When Martin Baker, Kaylee Christian and the Garden Street Fabrics & Design design team moved into new premises on April 26, it marked a milestone for the design industry.
The new location at 4350 Bayou Blvd., Suite 7, is complemented by an expanded exhibit hall, additional parking and increased foot traffic.
âThe move was something that absolutely had to happen,â Christian said. âWe saw people pull up at the new location and say, ‘We drove past your old location a few times, but couldn’t find a parking space. “”
The new location also allowed Baker to close the gap by offering a one-of-a-kind service in the areas surrounding Cordova Shopping Center and Pensacola International Airport.
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However, this does not mean that the name will be changed to Bayou Boulevard Fabrics & Design. Having established itself as a leading local design company, Baker aims to attract new and old clients through name recognition.
âI am delighted to take Garden Street Fabrics & Design in a new direction,â said Baker. “Because we are more than just a fabric store. We focus on the overall experience.”
Free coffee and water and comfortable seating areas to discuss upcoming projects are just a few of the things that set Garden Street Fabrics & Design apart.
The idea of ââowning a business was something that had never crossed Baker’s mind. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Kentucky in 2010, Baker first pursued a career in teaching.
But fate had other plans.
For nearly a decade, Baker worked as a designer under former Garden Street Fabrics & Design owner Jeff Spradlin. But when Spradlin decided to look to his location in Destin, the purchase of the Pensacola business was too good an opportunity for Baker to pass up.
âI learned everything from Jeff, but it wasn’t on the to-do list,â Baker said. “I had to learn all the background processes and operations like payroll, taxes and licensing. I Googled everything.”
With the details worked out and the move complete, right down to the ornate green patterned fabric along the back wall of the showroom, Baker was now able to focus on business development and bring new business to the door. On Thursday, Garden Street Fabrics & Design hosted an opening themed “Girl’s Night Out” event, giving people the chance to enjoy refreshments and browse its wide array of fabrics and collections.
âWe want people to come in and see everything,â Baker said. “We walk them through the process from start to finish, and we want them to be very specific so that we can make their visions a reality.”
For Baker, fabric is one of the many facets of creating the right aesthetic.
âWe want to focus and continue to develop the ‘design’ element of Garden Street Fabrics and Design,â said Baker. âWe are a one stop shop and also specialize in home furnishings, custom furniture, window treatments, upholstery, lighting and consulting. “
Garden Street Fabrics & Design is open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and by appointment on Saturdays. Walk-in visits are welcome, but appointments are required for larger projects. For more information, call 850-466-2945 or visit gardenstreetfabrics.com.
Kalyn Wolfe is a freelance columnist for the News Journal. Send new business tips to [email protected]