Jeff Amiel, owner of Swish Apparel, has family on the Sunshine Coast and has been regularly visiting Gibsons since he was a little kid. Jeff’s cousin, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, had mentioned Swish to Jeff and Jeff’s wife Kim. Jeff and Kim would regularly visit Gibsons and had never come across Swish, so they decided to check it out. Now to be clear, Kim never had anything to do with fashion but knew how to dress really well. The problem was, it was hard to find clothes as a plus sized woman. Either stores didn’t carry her size, or they were ill-fitting and drab. As soon as she walked in Swish’s doors, Kim said, “Wow! I love this place!” Jeff will attest, as he said when you walked in, that’s “Kim”. Kim and Jeff would regularly come up a couple times a month from Vancouver to visit Swish and Lynn, the founder of Swish, would always try to convince Kim to come work for her. Who would be a better saleswoman than her best customer? Kim knew how to dress without having any fashion background and Lynn could tell that she was a natural.
Kim would spend hours in the changing room for her visits at Swish. The ladies were always so helpful and kind. Though Kim was tempted by the job offer, they couldn’t move to the Sunshine Coast right away. Kim and Jeff pondered opening a satellite store for Swish in Downtown Vancouver overlooking Granville Island. They pitched the idea to Lynn, but Lynn had to think about it as it was a big decision. Kim retired at the end of November that year and sadly passed away on Christmas Day before any plans were finalized.
A few months later, Jeff got a call from his son about a roadrunner for sale. When Kim retired, Jeff said that she wanted to buy a roadrunner, like they had when they were teenagers, so Jeff decided to check it out. Sure enough, it was exactly the same as the one 18 year old Kim is leaning up against in one of their old photos. That same week, Jeff’s cousin called saying that Swish was for sale. Kim was trying to tell Jeff something and Jeff knew better than to ignore his wife.
After Kim had passed, Jeff hadn’t kept in touch with Lynn so he gave her a phone call to inquire about the store being for sale. Lynn explained that she was trying to open a Swish location in Castlegar and couldn’t be everywhere, so sadly had to sell her ‘baby’. Jeff thought about it for a moment and then asked: “Why don’t I buy the store?” It was a crazy thought for Jeff at the time, but he knew that Kim was trying to tell him something. So, in one week, Jeff was the proud owner of a show car and a clothing store.
Jeff’s wish for Swish is for it to not change and be kept exactly how Kim loved it and to support the folks in continuing to teach customers how to Swishify themselves.
So, now a mechanic owns a clothing store, or rather, Kim’s husband does.
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