Silver Gallery among Darden nominees
The idea behind the Resilience Awards is to “bring well-deserved attention to highly successful businesses in parts of Virginia that some might unwisely overlook,” said Greg Fairchild, associate professor of business administration at the Darden School of Business.
“These finalists demonstrate the strength of Virginia’s main street businesses, even in the face of significant economic obstacles. In 2011, this group of businesses collectively employed almost 400 Virginians and had an aggregated sales total of nearly $200 million — these firms embody resilience,” Fairchild asid.
Stephen Dahl and Stacey Strawn founded Silver Gallery in 2002 as an online retailer of silver and pewter gifts, but the couple quickly ran into problems after expanding the business from their living room to a location in Downtown Waynesboro. With the rising price of silver, increased shipping costs and website traffic constantly in flux, the Internet and mail order business had much to overcome.
Despite these challenges, Silver Gallery landed the job as official provider of silver picture frames as celebrity gifts for the Screen Actors Guild Awards®. The company has provided these gifts for the past seven years and added the Tony Awards® to its client list last year. Since their move downtown, the couple has purchased two more storefront buildings and committed itself to helping revitalize Waynesboro. They provide space at a greatly reduced rate in one of their buildings to the Bindi Dog Yoga studio, which offers free or low-cost yoga classes to the community.
Five winners in the Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards competition will be announced at a special dinner, reception and awards presentation at Darden’s Abbott Center on Wednesday, Sept. 5, where finalists will join state and local officials, economic development and business leaders and Darden representatives.