Ogiers of St Martins first opened for business in Grande Rue in 1967. Daphne and Gerald Ogier started the business out of a passion for good quality customer service and Daphne's love for fashion and accessories. Gerald Ogier passed away in 1986 and Daphne carried on the business with the help from her daughter Valerie. Daphne maintained an active role in the business until a few years before her passing away in 2018.
Ogiers roots start in the iconic Guernsey business - Gabriels in Fountain Street. When Gerald and Daphne returned to Guernsey, Daphne asked her brother, Ben Gabriel, if he could help them find a shop to rent. He was able to secure a shop in St. Martins, where Ogiers began trading over 50 years ago.
Ogiers started selling similar products to Gabriels, such as overalls and wellington boots for the workers in the local vineries. However they wanted to move away from this and began selling ladies dresses, underwear and household textiles.
“When we first started the shop was very much the same as Gabriel’s… we had to work hard to make it how we wanted it.” - Daphne Ogier
In the 1970s the business began expanding by taking on nearby shops, and at one point had 5 shops in total. The business now operates over 3 shops, whilst still selling a wide range of products.
Valerie Benoist has been involved in the business since her mid twenties. Val took over from her father, Gerald, when he died suddenly from a heart attack. The business experienced a difficult time, but through the support of a small staff, Val and Daphne kept the business going.
Val’s husband Laurie joined the family business in 1990 when the new menswear shop was built.
Still A Family Business
The business remains a family affair with John Ogier, Valerie's brother taking up a directorship role and his daughter Hannah Ogier working in the shop, managing social media and design aspects of the business.
Ogiers is now looking to the future hoping to gain more of a presence online and on social media, expanding its range of brands, and focusing on reducing its plastic waste after its switch to paper bags in 2018.