Men’s Department & Gallery Buyer
“I’ve been buying for Nimbus since 1976.
I started out with Navajo, and Hopi turquoise jewelry and moved into men’s and women’s shoes, like Fyre Boots, Birkenstocks, Cherokee, and 9 West. I also have been buying for the Gallery here at Nimbus since the 70’s. We used to do lots of candles, hand thrown clay pots for house plants and the macrame to hang them with. And of course lots of hand crafted jewelry. More recently I’ve been buying the men’s clothes and shoes for that department, and helping with the Women’s buying on occasion. I continue to buy for the Gallery, but now we sell more contemporary items, like blown glass and non functional ceramics as well as lots of hand crafted jewelry.
I really like buying as I get to meet many of the designers in the Men’s Wear world and also the American artists who craft our inventory for our gallery. Personally, I like contemporary art and design. The shirts I buy for myself are brands that make a more fitted shirt, like Georg Roth, Haupt and Stone Rose. I wear Alberto jeans, again because of the fit. Until a man puts on a properly fitted garment he doesn’t know what he’s missing.
In my home I prefer mid 20th century Modern furnishings. They feel contemporary and are very comfortable to live with and sit in. In my free time I love to be out of doors in this wonderful environment we are so fortunate to have here in Southern Oregon. Summers you’ll find me Road or Mountain Biking. Occasionally, I get to the Coast to Windsurf or Kite-board.
In the Winter I’m up in the mountains downhill or back country skiing. Love to travel abroad with my wife Joy when time permits. It’s hard for us to get out of the store at the same time, but we make it happen. My key philosophy is “Attitude is Everything” and I hear my Father’s voice often telling me “Live it Up Kenny!” Those two thoughts are plenty to keep me going and stay balanced. Nimbus has been and continues to be a wonderful occupation that allows me to work with amazing fascinating customers and co-workers. I am a lucky guy who still looks forward to his work after nearly 40 years.” – Ken Silverman
Women’s Department Buyer
“I was born and raised in a place that was never a good fit for me, Kansas. In third grade I borrowed a national Geographic magazine; it contained a pictorial of all of the US states. Inside I saw clear water, mountains and oceans. This was a revelation to me. I showed to my parents and demanded to know “why do we live in Kansas”? 48 hours after high school graduation I was on a bus headed to Colorado. My lifetime love of travel had begun.
In 1976 we arrived in Ashland. While traveling with a group of friends we decided to come into town and have a picnic lunch in a park. After exploring Lithia Park and the town, I came back to tell my friends that I had decided to stay. I knew that Ashland was my home.
My two favorite places were Lithia Park and Nimbus. I began my job search at Nimbus. At that time Brooks Hodapp owned the store and Ken Silverman was the manager. They were fully staffed at the time but my persistence paid off when on the 4th of July, someone didn’t show up for work. I stopped by to say hello and ending up with a crash course in retail. Brooks made the comment “if she makes it through the day, we should keep her on”. And so it began, as it turns out I loved the pace, loved the people and the unique merchandise.
I met my first husband to be at Nimbus when I was 21. Dwight left the shop with a key ring and a dinner date. We were married in Lithia Park, raised our family here and had nearly 25 years together before his death in 2005.
Dwight and I had several businesses over the years including Ashland Drilling and Shot in the Dark coffeehouse and mystery bookstore. I also worked as the Recreation Coordinator for Ashland Parks and Recreation for 14 years. My office was in that lovely log cabin in Lithia Park. At that time there were no recreation classes. I created the many classes that Ashlander’s enjoy today, including language, art, music and fitness. I helped create an on-line catalog and streamlined the registration process. I also staffed and ran the Ice Rink and the Daniel Meyer Pool. I helped create the wildly popular “learn to swim program”. I hired and trained many of your children over the years as Swim Instructors and Lifeguards.
I feel like I’ve always had a sense of fashion and realized early on that color, design, cut, fabric and drape can play either to your strengths or your weaknesses. I’ve always been intrigued by design. I love things that can be worn multiple ways. (I’m sure you will see evidence of this in some items in the Woman’s department!) I used to drive my mother crazy when we would shop for school clothes. If I didn’t like something, I would turn it backwards and sometimes upside down or inside out and then wear it happily off to school.
So a few years ago when Nimbus called my name again, I jumped at the chance to be the Woman’s Buyer. I guess I’ve come full circle as they say, back to where it all began for me, at Nimbus. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to be involved in the 43-year-old heritage. Last New Year’s Eve I married my best friend Ken Silverman. I love our unique shop and our customers. I feel honored to be a buyer for Nimbus and select quality products for our amazing clientele.” – Joy Bannon Silverman