They are in their third location and are now owned and operated by the third generation of the Wells family.
Wells Camera & Sound Fotosource has been Moose Jaw’s one-stop-shop for cameras and all things photography for decades and these days Chad Wells is running the operation.
“My grandfather started the business. We started our life as Excello Photo and were located in downtown Moose Jaw. It was after the war that he started Excello Photo as a photo studio and supplies company, ”Chad explained.
It was almost 30 years later that the decision was made to move to the brand new Town ‘n Country Mall.
“It was in 1973, when the Town ‘n Country Mall first opened, my dad opened Wells Camera & Sound. We actually operated both stores for a while, but then they closed. Excello and operated as Wells Camera & Sound in the mall. ”
Chad says his family’s new store was one of the first to move into the new mall.
“We didn’t have any windows when we first opened – they hadn’t even installed the glass yet,” Chad said with a laugh. “They were still putting the finishing touches on the building.”
In fact, Wells Camera & Sound called the mall home from 1973-2001, so Chad not only remembers those days well, but he also spent a number of years working for his father in this store.
“I worked there from 1993 to 2001, then we moved downtown again. We are currently at 1102 Main Street and you know, third generation, third location!
Many longtime Moose Javians will remember Chad’s father, Bob, who played for the Moose Jaw Canucks in his youth. Bob played two years of junior hockey with the Canucks in 1968-69 and 1969-70 before going to St. Lawrence University to play hockey for a few seasons.
“And he still loves his hockey,” laughed Chad.
These days, Chad remains busy running the store and raising his own family.
“My wife and I run the business and she also works for a software company in Regina. We have two little ones, we had twins this year, twins, so that keeps us going! ”
And Bob is keeping Chad on his toes, too.
“Bob is fine. He still drives us crazy once in a while,” Chad said with a smile.
Chad also relies on the expertise of several employees including Mac Anderson.
“Yes, Mr. Anderson is still with us. He is one of our long-time loyal employees. He is a good man. ”
Chad says staying on top of ever-changing technology is a challenge he’s taken on over the years and the store reflects that. And he stressed that the fact that local people have embraced the changes over the years is something he is most grateful for.
“We have to thank the community for all the support. It’s the attitude of shopping and supporting the locals that keeps people like us and each other in business. We just couldn’t do it without the support. from the community.”
Wells Camera & Sound Fotosource is perhaps a more streamlined store than it used to be and that was by design, Chad explained.
“Yes, actually we have three areas of interest that we have focused on over the years – a mix that my dad came up with from 1976 and that is television, the camera, and the photo lab. And we really branched out. Into flat panel TVs, Samsung flat panel TVs have been a big part of the business for us. ”
If you go to https://wellscamera.ca/ you will find out everything about Wells Camera & Sound and all the equipment they have, including cameras and all accessories.
“We work very closely with a number of professional and advanced amateur photographers and with people who just want to take better photos. You know, we love to do that – working with people. advantages of a local business as opposed to a big box store, it’s much more personal. You know people by their first names and it’s really a real treat, it makes the job pleasant. ”
Wells Camera & Sound offers a number of services ranging from photo printing and photos on canvas, photo media, aluminum prints, photo albums and books and, as Chad said, the very best. of the best in televisions.
“Television has really changed a lot over the past five years. A television is more than just a television these days. It has become a multimedia center. A smart TV has weather and news, it can connect to your phone to take pictures. much more than a television now. ”
And while they have sold a number of premium products from various manufacturers, the focus these days is on Samsung TVs at Wells Camera & Sound.
“What we’ve tried to do is stay focused on who makes the best product. We’ve always had our best success with good products – not necessarily the cheapest … we want to deliver top products. end of range – we want to carry the best. We do a lot of research on it, and you know it changes … and we just want to stay on top of that and whoever makes the best quality product is what we do. want to wear “Chad explained.
And when it comes to photography, Wells Camera & Sound offers top brands.
“Our key brands for cameras are Nikon, Canon and Panasonic. Canon is truly the leader. It is our number one.”
It’s true these days that everyone has a camera because everyone has a smartphone, but Chad is happy to report that it hasn’t really hurt his business.
“The trend is actually going the other way and what we are seeing is that manufacturers like Canon and Nikon are doing a lot of research and development on exciting new products that a cell phone camera simply cannot. not compete. Nikon is a good example of this, they have one with a 3000mm zoom that can shoot something over a mile away. It is absolutely unbelievable. ”
Chad also wants the community to know that she offers photo restoration at Wells Camera & Sound. We all have these old photos of grandma and grandpa or mommy and daddy that might not look so good anymore, but if you take those photos to Wells, chances are they can keep them. for you.
“This is Steph Stephens’ specialty. Steph is another of our longtime employees. She does a fantastic job with the restoration. It would be a torn photo, a photo with water damage or maybe you want someone removed from a photo (Chad laughed) that she did all of this! ”
Wells employees can also help you with all of your digitization or archiving projects. They can scan your photographs or negatives and they will save your CDs to DVDs or flash drives.
“One of the archival products that work these days is slide film. A lot of people took a lot of images on slides from the mid 70s to the mid 80s and now you can digitize them and put them in a modern scrapbook. Chad said.
The best way to experience the variety of Wells Camera & Sound products and services is through the store at 1102 Main Street North. And you can consult the website before you leave.