of merging lifestyle, eclectic shopping and community
During the last 10 years, the Gecko has redefined the bottom floor of the home and embraced a community. Hand-picked, value-priced goods from around the world and down the road accent the eclectic shop. Among the vibrantly-coloured scarves and clothes, handmade jewelry, funky home decor and eye catching Asian artifacts, there is an element of treasure hunting for customers, which makes each stop at the shop a memorable experience.
Opened in 2005 and now celebrating its 10th year, The Green Gecko has become a fixture on the small business scene. Customers drive to Lyndhurst from urban centres specifically to shop at the store, and orders from The Green Gecko’s online offering have even been shipped as far as Tasmania.
“Having the house as part of the big picture is essential to us,” she said, noting that they live upstairs while running their business on the lower level. “That element of history engages people.” In fact, that engrained heritage and the village culture was a big part of what attracted them to relocate.
The store itself was born from a love of travelling and collecting beautiful things. The goal was to find a balance between supporting the people they meet overseas while at the same time giving local artisans an opportunity to showcase their talents. Artisanal work from across Ontario complements the gems Terri and Peter find during their annual travels to South East Asia, where they scout out artisans or family businesses while focusing on fair pricing and ethical sourcing.
“When we’re overseas we go to the markets looking for people making things,” she said. “The market is the essence of what we’re doing: making connections with people and understanding what’s important to them. It gives the shop an authentic feel and ensures we always have interesting, revolving and meaningful items to offer our customers.”
Not just that, but the Gecko owners routinely act as ambassadors for the area, rarely missing a moment to shine a light on other local businesses or areas of interest for visitors and residents alike. Dawson says part of her philosophy is about paying it forward, and realizing benefit as a resident and business owner from how much you give back to your community.