My Father was a Watchmaker and Jeweller and owned a jewellery store in downtown Tillsonburg. In those days a jewellery store was more than just watches, clocks, and jewellery, I recall seeing displays of china, crystal, silverware and even luggage!

I always loved spending time at the store. There were so many beautiful things to look at. I could practice my gift wrapping skills (curling ribbon amazed me), rearrange a tray or two of rings, or check the watches on display to make sure the hands were at 10 and 2 so that they framed the makers name at 12 o’clock.

My favourite pastime was sitting beside Dad at his watch bench as he did repairs, all the while attempting to keep a watchmaker’s loop at my eye, with “no hands”!

Every now and again Dad would show me through the loop’s magnification the smallest details of a timepiece – it was a perfectly designed mechanism of what seemed to be hundreds of parts assembled in such a way that they all just fit perfectly inside their little case. I never ceased to get excited when Dad would wind it and we would watch as it came alive. Someday I would take Dad’s place at the bench…

School, career advice, and travel intervened as did Dad's decision to close the store, but hidden deep down inside me there was still a desire to have my own business. While living in London, England in 1972 I had the opportunity to work at Harrods and was employed as a sales associate in their fashion jewellery department. That, to say the least, was quite the experience. It gave me the opportunity to develop my eye for detail, love of display and merchandising and customer service, all skills  learned during the time spent at the store with Dad.

Fast forward to 1985, the year we moved back to Tillsonburg, after living on my husband’s family farm just south of town. I remembered my dream that if and when we again became “townies” I would open a business and I knew the type of shop I wanted as well as the exact downtown location.

This became a reality in 1987 when Pedlar’s Quay was born in the 2 storey 1872 heritage home that I had put my sights on years before. A wonderful old home with a very interesting history one small bit being that when it was in it’s original location – just around the corner on Broadway our main street – it was the home of, Dr. John Reid, the attending physician when my Dad and his identical twin brother were born in 1923. I didn't find that out until years later!

In the beginning the concept of a life style/home decor gift shop was non existent, but that was my vision and in the early years it was quite a challenge to find suppliers.

The world has seemingly become smaller as products from all over the globe are now more accessible and so much easier to source with the internet. As my husband and I travel for business and pleasure I continue to be inspired and thrilled when a new supplier is “stumbled” upon.

Coco Chanel once said “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”. This has remained our focus as we continue to offer only the finest items for every occasion, hand picked from around the world and right here at home.

 Obviously I didn't become a Watchmaker, but I do still sit from time to time by Dad's watch bench as it now has a place in our home and when I ponder new products and new concepts I can hear his words of advice. “Every business should be about offering the best product with exceptional customer service, but above all remember that when it comes right down to it, honesty and integrity are the bottom line.” Thanks Dad.