The Little Movie Store with an Urban Edge

Upon entering Terri McGuire’s Take 5 Media in Gibsons, you know you’re not in your average movie-rental store. The distinctive colour scheme of pumpkin and split-pea green walls, dark floors and elegant chocolate-brown leather club chairs welcomes you to “a little movie store with an urban edge.”

McGuire, an outgoing woman with a ready smile, wanted a warm, contemporary space that customers would find inviting and relaxing. “This business is about people and developing relationships with them,” she says. “Customers can come in and sit down and visit, which is something I love about having my own business. I truly enjoy meeting and speaking with all the interesting people who stop by and, being my own boss, I can take the time to do that.”

A long-time resident of Roberts Creek and the mother of three young adults, McGuire opened Take 5 Media in September 2006. In discussing the store’s name she says: “It has different meanings to me. Take 5 as in coffee break, Take 5 in the movie world – Scene 2, Take 5 – or Take 5 movies for a deal.”

“I chose the word ‘Media’ rather than DVD or Video,” she explains, “because it leaves the door open for future changes. I don’t rent videos, and before we know it the DVD will be replaced by a higher-definition format. Who knows what we’ll be watching in five years, and I want to be ready for it.”

McGuire strives to offer a real alternative to the standard movie-rental fare, with an eclectic inventory of hand-picked new releases and a high ratio of independent and foreign films. “People are often reluctant to watch a subtitled film,” she notes, “but they’re missing so much of the world – other cultures and perspectives. It’s surprising; a few minutes into a subtitled film, the viewer generally gets so engrossed in the story they forget about the subtitles.”

McGuire takes pride in her exceptional customer service, saying, “We can order films for purchase and welcome suggestions for additions to our rental stock. If there’s a film you’re looking for, we can source it. As I get to know my customers’ tastes and interests, I can make knowledgeable recommendations. My customers know they can count on me to have films that have never before been available on the Coast.”

Over the years McGuire worked mainly in customer service, including 20 years with Visa and the past seven years in movie rentals and sales. But opening her own store has long been her dream and she believed in herself enough to make it happen. “I love people and have been a movie buff most of my life, so it was a natural choice to combine the two.”

For start-up advice, McGuire turned to the Aspire Self-Employment Program, which offers small-business training and assistance. “For me it was a fabulous support group; I got the help I needed in sorting out my niche business concept and getting it onto paper in the form of a business plan,” she says. “From conception to opening day took only six months, which was very fast. Everything just fell into place for me.”

Take 5 Media is a family-run business and McGuire expresses her gratitude for all the help she’s received. Husband Gary and son Tyler laid the flooring, Gary installed the track lighting and designed and built the sleek black shelves that line the walls. Brother-in-law Danny built and installed the impressive granite-topped counter, and a “wow factor” 42-inch plasma TV was mounted on the wall behind it. Everyone pitched in to apply the striking paint colours that were carefully chosen by McGuire. Daughter Megan, 16, assists in the store, and McGuire says of her: “Don’t let her age fool you. She grew up watching films and her knowledge is extensive. She’s a great help to me.”

In deciding to open her own business McGuire was inspired by strong, determined, courageous women who were willing to take a leap of faith and pursue their dreams. “No matter what happens,” she says, “I’m proud of the fact that I’ve given it my best effort and didn’t spend my time wondering what might have been. My definition of success includes personal fulfillment, independence, flexibility and the chance to help others, not just financial rewards. Just as I’ve been inspired by successful local business women, I would love to know that I made a difference in the life of another woman by inspiring her to follow her heart and take a chance on herself. That would be a source of real satisfaction and pride for me.”

Take 5 Media is located at Kerns Plaza.