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Business Spotlight:Do it Best is Under New Management

By Lauren Mckinnon

 Donnie and Ginger Canaday left South Carolina 27 years ago and settled in Greensboro, NC, where they built a life and raised a family. Donnie has worked in the construction business since he graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in management and marketing. He has owned two different successful construction businesses which he later sold. After almost three decades in North Carolina, they decided to return to the Lowcountry to be closer to family.

When they made the decision to move back to South Carolina, Donnie and Ginger’s brother Billy Branton decided to put their heads for business and construction together and create a partnership in the retail home improvement business. Branton grew up in a family owned lumber and hardware business.

After studying the local economy, Canaday and Branton decided the time was right to buy a business as the building industry is on the rise. Canaday says it was the perfect opportunity to launch a new business and ride the wave back up.

The two teamed up with Ginger, who has a Master’s Degree in finance, and decided to buy two Do It Best stores; one in Summerville and one in Walterboro. They took ownership of the stores on Oct. 1, 2013.

“With our combined experience, it made sense to go into this business, although the retail aspect is new for me, I love it,” said Canaday

“I enjoy meeting new people, out in the community and coming into the store. Being able to help someone who comes in with a project, a dream, whether it’s a raised flowerbed, a porch addition, or a new home. To help them make that a reality is very rewarding for me.”

Do it Best employees have adjusted well to new management and welcome new owner Donnie Canaday with open arms. Left to right: Dana Cheney, Donnie Canaday, Annette Harley, and Ryan Branton (Billy Branton’s son and future part owner) Photo by Lauren Mckinnon

Canaday and Branton have big plans to expand the merchandise and offer more selection over the next year, including hunting and fishing items, clothing, and a more expansive hardware and home improvement selection.

“Right now we are in the process of updating and getting more product into the store that the customers need,” said Canaday.

These items will help them to be more competitive against the larger home improvement stores in Charleston.

“Ace Hardware is a [local] competition to us, but they are a great group of guys over there,” said Canaday.

“The services they provide are somewhat different than what we provide, so I wouldn’t say we are in direct competition with them, I would say we compliment each other on the service we provide to the community of Walterboro.”

Canaday and Branton plan to renovate the store completely by the end of 2015, and also to become a competitive lumber supplier for the community.

Canaday addressed the issue of sacrificing competitiveness for convenience:

“Our goal is to provide a service to Walterboro and to be competitive to make it worthwhile to buy here,” he said.

“We should be able to buy things here for the same price people go to Charleston or Summerville and buy it for. Just because we don’t have the big box stores doesn’t give us the right to sell product at a higher price. That is a disadvantage to our community. We want to build a relationship with people, we are not here to make a quick dollar and get back out. Mine and Billy’s goal is to be a part of this community for the long haul. We plan to pass this down to our sons, and to their sons, and to generations to come.”

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