Tuesday Mar 6 2018
Meet Georgia Kendall, the manager at Layers Beautiful Bedding in Gardner Village. She’s been in this position for nearly four years, but her Village story began at birth.
“As an employee, I still feel like a newbie in The Village,” Georgia explained. “People have worked here for so long. Some for more than 20 years… Much of their lives! I’ve got nothing on them.”
Georgia may feel like a newbie, but she’s clearly in her element, always welcoming and excited to be doing what she’s doing.
“I plan on being a lifer!” Georgia beamed as she described her long-term goals with the brand and business.
In a way, Georgia was born a “lifer.” You see, her grandmother is Nancy Long, the founder of Gardner Village.
“I remember visiting Grandma at work. Every time we’d stop in, she’d hand my siblings and me a $100 bill for the candy store and tell us to bring her change. My mom would always intervene and return the large bill. For some crazy reason, she didn’t think sending young kids to the candy store with that kind of money was a good idea,” Georgia laughed.
Today, three of Nancy’s six children work at The Village, including Georgia’s aunt and uncle, Angie Gerdes and Joe Long, who own the business, and Georgia’s mama, Chris Fawson, who manages CF Home. Georgia is the first of the next generation to take on a full-time position.
“I feel so blessed to work with members of my family. All three of them are SO smart, amazing leaders, great business people and positive examples. I’ve learned a lot from them, and I get to continue learning from them everyday, which is pretty amazing,” Georgia said with pride in her voice.
The feeling is obviously mutual. Before Georgia arrived to take pictures with her family, I was gushing about how much I like her. With a broad smile, her mother was quick to reply, “She’s such a good kid. People often say how much easier boys are to raise, but my girls have both been wonderful. I’m very blessed and so proud of Georgia.”
Georgia’s Village career actually began year’s before her position with Layers. At the time, her mom managed the store, which was known as The Village Quilt Shop at the time.
“I’d help out when they’d have big sales and events. I was the coupon girl at the door,” Georgia recalled.
She may have had a natural foot in the door, but this wasn’t where Georgia originally saw her career going.
“I went to school and got my degree in exercise science from UVU. I also coached trampoline and tumbling for five years,” Georgia said.
As a former gymnast herself, such work was a natural move for Georgia, but she found herself longing for more variety in her day to day.
“I learned Layers was looking for an assistant manager. My mom had long since moved to CF Home but suggested I apply. A month after being hired, the store’s manager moved on. I acted as an interim manager while we sought her replacement. After a month of doing so, I was promoted to take on the responsibility permanently. No two days have ever been the same since. It was a great career move!”
Georgia’s team at Layers couldn’t be happier to have Georgia managing their store.
"Working with Georgia is motivating and inspiring. She is so driven that it's nearly impossible not to feed off her energy and feel the desire to do more and to do it better. She's built an incredible team and keeps us all working together as one, which is no small task in the sales world," assistant manager Madison Lund shared. "Georgia and I recently discovered a connection that almost had us working together years ago at a different company. As insane as making that connection was, it was even wilder to realize this girl is in my life for a reason! Truly I have learned so much having her as a leader and example, and even better than that I have gained a wonderful friend."
It’s the people like Georgia and Madison who make the shops at Gardner Village so special. Oh, sure, witches wander about in October, elves take up camp in November and December, and enchanting Woodland Fairies call The Village home in the spring, but the real magic is in the members of Utah’s community who come together day in and day out to make The Village a memorable place for families to enjoy. No wonder Georgia wants to be in such business for life.
Q&A With Georgia
Q: What is your favorite bedding color scheme?
A: I can’t get enough of white and sea glass. It’s calming and classic! In fact, I have this exact bedding at home.
I also love white on white. Here’s a look at my bed at home, also made up of Layers finds.
Q: You probably have many Layers lovelies at home. (Lucky girl!) Do you have a favorite?
A: LOL Yes, working here takes serious self control on my part. It’s hard to choose a single favorite. I guess it would have to be the Michah Knit Throw.
Q: As a buyer for your store, you recently attended the winter market to look for new things to carry in your store. (FUN!) When can we expect to see the new goodies on your shelf and what should we watch for?
A: Amazing things are already coming in. We’re always getting new things in. This baby display was just one of so many that caught my eye at the show.
I’m thrilled we already have it set up in the store.
Q. What is the most popular item you sell?
A: It’s hard to say for sure. We sell a good variety of products. But one thing that makes us extra unique is our Big Euros. These oversized pillows are hard to find but oh, so lovely to own! We carry an excellent assortment and sell them often.
Q: Outside of work, what do you do keep yourself busy?
A: My husband and I moved into a 1975 rambler two years ago. Since then, we’ve been working on remodeling it. Our bathroom was first. Now it’s on to the kitchen and even some exterior work. It’s exhausting but fun! When I’m not working on my home, I'm playing with my pups. I’ve always been a doxies girl!
Q: What is the most common question you’re asked?
A: What’s that smell? LOL Whenever people walk in our store, they immediately ask what smells so good. It’s our yummy Volcano Candle and sachet packets, which are subtle yet inviting.
Q: What do you like the most about your job?
A: I love the ownership I get as a manager of a small business. Unlike big box stores, I can be completely invested in the look and feel of our shop. Madison and I do all the buying. I work with my team to decide on how displays should look. It’s very hands-on. Having such flexibility and freedom is amazing. Our products are amazing. The customers are amazing. It’s all amazing, really.
Q: What’s next for Layers?
A: An online store! We’ve been working for months to get our retail website ready so those outside our area can enjoy some of what Layers has to offer. Watch the Gardner Village blog and social media channels for more on that soon. Our launch is just around the corner!
Q: What can someone expect when they come to Layers to find their dream bedding?
A: I have four goals when helping any guest. 1. Find them exactly what they want. 2. Ensure they’re happy with what they get. 3. Make the experience fun. 4. Never, ever make anyone feel uncomfortable. Everyone’s experience with bedding is different, and that’s okay. I’m here to “beducate.” I love making up and taking apart bed ideas for guests right in the store until we find that perfect mix. Putting it all together is the best! Plus, who wouldn’t love finding some super cute stuff?!
Q: Any advice for someone looking to update their space?
A: If you have an inspiration item on hand, bring it in. That makes it easier to find your perfect pieces. Maybe it’s a throw or a decorative pillow you already own. Something we can work with and around. If not, photos are helpful. Anything to help us catch your vision. If you have no idea what your vision is, that’s okay too. Just come in and we’ll figure it out together, and we’ll have a blast as we do!
I can speak to Georgia’s last response firsthand. I was updating my own room while also changing my toddler’s nursery into a big girl room and creating a new nursery for her sister-to-be. Needless to say, I was very pregnant and very overwhelmed by it all. I must have come into Layers five or six times before making a single purchase. Each and every time, Georgia kindly and patiently talked over ideas with me and took something that felt heavy and hard and turned it into something happy and fun. Today, I have two little girls who adore their rooms and bedding my spouse and I both enjoy. (Not an easy task!)
As soon as people meet Georgia, they feel they have a new friend. She genuinely has that kind of personality, which makes shopping at Layers an even happier experience than it already was. It’s clear Georgia loves what she does, and her passion translates to those who work for her. One team member is just as delightful as the next, and any of them will love helping you make your home dreams a reality.
Thanks for visiting with us, Georgia. Let’s hope you do end up a lifer. We could all benefit from such friendly customer service and help for years to come!