Downtown Spotlight: Ruby Jewell Walker

Downtown Spotlight is a gift from the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association to the people who make our city turn. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses, and organizations that help make Downtown Abbotsford what it is. The ADBA is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family, and colleagues that we notice them and the incredible things they do.

What is your name?

Ruby Jewell Walker

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Abbotsford?

I immigrated from South Georgia to Ontario, worked in Toronto, New York, Atlanta, and Vancouver. I was the manager of Wella Corp. in Western Canada for three years, and have owned my own business since 1982. I moved my home and business to Abbotsford and opened on Whatcom Road in 1994 and to downtown in 2004.

How are you involved with Downtown Abbotsford?

I manage a beauty salon in the Downtown and was very involved until 2002.

Where do you enjoy spending your time most?

In my motorhome at the beach.

What’s your favourite thing about Downtown Abbotsford?

Mom & pop shops owned and operated by the families. Small businesses.

What’s your favourite hobby?

Designing and sewing costumes.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?

I attended the wrong East Indian wedding in Surrey, every guy is named Rick.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.

Driving Highway 41 from S. Georgia to Toronto, Canada, and back (before I-75).

Where do you volunteer or give back in the community?

I cut hair for 4 years at Salvation Army. I now cut for needy persons after 5 p.m. the 1st Monday of each month.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

Prejudices in the business world. Women have to work twice as hard to be accepted in business groups, heaven forbid that we would have a sick child or family emergency. Why do meetings have to be at 8 a.m., that is the time kids are dropped off at school.

What’s your favourite activity in Abbotsford?

The Canada Trail on bikes.

Where would you like to see positive change in Abbotsford and why?

The ADBA would be split into two separate associations… one property owners and one for retailers. Why? To allow the retailers to be promoted properly. The property owners can work on their properties and the retailers can organize more inclusive events.

What makes Abbotsford great?

Location on crossroads of the upper valley. We are close to everything…

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.

I was president of the North Fraser Executives Association in 1989-1990 in Coquitlam, B.C.

What is the name of your business/organization?

Emotional Rescue Hair, etc.

What is the goal of your business?

To have high-quality products and services at the most realistic prices.

What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?

Balancing my family and working hours.

Why do you think it is important to shop local?

Creating jobs is the lifeblood of our economy. By supporting local entrepreneurs we can enjoy more development in our own city.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Receiving my Gold Medal for the Judges Guild of Canada in 2005.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I am into my 49th year of hairdressing. Our trade is 95% women and B.C. has no governing body, and no license, since 2003. I would like to encourage young hairdressers, estheticians, and nail techs to rent space in a salon and learn from the more experienced people in their salons.

To nominate someone for a Downtown Spotlight feature, send them to this form and have them fill it out!

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