Trevor Guerard literally grew up in his families furniture business in Penticton.
From the warehouse and helping with deliveries and general chores at the age of 13, to all aspects of running the business today as the assistant manager of Guerard’s Fine Furniture.
“It probably hasn’t changed as much as many other industries have since the mid-1940s when our store first opened its doors,” said Guerard. “Furniture is, and has always been, about merging utility and style.”
It remains as unflappable as the customer service they provide and the backbone of being a small business owner along with having reliable staff that they treat well.
“(My father) helped put us on the map in the South Okanagan as a quality store selling a broad range of well-branded, nationally trusted products. Despite this, I think he would argue that it’s really your employees that make it all possible at the end of the day — and he’s probably right about that,” said Trevor.
One of their goals has to remain competitive with their pricing, or lower than prices on the same products from other retailers.
“Also, despite being a small business I think our services extend beyond what one might find online or from a big box store,” said Trevor.
In addition to that, Guerard’s provides free decorating consults and everything they deliver is inspected and set up in-home to the customer’s satisfaction.
“I couldn’t say enough about the team we have right now and I think it’s a combination of that personal service, consistent quality and reasonable pricing that’s kept this business competitive over the years,” he said.
While they are known for the philosophy they have held so close for over 70 years, being a successful small business also means they have to be flexible to follow trends that their customers ask for, whether that is in home design or making an array of colours available.
“Recently the big trend in furniture has been customization. Designer fabrics and customized dimensions are allowing people to achieve their desired look without sacrificing valuable space or comfort,” said Trevor.
Learning the business philosophy passed down through his family mixed with new challenges in customer retention and being flexible enough to keep up with trends without sacrificing what they believe in, keeps Trevor proud to be a small business owner with deep ties to the city. That, and the lifestyle one lives in Penticton isn’t all too shabby either.
“I loved growing up in Penticton and love living here now. I spent most of my 20s living and working elsewhere so having the opportunity to come back here, enjoy all that this region has to offer and positively contribute to the community is amazing,” said Trevor. “I think Penticton has a bright future and I just hope to be a small part of the evolution of the region.”