As a growing and bustling community, Evans is blessed with great businesses and fabulous business owners! This month, we have the privilege of getting to know four local business-owning women and what inspires them to do what they do. Each woman comes from a unique background with unique experiences, and now they unite in Evans to serve our community with their special talents and services.
Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate
When Realtor Susan Salisbury moved to the Evans area, she left her nursing education career and gave her full focus to the real estate industry. However, as Susan explains, the two aren’t completely unrelated. “I feel my nursing skills are comparable to my real estate skills, like being caring and supportive, getting along well with people, problem solving, crisis management, negotiating, and educating to a whole other complex vocabulary.”
She adds, “I love guiding clients through a complex transaction, which is not only their biggest purchase, but it’s also their most personal purchase. We tend to focus on the money because it’s the objective part, but the subjective part is important because it’s their home, their sanctuary. It’s very emotional for them, and I love creating a happy outcome.”
Susan prides herself on providing first-class concierge service to all her clients. “My goal is to have a smooth transaction that closes on time. It’s such a high stress transaction that it really does take a lot of care, support, and education to get through it smoothly. I’m backed by Blanchard and Calhoun and a very large support team, but I take care of my clients myself….they don’t get passed on to other people.”
As an Evans resident, Susan shares, “I’ve been involved in the Columbia County schools, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and I serve on several community boards. I take community involvement seriously, and I feel that it helps me help my clients because I’m aware of what’s going on in the community.”
Gina Speegle Interiors
“I’ve always loved color and anything to do with design for as far back as I can remember,” says Interior Designer Gina Speegle. “Even as a kid, instead of toys, I always wanted a new bedspread or a pretty lamp. I was constantly moving my furniture around in my bedroom just to try something different.”
“I grew up in base housing where all the walls were white, and we couldn’t paint them. I had to improvise with colored fabrics and accessories. And I don’t think I’ve had a white wall since I’ve been an adult,” Gina adds with a laugh.
Under the brand Gina Speegle Interiors, Gina says, “I offer full service interior design – anything from bath and kitchen remodels, to stone countertops, custom window treatments, and furniture. I also do staging and really anything that is design related.”
Gina adds, “I love being able to choose my own vendors and contractors so that I can get licensed and bonded, good quality people.”
Ultimately, Gina say, “I absolutely, positively love making people’s dreams come true. Nothing is more gratifying for me.”
Boudoir by Ashley
After moving from California to Georgia, Ashley Gardner says, “I wanted to establish myself with family photography so that people knew who I was and trusted me before jumping into something a little more intimate and personal.” Last year, she opened Boudoir by Ashley and transitioned to full-time boudoir photography. “It’s my favorite genre,” she shares.
“I love being able to empower women and allow them to see themselves in a way that they might not see themselves normally,” explains Ashley. “A lot of my clients are moms or nurses…women who give of themselves to others all the time. To allow them to do something for themselves is why I do it.”
Ashley’s inspiration is wanting her kids “to be able to see that their mom did something she was passionate about and enjoyed. I do it for them to be able to look at me and say, ‘Wow! She made a difference; she did something for other people, and she loved what she did.’”
Bijoux + Coe
Online Women’s Clothing Boutique
Bijoux + Coe owner Leslie Brewer knew that opening a women’s clothing boutique would be a perfect fit for her and her family. She says, “I love to shop and to dress other people – that’s fun for me. And it’s something I thought would be fun for my three older girls and I to do together. We go to market together, shop together, and pick our purchases together.”
“We sell fun women’s clothing,” says Leslie. “We want women to feel confident and good about what they’re wearing. Anything we can do to boost someone’s confidence, we definitely want to be part of that.”
For now, Bijoux + Coe is an online boutique with plans to open a storefront in Evans this year. “We love Columbia County. It’s our home,” says Leslie. “My kids have grown up in school here, and it’s the best place to be.”