How many of you know people who have been working for the same company for more than 30 years. Not many, we are sure of it. But, Gail Johnekins started at Lewis and Sheron in 1986 and has been here ever since. When you sit down with Gail, you soak in the history of one of the top textiles store in the country. With stories that date back to her very first day on the job, it is a real treat to listen to the way things were and how far things have come. Learn more about Gail and her favorite moments as we highlight our very first team member in this month’s employee spotlight.
Gail, tell us about your beginning here at Lewis and Sheron.
I started here in 1986 and was Larry’s very first hire! I have seen so much since the start of this business and continue to enjoy meeting new people every day.
What do you remember about the beginning of your time at Lewis and Sheron?
Well, I remember when everything was manual. We didn’t have computers; the technology was not nearly as advanced! I kind of miss those days actually. But now things are much more streamlined so it definitely has it’s pro’s.
In 30 years, you are destined to see a plethora of changes. What is the change you love most right now?
The move of the furniture to the first floor is really nice. It really changes the feel of the entire store.
Share your most memorable moment with us.
I will never forget, the time when a customer called in on a Saturday desperate to receive some fabric, but unable to get here before closing. She was on her way home, so I offered to take it to her so that she would have it for her project. It is my most memorable moment not because I took her the fabric outside of business hours, but because she was so appreciative that our store would do whatever it took to make sure she received what she needed at the proper deadline. She wrote me the sweetest letter of gratitude and for me it was just like getting an award. I loved making her feel good and hope that we can provide that sort of customer service for everyone.
Can you tell us about the evolution of fabric that you have seen?
I remember when we were ordering a much smaller amount of fabric during the early days. I even remember the styles! The amount of fabric and the styles have all changed tremendously. We have a much wider variety of fabric and the quality just keeps getting better and better.
You can tell us things about the Family others can’t. Why have you stayed and what memories have you created with the Sheron family.
Watching Larry and Bobbi work so hard to build this store and its reputation has been rewarding. You feel a personal connection to the family when you work at a family owned and operated business for such a long time. You get to know who you are working for far beyond the surface and you go through the struggles and the celebrations right there with them. They are a strong family and they care a lot about the team that surrounds them. I am proof of that as I have been here for more than 30 years. But, something that has been really exciting is watching his son start to work for the business and see how he puts his personal touches on the store. It is really something to see the next generation take part in a business that means so much to me.
To learn more about Gail, please visit Our People section.