Heartland Stationers has landed ‘Stettler’s Best Kept Secret’ award at this year’s Business and Citizenship Awards which were handed down Oct. 22nd by the Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Development.
Soon to begin a brand new chapter in their successful history by relocating and undergoing a name change to Uptown Office Supply, staff said they were very pleased to receive the honours.
“I started with the guys in 1989, and they moved here about the same time that I came along,” recalled Owner Jule Hymers.
“They (Jim Skow and Yung Jin Lee) had also opened up Rainbow Photo, so at the time I worked at both places.”
The photo store eventually was sold, and that’s when Hymers started working full-time at Heartland Stationers.
Skow and Lee eventually decided to retire in late 2014 after 37 years in the biz, and it was at that point that Hymers decided to purchase the business.
“When they were talking about selling, I was thinking how I didn’t want to do anything different because I really enjoyed it,” she recalled. “So I said I’ll buy it! And it’s worked out very well.
“I really like the people, and I enjoy finding what they need when they come in,” she explained, adding that it’s that continued emphasis on strong customer service that has been so intrinsic to their success over the years.
“We want them to be happy when they leave, and not to feel like they have to go elsewhere.”
Laurie Krom, who has worked at the business for five years now, agreed.
“With the school supplies for example, we would have the moms coming in and we would have their school lists packed for them and out the door in under 15 minutes,” she said, reflecting on the past few months in particular.
Sometimes, parents didn’t drop off a list for school supplies – they would just call and say they needed items for a Grade five student, and the Heartland Stationers staff would handily take it from there.
Ultimately, for Krom, it’s been Hymers’ outstanding management skills and leadership style that has really made Heartland Stationers such an terrific place to work.
“It’s a really good work environment,” she explained. “She’s awesome. She’s just really humble and sweet. And she’s really nice to work for – there is no drama – it’s just awesome. And she’s a great businesswoman.”
She was also very happy to hear the company was to recognized by the Stettler Board of Trade this year.
“I think it’s really a testament to how well she has done in her business since she has bought it,” she explained of Hymers.
“She’s easy to deal with.”
Hymers also pointed out during that the pandemic, local residents have been particularly supportive of local businesses, including Heartland Stationers.
“Because people were more at home and doing their schooling at home, we were able to help them and to really make a difference,” she said.
Hosted by the Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Development, the awards evening was live-streamed for the public to view on the Board of Trade’s Facebook page.
For many years, the Stettler Awards Gala has been a prestigious event where citizens have an opportunity to honour the accomplishments of local businesses and citizens.
In the meantime, Hymers is excited about the coming relocation for the business, and to continuing to serve the community she has a real affection for.
“I just love Stettler,” she said. “The people are very supportive.”