The Green Gecko has a great selection of high quality, unique and one-of-a-kind items that have been hand-picked from around the world and locally made down the road. It is located in the heart of the picturesque village of Lyndhurst, Ontario. If you are in the area drop by and enjoy being treated like a person. You can also check out The Green Gecko’s profile on the Shop Small Biz website.
Matthew Couture is The Green Gecko’s CFIB representative. If you would like more information about CFIB or being profiled on the Shop Small Biz blog and you’re in the Kingston and surrounding area, please contact CFIB Matthew Couture at Matthew.Couture@cfib.ca. If you aren’t in the Kingston and surrounding area, please check out cfib.ca online or visit the Shop Small Biz directory, Canada’s only online directory that’s exclusive to small business and completely free to list.
Interview with Terri Dawson, owner of The Green Gecko
What is the most popular item/service you offer?
I offer a very wide range of beautiful; sometimes practical, sometimes whimsical products therefore I’d answer that question with ‘uniqueness’. I don’t aim to sell huge quantities of any one item, I aim to sell lots of different, very unique, ethically-sourced products and when one item sells it is often replaced with another item that is different. This makes every trip a customer makes to my store more than just shopping it’s an exploring experience.
How do you feel your business supports the community?
I think owning a retail store in a small community means always thinking of the whole community. I believe in the ‘big picture’ and that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If we all promote each other and work together then we will have more business to share together. I use my advertising outlets to promote not only my store but everything the whole area has to offer.
I take the contacts and marketing knowledge I’ve gained through being a small business owner and apply it to volunteering as the Publicity Manager for our local fair. The Lyndhurst Turkey Fair (www.turkeyfair.com).
I am the chair of the local community improvement group. I put volunteer time into this leadership role because I believe a better community is better for everyone. Our slogan is “Making Lyndhurst an even better place to be” which acknowledges that we have a wonderful place, let’s keep improving. Holding this position and having a store front business means I have conversations everyday about how to keep improving our village and area.
Of course, I also make prize donations to all the local fairs, events, kids soccer, music fests etc. I sponsor local events and activities. For example; in August I will be hosting a Community Ice Cream Social the purpose of which is to promote community spirit, in September I am sponsoring a turkey sculpture contest to promote the Turkey Fair.
Why should Canadians visit your business? What makes your business great?
Canadians should visit my store because it will make them feel good to support a local independent business. They will be proud that a large portion of their purchase dollars go back into this Canadian community. I take time to select eclectic items for my shelves that are ethically-sourced from both local and international suppliers that suit the tastes of my Canadian shoppers; that is what makes my shop special.
What makes my business great is that I love doing it! When a customer walks in the door I am genuinely happy to greet them. Sure, I have great products, a cool atmosphere, perks like free ice-tea on hot days; but what really makes my business stand out is I love being an entrepreneur, I love meeting the people who walk in the door, I really love when they leave happy with a purchase and I think it shows. I spend time with my customers to discover what their needs and likes are and help them find a purchase they will treasure themselves or be proud to give as a gift. I think people can feel my genuine and not ’sales-y’ attitude the first time they come into the store and I think it is obvious in the number of customers I know by name.