They say that time flies when you’re having fun, perhaps that’s why the past 20 years have passed so quickly for Jody Williams, owner of the Home and Garden Gate on Fifth Street in downtown Courtenay.
The store that she founded is celebrating 20 year in business this November.
To show her appreciation for all the support her customers have given her over the past 20 years, Jody hosted an open house Nov. 8.
Jody’s retail career started while in high school working in retail sales. After graduation, Jody went to college and received her diploma in interior design. She then worked for an interior design firm in Vancouver for a few years.
However she always knew that her true calling was in retail.
She was able to combine both her love of retail and design background to create the Home and Garden Gate. After moving to the Valley 21 years ago, Jody chose downtown Courtenay for the location for her new venture.
Over the past 20 years, Jody has twice opened up a seasonal store in the Driftwood Mall, and six years ago she opened a second permanent location on Dunsmuir Avenue in Cumberland. Add to that, several renovations of the downtown location, the most recent renovation being this previous Thanksgiving weekend.
“Even after 20 years, I still find ways to give the store a fresh new look,” says Jody.
Many things have changed over the two decades since the Home and Garden Gate first opened its doors, however two key things have stayed the same.
The first thing Jody accredits her success in business to is her staff.
“I have been very fortunate to have excellent, staff through the years; it is important to have a good team that works well together.”
The second is the loyalty of her customers.
“We have always focused on customer service. That’s what sets us apart, providing the customers with a warm, welcoming easy shopping experience is important, and knowledgeable staff which are able to assist customers in selecting the items perfect for them.”
— Home and Garden Gate