I was excited when Dana agreed to meet me in Duncan. The sun was shining and the bees were out in full force, scavenging for pollen around us. We immediately started giggling as we are both petrified of bees — and Dana is allergic.
“I started out in school focussing on hospitality and tourism because my parents had a restaurant in Cowichan Bay and I thought that was my natural path. I took an interior design course out of pure interest, and loved it. It was my first day job. I was then offered an opportunity to join La-Z-Boy.”
In 2011, Dana was the first female dealer who hadn’t married or been born into the La-Z-Boy family.
“I got lucky. I was in the right situation at the right time. The fellow we bought out was ready to retire, and I was in a position to take on more.”
Dana and her husband worked hard flipping houses in the early years, and it was this that gave them their leg up to start their businesses.
Last April, Dana and her partners were awarded “retail partners of the year,” taking top place out of the entire La-Z-Boy family in Canada. More recently, Dana has been busy working on the new location for the Nanaimo La-Z-Boy store.
“We have a store at Country Club Centre right now, and we are building a new location at Turner and Uplands.”
Opening a new location takes a lot of focus and commitment.
“It’s pretty demanding running three stores. If they want to sell something off the floor, give a discount, or there’s a problem with delivery, I’m the go-to person. My phone does not leave my side; I am always on call,” explains Dana. “Once a year we’re fortunate enough to go to Mexico for my husband’s work, and I leave my phone at home. No networking, no work — it’s so relaxing.”
Dana has two teenage boys and hopes they too will be innovative.
“I hope to pass on to my children integrity and a strong work ethic. I want my kids to get out there and make it on their own because nobody helped me.”
Upon first meeting her, it’s hard not to notice that Dana is very stylish.
“I’ve always been a dressy person, and I used to apologize for that. A friend of mine sent me something with a saying on it — ‘Be the stiletto in the room, not the flats’ — and I loved it and live by it everyday.”
Even when Dana is decorating the showrooms, she is always dressed to the nines. “I’m moving furniture around on the floor, I have my heels on and I’m okay with it. I don’t really worry what anybody else thinks. I’m comfortable in my own skin and I celebrate it.”
I laughed when she recited a story about being on a business trip, and realizing she had forgotten to pack her jewellery roll. She quickly raced to a store with her business partner to buy jewellery for her six-day trip. “I wasn’t being materialistic, I was happy with my $35 assortment. When I have my whole ensemble complete, I feel finished; I feel like me. When you need to make it work, you make it work.”
Your go-to outfit: Black head-to-toe with great accessories.
All-time favourite piece: Ralph Lauren black slip dress I bought in the ‘80s that never seems to date.
Currently coveting: An H&M grey car coat.
Favourite pair of shoes: “I have always loved shoes, and can’t pick just one favourite — it changes everyday!”
Favourite day-bag: “My classic black Coach tote that fits everything, even my laptop if need be!”
Favourite jewellery piece or designer: “My grandmother’s gold parsley ring. It’s actually parsley dipped in gold.”
|Dana Wright shows off her grandmother’s gold parsely ring. Izabel Kazenbroot-Guppy photography
Fashion obsession: Jewellery.
Accessory you spend the most money on: “Handbags for sure!”
Necessary indulgence: At least eight hours of sleep a night.
Beauty secret: Bio Oil and Vitamin E oil.
Top three items you will find in my bag or purse: “My entire makeup bag! I’ve been stranded too many times to not be prepared. Also a neutral nail polish and sunglasses.”
Must-have product to travel with: Gravol. “Motion gets me every time.”
Style icon: Coco Chanel.
Piece of art: “A piece I have from a Victoria artist Mary Ellen Threadkell titled Jilly. It’s busy and speaks to me about the journey of life.”
Era of time that inspires your style: 1940s.
Film or movie that inspired your style: “Anything Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.”
Favourite style blogger or influencer: Like to Know It.
What do you read online for style: Everything.
Favourite print magazine: InStyle.
Coffee table book: Art Deco by Eva Weber.
Last great read: “My son’s grade 4 journal. I pulled it out for his grad party in June. Great memories through the eyes of an eight year old.”
Favourite book of all time: The Wealthy Barber.
Favourite flower: Purple Sweet Peas.
Favourite city to visit: Doesn’t get better then Victoria.
Favourite app: Instagram. Favourite place in the whole world: Home. Favourite movie: The Sixth Sense.
Favourite thing to do on my day off or not working: “Work in my yard and dream up my next project.”