Gardening was not something new to Annette, who has two generations of garden business owners behind her. So it’s no surprise that she would find a passion in gardening and a way to make this business something of her own. After all, The Happy Gardener is not the average gardening supply business.
Taking all the things that are important to her such as time with her children and gardening, of course, she opened up a business and business opportunity that gives a unique gateway into the world of organic gardening.
Along with an interview, Annette has been kind enough to donate an 8oz bottle of SeaResults Micronutrient Solution which makes 50 gallons of 100% certified organic plant food. This is a great product for flowers as well as your vegetable garden. The retail value is $16.
If you’d like to win this plant food leave a comment telling me what it is that you like about gardening, and why. The giveaway starts now and ends on June 29th at 11:59pm. The winner will be chosen on the 30th and contacted by email. Good luck!
What is ‘The Happy Gardener’?
The Happy Gardener is a direct sales company dedicated to educating families and communities on healthy, organic garden and lawn care alternatives. We market our exclusive line of Happy Naturals organics through in-home demonstrations, person-to-person sales, community events and fundraisers.
How does someone become a consultant through the business opportunity you offer?
The steps to become a garden consultant are very simple. Once someone decides they would like to join The Happy Gardener, either part-time or full-time, he/she can purchase a business kit and submit their agreement. Business Kits include our $39 Business Builder Kit, our $69 Happy Naturals Sampler Kit and our $149 Demonstration Kit. The kits include products and marketing tools to start a business as a garden consultant. All training is available 24/7 via internet and teleconference for convenience and ease.
What kind of product are offered through your business?
Organic garden and lawn care products including fertilizers, pest control, weed control, lawn care, and a full line of high quality composting, birding, container gardening, indoor gardening and garden tools.
What was your inspiration?
As a mom I have always enjoyed growing fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs for my family. However, I was concerned with the harmful effects from using chemical-based products. I found that there was not much available for the hobbyist gardener with non-toxic, easy to use and affordable organic products so I began making my own.
Take us through the steps you underwent to get from idea to successful direct sales business and opportunity, how did you do it?
I had experience from working with a party plan company so I was comfortable and committed to the direct sales business model plus I had a good understanding of infrastructure and compensation plan so it wasn’t foreign to me when I decided to start The Happy Gardener. We began as a gardening party plan company marketing other manufacturers’ gardening products. The 2nd year in business we had only seven local consultants and we were all very committed to making it work. By the 3rd year we began developing our exclusive line of organics and that was what made the difference in growth, exposure and attraction from customers and team members. Though we still market through in-home demonstrations, we also offer our products through our Club Membership Program, Fundraising Programs and person-to-person sales.
What have you learned since you launched that you wish you’d known before you got started?
This is a difficult question because I believe that every lesson we learn prepares us for the next phase of the journey and without that experience we could not have gotten where we are today. I don’t wish anything had gone differently.
Was there any advice that stuck with you during the launch or running of your business that you will never forget?
I have been so fortunate to have had lots of invaluable advice from people throughout this entire growth process. One in particular would be from John Fleming, formerly with Avon. Mr. Fleming told me that if the mission of the company is strong enough that the products will sell themselves. I will never forget that. It’s completely true.
How have you been able to manage your time working on your business and time with your family?
This was difficult for me at first because my children were only 10 months old and 3 when I started The Happy Gardener. I did a few years of working through the night while they were sleeping. It was such an exciting time in the beginning that I didn’t mind. I learned early on though that having a set “family-time” schedule is extremely important. Sundays were kept for family and Friday nights became “Pizza Party Movie Night” for us. However difficult it was not to work, it was important to keep the family time unharmed. I am happy though now that both of my girls are in school I have set work hours and have evenings and weekends open for them.
Are your children able to get involved?
Oh yeah! My daughters have been involved from the start. Whether its bagging and counting bulbs for fundraisers, mixing lawn care in 20 lb pails, stocking bottles at the warehouse, or helping me with community events such as Plant a Row for the Hungry and composting seminars, they have been an integral part of the growth and success of The Happy Gardener. They are proud of what we are doing for the future of our environment.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone on starting their own business, what would it be and why?
Start a business in an area that you are completely passionate about because starting and growing a business takes a lot of work, energy and commitment. Make sure its something you enjoy and can’t wait to wake up to every morning!