Michael and Marci Snyder are the dreamers and owners of Life is good, Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe (GNS) at the Shoppes at English Village in North Wales, PA. And they have truly made their dreams a reality with the design and operation of this store. Together with an amazing team of family, friends, employees, and business associates, they have created a retail store that thrives, gives back to the community, creates a positive shopping experience in an environmentally friendly atmosphere, and generates an overall feeling of inspiration to everyone that shops at the store.
They realized their dream of opening a Life is good, Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe on May 5th, 2009, when they opened the doors to their store. Michael and Marci have loved the Life is good brand ever since they were introduced to it in 1999 at a wedding of a good friend. Two of the many Life is good sayings are "Spread Good Vibes" and "Take your love everywhere you go"-- and anyone who knows Michael and Marci know that's how they roll! So when friends suggested that they open a store dedicated to Life is good, since that's the philosophy they use in their life, it was a splt-second decision for them although the process of making their dream into a reality took a bit longer! We've all heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child" and growing this store is like raising a second child for Michael and Marci, and they are so grateful for the amazing 'village' they have helping them!
The Snyders hired green architect Sigi Koko (www.buildnaturally.com) to take their vision of a store and design it into reality by creating a warm, healthy, functional and friendly retail space that is earth friendly as well.
Sigi is the principal of Down to Earth Design and she is a nationally known architect who specializes in the design of eco-sensible buildings. Sigi was the architect and overall jack-of-all-trades during the design and construction of the store. She ensured Michael and Marci's commitment to minimizing their carbon footprint during construction by using as much renewable, salvaged, recycled and eco-friendly construction products and building materials as possible.
Michael, Marci and their staff maintain their commitment to operating an environmentally-friendly retail store by implementing many 'green' initiatives as well as sharing their eco-friendly message and products with their customers. Here's how they're doing it:
Michael and Marci's talents and passions extend beyond the walls of their store. In addition to raising their beautiful son, Eli, and maintaining their invaluable relationships in life with family and friends, they both manage to find the time to pursue passions they found in the 90s before they found each other.
Michael, who is known as "Scoogie" to those closest to him, is an avid runner and kick-butt athlete who can be found many weekends participating in triathlons. He did his first triathlon in 1994 and has been hooked ever since! You can check him out at www.scoogie.com. Michael loves the training that goes hand-in-hand with doing well in triathlons, and he most enjoys the camaraderie and friendships he has made from participating in triathlons.
Marci loves spending time in nature because it makes her feel connected, joyful and inspired. She found a way to take that love and combine it with her incredible innate artistic talent to create one-of-a-kind, handmade ceramic tiles/art pieces that bring the beauty of nature into the home. Because Marci uses leaves from nature to create lasting impressions in her work, there are no two tiles/art pieces exactly alike. Check out her pieces at www.TilesByMarci.com or come visit our Life is good, GNS store to see or purchase her work. Please also feel free to contact her to order.
An "About Us" section wouldn't be complete for Michael and Marci without talking about the most important part of them...their son, Eli. Eli has grown up with the store and has been the store's best helper from day one! Eli's spirit, smile, laughter, love and light fill the store and remind us to remember there's a loving child in all of us.
Michael and Marci will tell you on a daily basis how fortunate and grateful they are for the 'angels' in their lives that give them support and love every day to help them through this process of growing a thriving business and the daily challenges life hands us. If we are lucky, we are able to receive these challenges and live them, but doing that is always easier with help! Michael and Marci have an amazing support system of Family and Friends (you know who you are!!!!! And we are grateful for each and every one of you!!!!!) who were not only instrumental in creating the store you see today, but who also picks them up on the days they need it and reminds them they are never in this alone! A special, heartfelt thanks goes out to Bill and Sue Floyd for their generosity and support, because without their help this website would not have been possible!
When we said "it takes a village to raise a child", Michael's parents, Jim and Judy Snyder have provided the 'village' Michael and Marci need to raise both their son Eli and their store! Their unending source of support, encouragement and love (and babysitting!!) have helped Michael and Marci achieve the success they've enjoyed as parents and store owners, and help them find the energy and faith to move forward 'doing what they love and loving what they do'.
David was Michael's brother and best friend who was killed in a tragic automobile accident in 1998. Even though David no longer walks with us on earth, his family and friends know he walks with them every day in spirit and in love. David is an everlasting source of inspiration and a daily reminder to never lose sight of what's really important in life and to make every day count because no one promises us tomorrow.
Michael and Marci know that without staff whom they can trust and depend on, running a successful business would be almost impossible. The tone of the store is set not only by the incredible personalities of Michael and Marci, but also by their most amazing Store Manager, Natalie Navarre. Ask anyone who has met Natalie and they describe her as "human sunshine"! Natalie has a smile and such lovely personality that will remind you that life is good! Michael, Marci and Natalie remind the staff daily how much they appreciate all that they do, and be assured the feeling is mutual because the staff love them right back and are grateful to be able to work in such a fun, loving and positive environment!
None of this would mean anything without our incredible customers who make us the success that we are! Michael, Marci, Natalie and the entire staff love to make customers feel as special as they are to us. Shopping in our store should be an experience that leaves you walking out the door smiling because we know that's how you make us feel--you have to try really hard to be in a bad mood in this store, so it's much easier to be happy! THANK YOU to our customers!