Changing Gears

Changing Gears

I owned and managed a cute little independent garden shop in a public garden for more than 20 years. It was wonderful. I liked everything about it. I liked the customers, the growers, the reps, the garden’s employees, the incredible volunteers and the visitors to the garden. I made some lifelong friends.

The garden shop was my passion, a very important part of my life. Luckily I also owned and ran an independent gardening website. That was my backup.

After the two decades at my shop, I observed that the changes being implemented in this small non-profit were doing harm to both the integrity of the garden and its ever-changing list of employees. Employee turnover was massive. Admittedly, some employees were not a good “fit” but a vast majority of them were loyal, reliable, honest and hard working. Unfortunately, many of them quit, some were forced out and some were escorted out, leaving huge gaps in the continuity of the garden, very important in a public garden. Watching this happen became increasingly difficult.

Then I came across this quote,

“The most critical element to the growth of my business is its commitment to its employees and family. Many employees, including the general manager have been there since the beginning. Every one of the employees are hired for full time work all year around and trained for a wide range of jobs. With plenty of work and great benefits, employee turnover is relatively non-existent.”
–Oregon Nurseryman

So, before I too was forced out, I decided to save face and leave. The moral is…always have a backup and don’t be afraid to change gears. Peace of mind is far more important than $$$$. I have been gone for half a year and I have no regrets.

I hope this answers a few questions that my customers and business contacts have been asking. I was not “let go”, I’m not ill and I didn’t retire…far from it, I’m tending my own garden.

**This is also on Facebook under Gardenshop Vickie if you care to Like. Thanks for the kind feedback.