It was easy for Louis Redmond to come home.
He’d been living in Canada for just over two years, but wanted to return to Ashburton and the long-standing and successful family furnishing and interior design company.
Despite skiing, outdoor attractions and access to concerts and cultural events in Vancouver, Louis, a third-generation Redmond, saw his future back in Mid Canterbury.
Since returning last year, he doesn’t mind being parochial about his town and district.
“It’s essential for Ashburton people to look first at what their local district has to offer and, when they do, they’ll find it,” he said.
Louis, 27, estimates about 95 per cent of the Redmond business was sold to Ashburton people.
“It’s our main focus and always will be,” he said.
That’s why Louis supports the Guardian’s Shop Smart, Shop Local campaign because Redmonds has a significant local heritage and commitment to Mid Canterbury.
But as well as that local-first philosophy, Redmonds Furnishing and Flooring also had its own identity to follow.
“We’re continuing our goal of Making Mid Canterbury At Home,’’ he said of their marketing message.
“Our brand ethos is helping to make people’s home here as a Mid Canterbury home, just as we have.
“We grew up here, we live here, we identify here and we contribute to Mid Canterbury projects.”
One of Louis’ particular pleasures was being able to interact with people, having a range of opinions and contributing to their discussions.
He probably inherited that from his grandfather Colin Redmond, who always enjoyed a chat with customers.
Colin, who died earlier this year, started the home furnishing company shortly after World War Two and found the ideal location on the corner of Burnett and East streets.
He was then joined by sons Chris and Barry, who bought the business at the turn of the new millennium before their sons John and Louis joined in 2020.
Louis, an interior consultant, wants to continue the Redmonds’ name on behalf of those family generations who’ve come before him.
He’s one of the new generation of Ashburton business leaders and knows the retail trade can only be secure if people support their community and buy locally.
“My goal is to be part of a strong locally based team that will continue to grow our business,” he said.
– By Malcolm Hopwood