After a long absence I’m returning to Walker Metalsmiths as the business manager in Andover. Following 2 years managing the Fairport location from 2009-2011 I went off to California with my husband AJ to start a new adventure together.
We spent 3 years in the southern California sun where we brought the first “Walker” family grandchildren into the world. Betty and Daisy may never remember it, but California was their first home.
Then we called Mobile, Alabama home for a short while. We learned a lot about southern hospitality, football, and Mardi Gras. The girls still talk often about going “home” to Alabama.
In late 2016 our little family decided to move back home to Andover, NY. Everywhere we’d been along the way had been interesting and fun, but it hadn’t really been home. My husband AJ comes from Dallas, TX, but I think that he too found himself missing western NY. At least a little bit, I tell myself. In any case, after following him across the country and back again he followed me back home to stay. We’re 2 doors down from my grandmother’s home where my dad grew up and I watched tulips bloom each spring as a child.
It’s a 5 minute walk to my parent’s house if you’re taking an afternoon stroll. 3 minutes if you’re zipping by on your big kid bike (with training wheels). The girls love having their grandparents, uncles, and aunts all close by to spoil them rotten. They seem to think they know everyone these days and in Andover they’re not wrong. There are so many great things about small towns that I had missed the last few years. We can walk to the store and school and now I can even walk to work! Betty and Daisy started Pre-K this year at the same school that all my siblings and I graduated from. It's even grandpa Stephen's old stomping grounds.
A lot of those great things about small towns carry over to small family businesses. Having lunch with my boss means catching up on Walker Metalsmiths’ business, but it also means catching up with Dad. When moving into my new office it came pre-decorated with pictures of my kids and my brothers and sister (thanks mom)! Many of our customers are folks I’ve known my entire life or have felt like I have. If you got a catalog back in the late 90’s I probably helped stuff those in envelopes. In high school I was the friendly voice on the phone or face in the showroom helping out after school from time to time. Many of our Fairport customers make the drive down to Andover or give us a call for their favorite celtic gifts.
It’s all so familiar, but things have changed too! There are new faces in the shop with Lindsey, Emily, and Chris joining the team during my absence. There are new designs aplenty! I used to know half our inventory numbers by heart and now the list has doubled with creative original new pieces. I'm excited to join the business and help it grow into the new generation.
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