Attractive: EXIM Home Goods has a strong following by women who like the home decor items it sells. *Photo by Nicole Muirhead
Attractive: EXIM Home Goods has a strong following by women who like the home decor items it sells. *Photo by Nicole Muirhead

Jody Place, owner of EXIM Home Goods in Somerset, decided to go into business for himself with the downturn in the construction industry. Mr Place located in an Economic Empowerment Zone to get additional help for his start-up.

He spoke with Don Burgess about EXIM and how the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation helped him. 

What was your first job?

I was 16 and I was in the construction field as a tradesman. I actually made more than my mother and father, but I put in a lot of hours — 70 to 80 hours a week.

What did you learn from that first job?

It was about the money first, but then it became about getting the experience. I wanted to learn and progress.

What made you decide to go into business for yourself?

The economy. The construction field wasn’t as good and I always wanted to open a home goods store. We already had an import-export business. There was a need for a home goods store in Somerset.

How did the BEDC help you?

They’ve been very helpful. We have been developing this building and we had some things that were very strenuous on our pockets and we went to them for help. They have helped guide us through in getting a retaining wall built so we can expand. We wouldn’t have survived as long as we have without them.

What do you sell?

Basically it is home goods — what we don’t have, we can special order for people — the larger items. Home décor items seem to sell very well for us — photos, curtains, bedding. 

What special services do you offer?

We offer kitchen and bathroom renovations. We can also do small window and door exchanges. This makes us a full home goods store.