In the dog eat dog environment of inner urban consumer retail, it’s amazing to find a family owned business still going strong after 10 years.
Howards Storage World in The Homemaker, Fortitude Valley provides a unique blend of quality products and service to help organise your home.
Business owner and family patriarch, Jim Stacey, laughs “Family is one of our strengths.
“Whether it’s been the boys, nephew, cousin, in-law or partners… they have all had a turn at throwing on the teal.”
Howards staff are instantly recognisable in their teal uniform and ubiquitous apron.
“Don’t forget the ‘Bruce’ family,” urges Jim. “Our senior sales person, Leoni has been with us since day dot. There is not a regular customer Leoni doesn’t know by name.
“I suspect she also knows their children and grand-children’s names as well.”
Leoni’s daughter, Kristen, joined the team shortly after and is now Assistant Manager.
Kristen is the Queen of Elfa. “Elfa is our leading shelving product for the wardrobe, laundry, kitchen… actually just about anywhere in the house,” Jim explains.
“If it can be organised, Kristen can design it. She is incredibly patient and is willing to work with the customers to find the best option to meet their needs.”
“The last 10 years haven’t been all beer and skittles. The 2011 floods hurt, the shop was closed for two weeks during what is normally the busiest time of the year,” Jim explained.
“Our Franchisor going into receivership in late 2016 wasn’t a help. We spent the next 18 months explaining to people we are independently owned, not a company store and yes we are and will continue to be open.”
So what does the future hold? “I’m continuously surprised at the innovative ideas that keep on rolling out. If nothing else at Howards, we value consistency. Consistency in innovation, consistency in quality, consistency in good customer service.
“People know us for quality brands such Brabantia, Simple Human, and White Magic.
“We like to think we will continue to delight and surprise people with our new lines. Most importantly we like to think people will walk feeling like a valued customer.”
For your storage needs visit the Staceys and Bruces at the independent, family-owned Howards Storage World in The Homemaker, Fortitude Valley, located at 650 Wickham Street.