People to Watch | Brad Priest, J&B Home Décor & Gifts

Brad Priest is the prime example of taking a life tragedy and turning it into something beautiful.

Priest, originally from Milwaukee, moved to Chicago at the young age of 16 to start a 20-year career as a singer/dancer in theme park shows. This career led to performing in hotel resort shows, national tours and numerous commercials.

In March of 2000, Priest entered a fulfilling, exciting, adventurous and loving relationship with Jonathan Tuft. In 2008, the duo stumbled upon Garber’s Interior Design and it became their very own successful design and retail business. In 2016 Priest and Tuft married.

In March of 2021, Tuft unexpectedly passed away, which ultimately led to the closing of Garber’s Interior Design in April 2022. “Life has definitely been a challenge after losing my husband and the other half of the Garber Boys (a name coined by Home Accents Today years ago). Jonathan and I had always had the dream of opening a smaller, more intimate home décor and gift shop, something that the two of us could handle as we progressed into our senior years,” said Priest.

J&B Home Décor & Gifts made its grand opening Sept. 9. in Elkhart, Ind. The shop features 1,725 square feet of specialty boutique home décor, accent furniture, gourmet treats and unique and special gift items. “At 59 and with Jonathan being in my heart, I would like to introduce to all of you … J&B Home Décor & Gifts,” said Priest.

The store will continue to offer the brands, style and products that its customers have loved since 2008. “I will be continuing the rule of not re-ordering an item, which means that the selection of pieces will always be changing,” said Priest. Priest will continue to lean on the brands, vendors and reps that have always supported the two, but as he expands into the gift category, he will be looking for the next best unique and special items that he cannot resist at Las Vegas Market in January.

J&B Home Décor & Gifts is not just a place to shop. It offers community, one that has supported Priest through the tragic loss of Tuft and has encouraged and uplifted him as he continues his journey with J&B Home Décor & Gifts. “J&B will continue our love of charities (especially the Humane Society of Elkhart County), supporting other independent and locally owned businesses and to remind people to pause, smile, say please and thank you, and always remember to … wear the good shoes!”

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