A few years ago, Linda Gardner couldn’t find the jewelry she wanted at the price she needed. Enough, she thought. I’ll take matters into my own hands.
With 25 years of small business ownership under her belt, the Florida native began developing the concept of an extremely inexpensive accessories boutique. For nearly three decades, Linda and her husband owned an antique mall in Naples, Fla., and she knew a thing or two about running a business.
“I became frustrated with trying to find fashion that was affordable,” Linda says. “Now, people walk in and say about the prices, ‘Oh my gosh, this is amazing.’”
Linda planned to open her store in her hometown, but then her daughter, Nicole—who had lived in Nashville for seven years—got engaged. After researching the market in Franklin and discovering she had an audience, she decided to move her concept from the Gulf Coast to the rolling hills of Tennessee.
Six years in the making, Good Findings, Inc. opened its doors in October 2011 at 435 Main Street. Linda says that the response for the boutique has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Everyone – the customers, the merchants, the visitors – have been so sweet,” she says.
Strategically located at Five Points, the “Amazingly Affordable Accessories” store is stocked with lines of fashion accessories and jewelry that are in keeping with the current style trends. Linda and Nicole – who is the store manager – buy all over the country: Las Vegas, Gatlinburg and Atlanta, to name the last few stops. Full length and table mirrors are placed on nearly every wall and surface, so that the customers never get a warped idea of what they will be wearing.
“We’re honest with them if something doesn’t look right,” the owner says. “I appreciate it when others tell me.”
Natural sunlight from Main Street and the eclectic music help make Good Findings, Inc. the happy place Linda meant it to be. She says they have made a point from the beginning to center the business around the customer. This includes everything from the merchandise price points to the store setup and the atmosphere.
“I just built it the way I wanted to shop,” she says.
The boutique even has what Linda refers to as “a man cave,” a corner sectioned off that includes a TV, remote control and seating area.
“I’ve heard men say, ‘Whoever thought of this is smart!’” Linda says.
The owner says she’s worked in retail since high school, and her daughter has been surrounded by the family business all her life. They know customer service – greeting people when they walk in the door, and thanking them when they walk out.
“The customers are absolutely our favorite thing about this,” she says. “When we owned the antique mall, our job was to learn something new every day. Now our job is to make a friend.”
Linda and Nicole say they have both connected on personal levels with the people in downtown Franklin.
“The retailers here have been so helpful. Jan (Erickson) at Franklin Tea is the sweetest woman,” Linda says. “We know the police officers by first name now, and the sergeant stopped in one day just to welcome me. You don’t get that in Naples.”
“People here are gems.”
For more information about Good Findings, go here.