping or pickup, restocking shelves, responding to customer emails, and possibly more responsibilities based on skill sets.  A background in and some knowledge of ceramics is helpful but not completely necessary.  Mac computer familiarity is very preferable and proficient computer understanding is a must.  It’s also imperative that front staff employees enjoy working with and helping people …basically you have to be a nice person.

Warehouse General – This job includes intermittent repetitive lifting of 50# packages.  When customers place larger orders that ship out freight, you might spend about 30 minutes slugging bags onto a pallet, or when a customer comes in to pick up their order for 1000# of clay, you’ll be loading their vehicle with 20 – 50# boxes.  There’s also tasks such as carefully and accurately measuring out various materials by the pound or even quarter pound, packing up smaller orders to ship out via UPS or FedEx, light manufacturing of our Bracker Raku Kiln or our liquid clays (called casting slip).  We have two forklifts and a power jack that you will learn to use, and we will teach you, even if you have never driven a forklift before.  There is a reasonable amount of interaction with a computer and there’s also a reasonable amount of interaction with our customers when you load their orders, but there’s also a great deal of independent solo work.

Delivery Driver/Warehouse– We have two delivery vehicles, the larger is a straight truck with a gross vehicle weight of 25,000#. This means we can haul around 10,000# in it and that requires a KDoT physical (not a CDL).  The smaller vehicle holds 4,000# max and requires no special certifications.  Anyone who delivers would need to have a pleasant demeanor, as they will be interacting with our customers.  You also need to be able to lift multiple 50# packages in a row at any given delivery stop, although often (especially with the big truck) it’s a dock or pallet jack unload.  Must also have a clean driving record.  When not on the road, delivery drivers typically work in the warehouse, although spending time working in the front of the house is also an option if it makes sense with your skill set.

Clay Mixer – Must be able to lift 100# bags, and do so repeatedly.  Some of our clay recipes include up to 7 100# bags in addition to several 50# bags.  This job also includes a lot of going up and down a short stair case (7 steps). You need to be able to read a recipe and accurately follow it, make some minor adjustments to water content based on the seasons, maintain a very high level of quality control.  The environment can be a bit dusty, but a dust mask is provided.  It’s also hot in the summer (heated in the winter), so sometimes our clay mixers opt to come in early in the morning and get off work before the heat hits.  Once you are trained and able to work independently, we are pretty flexible on hours.  We also usually want our clay mixers to be able to drive a forklift, but that training sometimes doesn’t happen until about 3 months in.

Administrative Assistant/office manager – This is a job for an extremely high energy person who likes regular challenges and a job that is predictably unpredictable. Cindy moves a mile a minute doing anything and everything from high level tech support with customers, website updating, bookkeeping, product ordering, customer service, business planning, troubleshooting, decision-making, bill-paying, policy-writing, evaluating, payroll, tax reporting, research, development, pricing, spreadsheets and a tiny bit of graphic design and computer programming.  As her assistant you will learn all of these things, but you have to be able to move fast, learn fast, and probably talk fast.  You absolutely HAVE to know Macintosh computers and the basics of spreadsheets & word processing,   If you also know WordPress already, that’s great.  if not, you’ll learn.  if you know how to use mail chimp, great, if not, you’ll learn.  Previous experience with dropbox and google drive….Big Commerce, ship station, shipper HQ, monday.com….?  If you aren’t already familiar with any of those programs, you’ll learn them.  Do you know accounting or bookkeeping or how to navigate Kansas and Missouri’s Dept or Revenue websites?   How about logistics and shipping and freight company websites?  If not, you’ll learn those too.  Cindy is fond of the old fashioned see one, do one, teach one method, so you do need to be able to pick up new tasks when first being shown (OR take good enough notes to remind yourself how without having to ask OR, you have to be savvy enough to use the existing resources at your fingertips, which often include a video of cindy’s screen as she completes each task.)  If you’re up for this challenge, I can almost guarantee you will be a better candidate for any job in the future.  (Cindy writes good recommendation letters too.)   Current college business majors with fire in their belly are excellent candidates.  Cindy is open to filling this position with multiple part time employees.

Final notes:

We start new all new employees on a trial basis in order to give both employer and employee a low-risk opportunity to feel out the job, environment and expectations.  Usually this period is about 2 weeks.  Although Kansas is an “at will” employment state and there are no contractual obligations attached to your employment, we have found that people who stay more than about 2 weeks stay for a LONG time.  We want to find people who want to be here, so we simply recognize and somewhat formalize that time frame.  As that 2 weeks comes to a close, we have a very honest conversation about whether it’s the right fit.  it’s a little like dating before getting married.  Our current team consists of 4 people who have been here about 6 months, 3 who have been here 4 years, 1 who has been here close to 15 years, and 2 who have been here for about 25 years.