MAJOR UPDATE: May 4, 2021
I wrote the blog below a full month ago! I meant to share it right away, but then the speeding freight train of construction, planning, reorganizing, & staffing of a new shop blew me away! A month later, we are 3 days away from opening our doors in Naperville! I will admit, the scenario of opening the weekend of Mother’s Day was EXACTLY the timing that Andrew & I tried to avoid, but so many things are beyond our control. Ask any flower shop owner-Mother’s Day is like our Super Bowl. Yes, it is busier than Valentine’s Day. It takes a tremendous amount of planning & preparation for one store, let alone two! We doubled our staff in the last 30 days too! It’s going to be a fun Mother’s Day! We will open the doors Friday morning for a (hopefully!) busy & bustling Mother’s Day weekend! We plan to celebrate our opening more formally later in the month. We will be sure to let you know when!
So, please read our story below. We are so blessed to be in this position today and we THANK YOU from the bottoms of our hearts! We are bursting with excitement at how beautiful our Naperville shop is turning out. Andrew’s Garden Wheaton is very proud of its hip little sister in Naperville. We can’t wait to share her with you!!
April 4, 2021
A STUDY IN CONTRAST & A SINCERE THANK YOU
Today, our permits were approved to start buildout in our new Naperville location! We announced our expanded delivery zone starting TODAY! We have two Andrew’s Garden delivery vans! What a contrast to a year ago!
Here’s our social media post from April 4, 2020:
DAY 12 AT HOME: It feels like Spring today! It might hit 60 degrees! During our multiple dog walks a day, Andrew & I are spotting lots of budding trees, growing sprouts and tiny bulb flowers. It really does help our mood! So today, I wanted to feature a large, voluptuous, garden-style arrangement full of Spring! Peonies, lilacs, dogwood branches (one of my favorites!), tulips, hydrangea, astilbe, and even Shimmer roses – lots of Spring favorites in this AG Arrangement! Thanks for your flower suggestions yesterday too, I’ll have gorgeous photos of your favorites coming your way soon. ****OH – and watch for a fun profile later today of one of our awesome (and very missed) AG team members! .
NOTE: During our hiatus at home, we want to fill your feed with beautiful flower photos every day! We have a few other exciting things planned too, so stay tuned & share us with your friends! Engaging on social media is one more important way to help small businesses during this challenging time! If you see someone new, please follow & share!
A year ago today, I was terrified. We had furloughed all our employees. I had applied for unemployment for the first time in my life. A year ago today, Andrew & I walked our neighborhood desperately trying to figure out how our business might survive, wondering why we ever thought it was smart to be dependent on our business for our entire income. I spent hours every day listening to the news, scouring the internet for information, learning new acronyms (is it PPP or PPE??), applying for programs I had never thought of before. Every day, I looked for a happy flower photo to post and tried to come up with some words to stay connected to our flower friends. It was therapy to communicate through social media with all of you. Who could have imagined business would be disrupted for so long. Who could have imagined that one year later we would have lost nearly 560,000 lives in the US alone?
And here we are, a year later. We are so grateful. Andrew’s Garden is thriving. Our community in Downtown Wheaton is thriving. There are still businesses that are really struggling, especially our restaurant friends, but there are silver linings too. We don’t have to look too hard to find them. The silver lining that stands out the most to me is finding all the Helpers. What was it that Mr. Rogers said? In times of anxiety or tragedy, “Look for the helpers. You can always find people that are helping.”
In the days just before the complete shutdown, our community came into our shop in droves. You nearly bought everything! When I posted that we needed to find homes for all the house plants in the shop, you came & bought them for your homes. You bought gift cards that you still haven’t redeemed. You told us that we were important. You made a movement to Shop Local – and that movement continues through today.
In the days after the shutdown began, small business owners banded together to support each other. We became fast and very close friends. Community bankers lost sleep helping us through the PPP Loan process and we cried together when the loans came through. Customers checked in with us to make sure we were ok. We all started ordering more carryout than we ever imagined! Once we started to open back up, we found more and more and more ways to help each other.
At Andrew’s Garden, our business model changed a bit. With time to reflect, we refined some things. We got real serious about how to be ready for anything. We have the best team and we were able to bring them all back! We’ve made it our #1 priority to keep them safe in our shop. And you kept coming back and telling us how important it is to Shop Local!
And here we are in 2021. If you had told me a year ago that Andrew’s Garden would be thriving and opening a second location, I would have laughed you out of the room. We have doubled our number of employees! We have TWO Andrew’s Garden delivery vans! I don’t know why the second van is such a big deal, but it is.
Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, Andrew & I thank you. Our entire Andrew’s Garden Team thanks you. We know that it is only by the grace of God and the support from all of you that we are in this position. We can’t wait to share more of our dreams with you in Wheaton & Naperville!
BE WELL – AND FLOWER ON!