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If you’re a business owner, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the memes about the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. You’re on top of the world one day and then about to go bankrupt the next, followed by panic preparing for the next big rush, and then a slow month that convinces you it’s over. All true-and 2020 was the rollercoaster on steroids!

 

During the shutdown, Andrew & I thought we saw all of our dreams on ice. We weren’t sure how Andrew’s Garden could possibly survive. What we could not anticipate though, was the determination of our community. Not only did the Shop Local movement firmly take hold (amazing!!), but we nurtured very formidable relationships with other small business owners. We are in the trenches together. We need each other. And we will go to the ends of the earth to help each other.

 

I will admit to a bit of “survivor’s guilt” that Andrew’s Garden ended 2020 on solid ground. First, I know too many people who have lost family members to the pandemic. It’s brutal. Second, there are lots of businesses-especially restaurants-who continue to suffer dearly. But, with the very long list of terrible events in 2020, there are some amazing highlights. The first half of 2020 was terrible for Andrew’s Garden, but the second half made up for it. Not only did we survive 2020, but we ended the year strong. We are so grateful.

 

So, we started 2021 feeling fortunate and very hopeful. We have the best staff in the world and we sleep well knowing that our community has our backs. We started to feel safe imagining what might be next for Andrew’s Garden. Then, on January 2nd, I received a text from my dear friend, Alicia, that turned our world upside down-in a good way! We’ve been friends for more than 20 years, and Alicia owns Alicia’s Photography in Naperville. Not only is she THE photographer you have to know, but she started a project during the pandemic featuring stories and photos about small businesses. Please check out The Heart of Us.

 

Back to January 2nd…, Alicia’s business has continued to grow and she is ready to build the studio of her dreams! After 11 years, her lease was at the end and she couldn’t bear to leave her beloved studio empty. She knew that Andrew & I had long talked about it, so she asked, “Was it time for Andrew’s Garden to open in Naperville too??!!” 20 minutes later (I am not kidding), we were standing on the sidewalk in front of her studio talking excitedly about possibilities.  Alicia, I promise we will take very good care of it, and, we will pay it forward too. Besides, you still have a place at 32 W Chicago.

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ANDREW’S GARDEN IS OPENING A SECOND LOCATION IN DOWNTOWN NAPERVILLE!! We still can’t believe it ourselves! We couldn’t do this if the community hadn’t been there for us in 2020. We couldn’t do this if we didn’t have just the right staff at just the right moment. We couldn’t do this if Alicia didn’t send me a text on January 2nd and want to share her special place with another small business. Some things are just meant to be.

 

Instead of passing the baton, we settled on some bubbly. We have so much to celebrate! Alicia’s Photography and Andrew’s Garden are both thriving! This is simply an opportunity we could not pass up. Andrew & I are so excited to continue to nurture and grow our garden in Wheaton, and we can’t wait to share with you our new space in Naperville! We are busy working on making it extra special and hope to be open by April, so get ready! You’re going to love it!

 

Please help us celebrate by continuing to support the small businesses in our communities. By supporting one small business, you are really supporting many. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting ours.

 

Be Well & Flower On!! 

–Tonya & Andrew

 

PS – DON’T FORGET TO ORDER FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

 

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