A layover on a business trip might seem like a good time to catch up on email or review sales reports.
For Kelly Jean Hammond and her mom, Pam Hammond, a stop on the way to a trade show in Atlanta became the launchpad for a new store.
The Hammonds own Paddington Station in Ashland, and its sister stores, Paddington Jewel Box, a women’s boutique, and Inspired by Oregon, the spinoff that was hatched in the airport.
“We were just sitting there and I said, ‘You know what, I think we need to open this store,’” Kelly Jean recalls.
Before they took off on the next leg of the trip, they wrote a business plan, came up with a logo and figured out the lease.
Creative and smart, the mother-daughter business partners work well together. Pam is co-owner and product manager. Kelly Jean is buyer and store manager.
“It’s not because we always get along or agree. We disagree with each other a lot,” Kelly Jean says.
They share a sense of knowing what needs to be done, as well as an office with Kelly Jean’s dad, co-owner Don Hammond. Five members of the Hammond family work for Paddington Station. Joe Cooney, Kelly Jean’s husband, manages Inspired by Oregon, and Nick Hammond, Kelly Jean’s brother, works as Paddington’s maintenance liaison.
Being a family-owned and operated retail store makes Paddington Station as unique as the products it sells. For starters, there’s an exceptional commitment to employees, which goes hand-in-hand with offering great customer service.
“We see many of the same customers, year after year,” Kelly Jean says.
The Hammonds purchased the business in 1993, and bought the J.P. Dodge Building in 2000. That paved the way for the expansion of sister stores.
The family’s close ties to the community bring locals here to shop on their way to the movies, after church or a night out with the girls. And member rewards program allows shoppers to donate a portion of the proceeds of their purchase to local charity.
Kelly Jean was in first grade when her parents bought the store. She remembers being given a task of folding gift boxes in the back. She didn’t mind because that’s where all the Beanie Babies were kept.
She still looks forward to coming to work. Her dad is ready to retire, and she and Joe will take over his share of ownership at the end of the year.
“We have an amazing family dynamic,” she says. “Being able to be business partners is a special thing.”