Jonathan Garard, co-owner of Grooms Office Environments, offers advice on speaking to clients through personal style.
By Jenna Dejong
Jonathan Garard is a man of many trades. He spent 15 years serving in the military, then transitioned to a sales executive at the Springfield News-Leader. He eventually earned his real estate license, and now works for Grooms Office Environments where he shares the title of owner with his wife, Audrey. Though Garard’s dipped his toes in a few industries, one thing is for certain—he has a passion for leading people.
Garard attributes the cultivation of his passion to serving in the Army Reserves as an instructor. “You get to teach and educate and mentor young soldiers to do the right thing and to value the opportunities [they] have,” Garard says. “I think sometimes people paint a vision, and it’s fun to get everyone on board and go after that vision. It’s rewarding because everyone plays a part in that, and they see their role and sense of belonging to the big picture with every contribution they make.”
In holding so many titles, Garard uses his appearance to match his audience, no matter what role or industry he currently represents. When he served in the military, his uniform served a purpose. Now as the owner of Grooms Office Environments, Garard says he tries to exhibit credibility, professionalism and confidence when meeting with clients and manufacturers.
“I’ve worn a bunch of different uniforms in my life, and what I’ve learned is that every [uniform] is pertinent to that audience or that particular situation,” Garard says. “I think I have a responsibility to be cognizant of who I will be in front of that day.”
He illustrates his thinking through on-trend, well-fitted clothes. His favorite look is a fitted European sport coat or blazer paired with a unique pocket square and watch. To him, this look is versatile and can help him appear approachable and put-together.
To shop his look, Garard recommends any local store but taking the extra time to get each piece fitted properly at a tailor.
Jonathan Garard’s Style Tips
A button-up shirt and a jacket with a pocket square is Garard’s go-to look, and he can usually afford a variety of styles on a budget. His advice? Shop for button-up shirts online and through local sales. Take special care to make sure the shirt fits in the shoulders, then take it to a tailor and get it tailored for around $15. “You now have a tailored look for the cost of a regular shirt,” Garard says.