Meet The Owner: GreenSmartGifts

On a summer walk for summer reading with my friend Aidan, I had the pleasure of meeting a woman named Donna Witmer, the owner of the loved and local GreenSmartGifts. The funny thing is, we just happened to walk into her store that morning, but she instantly connected with Aidan and me. On my most recent walks across Lakewood, Mrs. Witmer was a key individual amongst the people I talked to. Every chance I got, whether it was a few free walks with some friends, or the mandatory Detroit walk, I went into her store and was greeted by her happily surprised and welcoming self.

Mrs. Witmer, although a Lakewood native, has lived in Lakewood for over seven years with her husband Shawn, who helps run GreenSmartGifts. They have two collegiate daughters, one of whom went to Lakewood High. Mr. and Mrs. Witmer were actually not the first owners of the Lakewood store. Before taking it over in May of 2010, they were simply frequent customers. Mrs. Witmer admired the previous owner’s efforts promoting the “green” movement--thinking globally and acting locally is really the store’s purpose to this day.

As in my case, Mrs. Witmer makes an effort to greet and connect with every one of her costumers. She says she has never had a customer not say goodbye to her, and that makes her overflow with joy--it means that she was friendly and nice and most important, she accomplished her goal of connecting with people. Mrs. Witmer thinks that those efforts and actions of hers are what set GreenSmartGifts apart from other stores. I completely agree with her.

GreenSmartGifts’ store philosophy is “live green and give green,” and that is Mrs. Witmer’s life philosophy as well. She believes being friendly and eco-friendly is important to a good life. Her generosity cannot be matched. Some of the merchandise in her store comes with the knowledge that 100% of the proceeds go to Cambodia for women’s mental health. Her ability to connect with me and share with me the good that she does is something I will never forget. I certainly gain some sort of miraculous new perspective on life every time I talk to her.

The wonderful experiences I have had with Mrs. Witmer were all thanks to my Walk Across Lakewood project, and my mom’s wonderful similarity with her (both are breast cancer survivors) was discovered at the Lakewood Arts Festival. It seems that my city made it inevitable for me to meet Donna Witmer. I consider myself ultimately rewarded by having met such a down-to-earth individual. I can honestly say that Mrs. Witmer is one of the most personable people I have ever met. She is wonderful beyond belief, and the difference she is making in the world with her local “green” business is remarkable. The woman is perfect for her job because of her fantastic personality, and I hope she continues that awesome work at GreenSmartGifts. I will truly always remember and cherish her friendship. Get to know her, please. I’m fairly certain that she would be more than happy to meet you.

GreenSmartGifts is located at 14534 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:10 PM, 06.12.2012