“We often ask ourselves how did we get here?”
Sometimes we actually laugh at the chaos we have went through to get here but it makes us who we are. It definitely makes us appreciate the wonderful things so much more.
To understand the Greenery Market journey I have to explain the beginning of the why Bills selling artificial flowers and greenery.
I grew up on a 100 acre tree farm. I have learned about plants and flowers since I can remember but much as my family wanted me to follow in the family business that’s not what I had in mind.
I became a hairdresser in 1995 and in 2001 opened and managed salon and spa for 16 years. It was my passion, my identity, my dream since I can possibly remember. I knew nothing else nor did I want to for that matter. I was doing my dream job.
In 2007, while pregnant with my son, I was diagnosed with a very rare, debilitating, spinal cord disease called Syringomyelia. Even spell check doesn’t know the word. This wasn’t the way I had dreamt of being “famous” someday.
That day changed my life forever. Because of a spinal cord surgery that put me in a wheelchair for what the doctors said, at the time, was permanent Trendz the salon spa was sold.
To say the least I felt like I had just sold my first born, my first love. I sunk into a deep depression. What everyone knew me as, what I knew me as, was now gone. I was also a brand new mom that couldn’t even hold her baby.
Within a few months of selling the spa business, my mind quickly got caught up in the “what am i now? I have no identity” crisis many people go thru for one reason or another in their lives. This identity crisis can happen with a major, unwanted or unplanned, life change such as a job loss, sudden death of a loved one, divorce, or kids leaving home.
Before this, I’d never understood depression and I wish I didn’t need to understand it now.
I decided one day to make a wreath for my moms door and I LOVED creating it. For two hours I felt uplifted, smiling, concentrating and in a zone. This zone reminded me of cutting and coloring hair, my passion I had so very much missed. That day of making that wreath for my mom led to me making wreaths for other friends.
My mom said you should make a few to sell them in the shop (remember my parents own a tree farm, nursery, and garden shop) I remember thinking well if I could just get my materials cost back that would pay for my hobby. That path, that feeling of being useful again, hearing people compliment something I did, feeling accomplished, and useful was back. I felt “the juice” that so often ran through me as a hairdresser.
Believe me this didn’t cure the mental and physical pain, unfortunately its not that simple, but it definitely had me on the right track and made an enormous difference. I love what I do, I loved what I did. I am a firm believer everyone should find their passion and make it happen.
At this time Bill worked in my families business landscaping and helping at the nursery. He was now also earning a lot about live flowers and plants from my dad.
In 2018, Bill took me to Southern Charm Wreaths‘ wreath retreat in South Carolina. That DIY wreath making class was another life changing event. It was so fun to be with like minded ladies laughing and learning. Julie Siomacco from Southern Charm Wreaths mentioned to Bill that high quality florals were hard to find and that he should consider selling them.
Knowing my history of growing up in greenhouses and Bill currently working at a nursery it kinda made sense. That my friends was literally the moment Greenery Market started.
The entire 8 hour drive home it’s all we talked about. When he started selling supplies it was on Etsy. Later he opened his own website. He has been so grateful for all the love and support of the floral design and wreath making community. Greenery Market was becoming so popular that he was working every morning before going to the nursery and every night after work until very late trying to fulfill orders. It had become so busy he couldn’t keep up, he quit his full time job at the nursery in December of 2020.
Up until this point he had been doing this side hustle out of our garage and a single pull behind trailer and our entire house was taken over. I kid you not, there was a single file walkway through our small ranch house. Our house was overrun with flowers and greenery. We looked like we belonged on a hoarders show.
It’s hard to believe he had been doing all the shipping himself up until this point and had shipped over 40,000 orders across the US and was just starting to ship to Canada by the time he hired his first employee. He couldn’t hire employees as his business was operating out of our residential property. Our zoning did not allow for him to hire anyone outside who lived at our home.
In January of 2021, he finally purchased a commercial building in New Stanton, PA and that was hopefully going to be the 5 year plan. (Insert chuckle here) In March he got his first employee hired to help speed up the shipping process. He made it! It’s officially a legit business… he has a commercial building, he has an employee, he has customers. This was the dream come true… or was it???
The five year plan lasted about 7 months before we knew it wasn’t going to work!”
People wondered if he was in the cargo trailer business. It was truly getting out of control.
That dream come true quickly became an overwhelming nightmare. The business was growing much faster than this 5 year plan anticipated for. What we didn’t take into consideration when he purchased it was that he needed this building way before he bought it and he didn’t account for growth.
Fast forward through buying 8 trailers, 2 shipping containers, building a huge metal building at our house and using one of my dads buildings he’d finally was at max capacity literally everywhere. He was now working 7 days a week morning till way after dark with flashlights and still dealing with rain and snow going from trailer to trailer trying to find things.
The last straw was a trailer truck with his biggest shipment of product ever on its way and he didn’t have anywhere to go with the product. He called me from work and said I just rented a trailer truck. He had walked across the road to the neighbors company, that worked on tractor trailer trucks, and asked him if he could rent one of his trailer trucks. (Insert hand on head) It was way past time to move!!! I felt guilty everyday when he was running from place to place trying to find items. He was beyond frustrated.
Every system we tried to use to maintain inventory just wasn’t cut out for the circus we had going on. Every time another problem would arise he was back at the trailer place buying yet another very expensive trailer. That is not the best business plan I tell you!
At this point he didn’t have much choice and sometimes you just have to make not so great decisions to get to a better place. I am by no means recommending making bad decisions but I am recommending not throwing in the towel just because there are some challenges or obstacles. Find a way!! That was ALWAYS my motto and I hope I am teaching Bill this on his entrepreneurial journey.
Today may not be the best day but learning and making necessary changes turns the future into your dream. That self employed roller coaster is most likely the wildest ride you will encounter.
“It was shocking to me how many people blew him off when he would call them about leasing”
So it was time to move, now what? Bill would get so excited about finding a location that could possibly work. His hopes would be high and each time they would start the conversation off strong and when they would ask what he would be using the space for that conversation would somehow turn into well we don’t know if we are renting the size space you need or we may have someone for the space already. Somehow they would have a reason it was not rentable now.
lt would always make us wonder was this happening because the second they heard selling fake flowers they thought it was a joke? Did they think he wouldn’t be reliable for a high rent because this business seemed odd? Where they worried he wouldn’t last?
One of the spaces he called about 3 or 4 times over 6 months is STILL for lease in our local area and every time we drive by and see the for lease sign we wonder how could they keep making excuses to him?!?
January 2023 he found a 10,000 sq ft warehouse that was so perfect. We felt so blessed that the owners were long time family friends and they knew we were legit. Im pretty sure this was a plan we didn’t even know was about to happen. After a few long months of serious planning and executing they officially moved in April 2023.
That move was an experience I hope we don’t need to go through again anytime soon (another dip in that roller coaster ride). It wasn’t for the faint at heart I tell you. Moving thousands of boxes, many trailers, containers, a few garages, one heck of a lot of ribbon and keeping track of it all was a HUGE undertaking.
I don’t think either of us realized how much he had been accumulating over the first few years. BUT…They are shipping orders faster than ever, super organized, and now not needing to worry if it’s going to rain or snow to find product. It was well worth the madness of the move. It has been life changing for him and his team. (Yes he has a team now)
We can’t believe the size of this place. It’s hard to believe what started in a small, pull behind trailer is now operating out of over a 10,000 sq. ft warehouse. To all the people who think you can’t, I say YOU CAN!! Don’t ever give up on your goals. Make your dreams reality by Doing! Obstacle become the best learning experiences.
Whether you are making your first diy floral arrangement or building your first website for your growing wreath business there will be ups and downs constantly. You will question is it good enough? Am I doing it right? Someone else is doing it different than me should I change my way? My biggest recommendation is to try to think of the gorgeousness after a storm. You are growing and if you don’t see any storms in your path you’re probably not pushing yourself enough to grow. You can’t have flowers without rain!
Thank you for being here on this journey with us. We are so grateful for you. We can’t wait to add to the story and tell you more about this entrepreneurial ride of a lifetime.