After graduating from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communication with a degree in film Kelly started a small film company in Vermont. Through that she was able to travel internationally making educational videos. She joined Gordon’s on a part time basis in 2003 and fell in love with the business.
She loves working in a business that is based in design, manufacturing, innovation and quality. Says Clements, “The window covering industry is going to play such an important role in helping curb the nation’s dependence on foreign oil so it is really exciting to be a part of that!”
2016 marks Gordon’s 30th anniversary of providing Vermonters and the world with quality window decor and superb service.
Q: You went to college for film, correct? How do you think that schooling has benefited your career at Gordon’s?
Kelly: “I went to Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communication for a film degree and it was an incredible demanding program. The excellence expected from the professor’s taught me to hold my work to a higher standard than I ever had before. Though i do not use my specific degree here at Gordon’s; the discipline and rigor with which I approached my studies are skills that benefit me every day.”
Q: When did you start working for the company? Was there any ‘child labor’ infringement? *wink*
“I have been a part of the company since my folks started it in 1986. Instead of getting grounded, my sisters and I had to come to the shop and put weights in vertical vanes or file or clean. Once I had a license, I had the privilege of driving many hundreds of shades to Cornell University on Winter and Summer Breaks. I started working for Gordon’s in earnest in 2003, just after college and to my surprise,(and probably my dad’s surprise as well) absolutely FELL IN LOVE with the business!”
Q: How many positions have you worked at, the company?
“I have been order entry, front desk, purchasing, receiving, web manager, retail manager, chief operations officer and now am president.”
Q: How was it working along side your father and mother? Did you find it difficult to remove the family dynamic from the business?
“Because the business has essentially been another sibling sitting at the kitchen table for our entire lives, there is no possibility of removing the business from the family or vice versa. Our family vacations have always included stops to visit clients and our business trips frequently include kiddos. It is part of what I love about having a family business. The business is so much more than something we do to earn a paycheck.
It is literally a part of the family.
In terms of working with my folks, it has added a dynamic to our relationship that is invaluable. Of course, my dad is at his best when he’s playing with his grandkids, but he is absolutely in his element when he is working a room for business and to get to see your parent in this role, that you typically wouldn’t get to see, if you didn’t work alongside them. It’s just so awesome. Gord is a legend!”
Q: Did you ever see yourself becoming president of the company?
“In the beginning, absolutely not. But about 5 or 6 years ago, I realized just how much I love this company. Even on the really hard days, my passion for this company never falters. I cannot fathom doing anything else. So once that realization hit, I became incredibly eager to learn about every aspect of the business, so that when I did become president, I would be one that the rest of our team could feel confident in.”
Q: Now that you are the president, with your father stepping down last February, what do you see for the next 30 years for Gordon’s?
“I’m pausing at this question because, I just get SO pumped thinking about the next 30 years. I think about all the ways that Gordon’s is going to take every standard in our industry and turn it on it’s head in the pursuit creating the most incredible experience for every single client of ours. Our mission statement commits to the delivering a product and experience that makes our clients smile.
In 30 years, we will be delivering a product and experience that will make them jump up and squeal with delight!”
More about Kelly:
In my downtime, I like to:
“Play with my kiddos, hike, swim, ski – indulge in Vermont”
My favorite word:
“Mom. Saying it and hearing it, are equally amazing.”
If you could have dinner with anyone past or present, who would it be and why?:
” Jon Stewart – no explanation necessary.”
I support local… “because I love being a part of my community. I chose to live in Vermont because I am in love with this state, the people, and of course the huge number of incredibly innovative small businesses. By choosing to buy my shoes at Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel and my eyeglasses at Eye’s of the World and my toilet paper from Seventh Generation I am choosing to make this state I love so dearly stronger.”