Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | April 25, 2017
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Jennifer Robinson has turned her love of shoes into a successful business with two locations.

Jennifer likes to have a large selection of products for a variety of tastes. In Westport Savvy is located at 17A Church Street. In Brockville its new shop is at 73 King Street West.
Entrepreneur's passion for shoes translates into expanded lines and business success
Jennifer Robinson has taken her passion for shoes and turned it into a success. The Savvy Footwear & Accessories owner needs comfortable shoes these days to keep up with running her Westport shop and now a larger Brockville store.

"I've surrounded myself in shoes my whole life," says Jennifer, adding her grandmother taught her good shoes are works of art. It's one of the reasons she decided to buy the Savvy business originally founded by Theresa Kenney 11 years ago. 

"It was a well-oiled machine already," says Jennifer of the business she and husband Jason purchased in 2015. She'd been working for Theresa for six years and had the benefit of her mentorship leading up to the purchase. "She was a wonderful teacher. I got to know what sells and what doesn't. The transition was seamless - we didn't miss a beat."

After a successful first year, Jennifer and Jason expanded into Westport in 2016 to an ideal Church Street location in the village core. Then in November, the Brockville shop expanded when it moved to a storefront three times the size of its former site.

"Our sales in Westport allowed us to expand to the larger store in Brockville," says Jennifer, adding Savvy has been very well received in the tourist destination village.  

Jennifer has done some tweaking of the business, adding several new lines. She also saw a need in the region for men's shoes and her intuition paid off. They've sold "really well." 

Her core women's brands are Clarks, Dorking, Rieker, Josef Seibel and Taos. She also offers 12 other footwear lines, four brands of handbags, wallets, jewellery and the Canadian Red Coral's line of leggings and tunics. In both her shops, Jennifer likes to have an elegant and welcoming atmosphere. Shoe shopping should be done in comfortable surroundings with an interesting decor. "Buying new shoes should be fun," says Jennifer. "Customer service is important." The Facebook page shows a 5-star rating with comments "fantastic" and "impeccable" service as well as an "awesome selection." 

Learn more about Savvy by visiting their Facebook page or by calling 613-345-6850 or 613-273-6850 in Westport.
Celebrating Business
Best Managed Companies are right here at home
RIDEAU LAKES - Canada's Best Managed Companies 2017 list has one new local addition as well as returning Gold Standard and Platinum members.

Local, family-operated Wills Transfer Ltd. joined the Gold Standard list and was featured in the April Canadian Business Special Report. 

"It's a great honour," says Terry Wills, company president. He and 10 members of his staff attended the gala recognition event recently. "This award is the result of a team effort and I'm really proud of the Wills team." 

Wills Transfer has locations in Rideau Lakes Township, Brockville, Perth and Ottawa. It employs 155 people, has nine warehouse facilities with over 600,000-square feet of storage and 132 trailers and chassis. "We provide innovative logistics solutions to contribute to our customers' success," says Terry.

Area companies who have made the Gold Standard list four to six consecutive years are Burnbrae Farms, with locations in Lyn and Brockville, and Canarm Ltd., of Brockville. Platinum Club members, firms on the list more than eight consecutive years, are Prescott's Kriska Transportation Group and Brockville's Newterra.

See the full media release on the  Wills Transfer website and learn more about the 2017 list by visiting the Canadian Business website.

Wills Transfer has been in business 72 years. Terry Wills took the helm in 1979. The company has diversified into commercial warehousing and third-party logistics.
Workshops and Seminars
Leadercast: Powered by Purpose

This live-broadcast professional and leadership development event is featuring Andy Stanley, a leadership author and expert, Daniel Pink, a behavioural science expert and best-selling author, Suzy Welch, author, TV commentator and business journalist, and Molly Fletcher, top sports agent and author, to name just a few. For more information on tickets contact Andrew Cole via email and visit the website for event details. 

WHEN: Friday, May 5, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Centennial Road Church, Brockville
COST: $97.11
Conflict Management 

Conflict in the workplace can impact employee morale, lower productivity and cost businesses money. This session will give you an overview of conflict management. You will learn communication tools that can be effective in conflict situations.

WHEN: Thursday, May 11, 9 a.m. to noon
WHERE: Small Business Advisory Centre, 91 Cornelia Street West, Entrance B, Smiths Falls
COST: $15 (including breakfast)

Learn more about these on our   Workshops and Seminars page.
Workshops and Seminars