February 21, 2013, 1:39 PM

E-retailer Ministry of Supply hires a Gemvara and Zappos vet

Brian Kalma’s duties include customer experience at the men’s apparel seller.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Brian Kalma

Men’s apparel e-retailer Ministry of Supply has hired Gemvara.com and Zappos.com veteran Brian Kalma to help oversee customer and web experience, along with marketing.

Kalma lacks an official title, says Ministry of Supply co-founder Kit Hickey. “We have a really flat organization, so he won't have an exact title,” she says.  “In a similar fashion, we're all accountable to each other, so, he won't report to anyone directly, but be held accountable by the other five members of the team.”

Kalma, who lists his new job as “minister” on his LinkedIn profile, was most recently chief experience officer for online customized jewelry retailer Gemvara.com, a position he held from October 2011 until February of this year. Gemvara had acquired the company Kalma founded, Snipwits—described by Gemvara as an online place for people to share interesting and quick facts with others—in 2011.

Gemvara is No. 633 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide.

Before Snipwits, Kalma was senior director of user experience for Gilt Groupe Inc., No. 49 in the Top 500 Guide. For eight years before that, he was director of user experience for Zappos.com, the online shoe and apparel retailer owned by Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Top 500.

Ministry of Supply, which started selling online in June 2012, focuses on such apparel as office wear and stylish T-shirts to wear under dress shirts. Kalma, who has been advising the retailer for about a year, will “spend a big part of his time on making sure that all customers are incredibly happy with us through everything from web experience to creating the best return process in the world,” Hickey says.

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