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Monk Office & Art

Mia Shepard

How many years have you been in business in the DDBIA?


How many full-time employees (including yourself) work in your business or org?


Are your annual sales [budget] over or under $500K yearly?


What do you believe makes your business or org uniquely successful?

We are successful in the way that we offer a sense of community and customer service that goes beyond what you find in a typical retail setting. We are proud to be a part of downtown Duncan and the incredible businesses that reside down here.


Regardless of how you define growth, what are the short- and long-term growth plans for your business?

We have many growth plans for our business including expanding our selection of art products available and the items needed by other local businesses.

What new products or processes or other actions have you taken in the past to address changing market conditions, customer expectations and or growth opportunities?

We continue to expand art products and really expand into Monk Office & Art we also are being selective of the general products that we carry and the items that we have. Our staff has also undergone many changes in the last year, and we have an incredibly dedicated team here to add consistency to our shop.


How specifically do you operationalize the idea of “Excellence” in your business?

We operate excellence in the way we make customers feel when they come into our business. We want to instill a sense of family and belonging and make sure that every customer who comes in knows we are here to help and also have fun.

 In your submission form, you put down that you have been in business downtown for 14 years! As a business that has seen all of the different eras and changes of our Downtown, what is one thing that you would say has been a constant?

 Although I can’t claim to have been here the entire time, based on what I’ve personally seen I would say that the regulars and loyal customers have remained a constant. I enjoy getting to know people who have lived here their entire lives and who remember this building when it was The Letterbox!

Can you tell us more about what led to the decision to carry more art supplies?

We felt there was a niche in this community that needed to be filled with such a large volume of artists in the Cowichan Valley, Monk purchased Island Blue Art & Framing a little while ago so we were able to help fill that niche.


Can you elaborate more about being “selective” about general products? How are you differentiating yourself from big box store competitors? Staples for example?

We choose brands and items that are known to be good quality and get the job done properly. We also differentiate from the big box stores by giving our customers a personal experience when they come to us for a product, and to make sure they leave happy whether we can help with that specific item or not.



Monk Office & Art
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