– Story and photography by Lia Crowe
Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication
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“I like classic, clean-cut with a little bit of flare — a little bit of colour.
But when I see someone really go for it and somehow pull it off… that’s interesting.”
I don’t think everyone knows that they want to be in insurance when they grow up,” Garrett laughs as we chat at Blenz Coffee in the Innovation Centre in downtown Kelowna.
Garrett followed in his mother’s footsteps, working in financial institutions and discovered that he loved it.
Garrett grew up in Kelowna and then lived in Calgary for a decade.
“It’s almost a rite of passage for teenagers to leave the Okanagan; they have to get out and then eventually they come back. I cut my teeth at a big financial institution in Calgary and then two years ago, I had the opportunity to work for Valley First. It was always the goal to come back to Kelowna.”
Asked what aspect of his work really fires him up, Garret says, “Everything that we do goes 100 per cent back into the community where I live — and I love that. Everyone at the company is given three days off a year to volunteer for whatever they want, to give back. It’s things like that that I love; it’s part of my job to get out there and have an actual impact, rather than just sit in an office crunching numbers. It’s amazing working for an organization that promotes and encourages that.”
So what does Garrett do with his three days?
“I try and switch it up. Before I moved to Kelowna, I was heavily involved in the Lions Club, which is a social club that gives back to the community. Now I volunteer for the Central Okanagan food bank and an organization called The Bridge Youth and Family Services, helping youth recover from any issues they have. They are trying to bring in a longer-term rehabilitation centre for youth.”
Aside from working and giving back to community, I ask, what does Garrett do for fun?
“I play acoustic and electric guitar. We have kind of a family band — not quite like the Partridge Family— but my dad plays guitar, my mom plays the spoons really well and my cousin also plays, so we get together and jam some classic rock and blues. It’s fun. My job moves at such a breakneck pace, it’s nice to slow down. It’s a little bit of reprieve for me; I mellow out. It’s nice to just write my thoughts down into song — it’s just for myself.”
Style Icon: “Harvey Specter, who is a fictitious character [from Suits], and Ryan Reynolds because I’ve got to support the Canadians.”
Favourite Musician: “So many good ones; top of my head: Dallas Green of City and Colour and old-school Van Morrison.”
Era of Time that inspires your style: 1960s, Mad Men-style.
Film or TV show that inspires your style or of which you just love the style: Suits.
Favourite local restaurant: RauDZ, Kelowna.
Favorite local Men’s Clothing shop: Torino Ritz. “I have to give a shout out to Vic and the team over at Torino Ritz for always doing their best to make me look my best!” Favourite Cocktail/Wine: Old Fashioned.
Album on current rotation: Grey and Crazy Love by Juke Ross.
Favourite city to visit: New Orleans.
Favourite App: Guitar Tabs.
Favourite place in the whole world: Home (Kelowna).
Uniform: “Slacks and a nice button-up, maybe a tie on a Wednesday and jeans on a Friday.”
Favorite Denim, brand and cut: Levis or American Eagle.
Current go-to clothing Item: Patterned sports jacket or velvet blazer for gala events.
Best new purchase: Bugatti Leather shoes, purchased at Torino Ritz.
Accessory you spend the most money on: Watches.
Favourite work tool: “My Microsoft Surface & OneNote application.”
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarers.
Scent: The One by Dolce & Gabbana.
What do you read Online for style: Men’s Journal.
FavE Print magazine: Success, Guitar Aficionado and Boulevard.
Last great read: The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann.
Book currently reading: The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon.
Favourite book of all time: Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama.