I returned last night around 10 p.m. from a garden show near Nashville, Tennessee. My husband and I drove up Thursday (2 and 1/2 hours), rental truck and the back of my SUV, loaded down. My booth was located on the ground level of the agricultural center on packed dirt. Three days later, everything covered in brown soot, we loaded back up for the travel back home. A cold snap resulted in snow (remember I am in the south) as I topped Monteagle Mountain. For anyone who owns a business, you can’t always count success in money. (And believe me, I don’t think I would consider this show a big success). However, a number of contacts were made for wholesale plants, and I was able to buy wholesale products on the last day from a number of vendors. (to put in my new shop when it opens). Too many plants from my home garden were purchased, but I was able to barter for a few of them.
Also, while there, I received a phone call offering me a portion of a building to open my garden shop. I had planned on waiting until Spring 2008, but I believe in fate, karma, luck, answered prayers, (whatever you want to call it) , and I decided to take a leap of faith and accept the offer. Anyone wanting to start a business should work with their local small business association. I have been doing so, and one of the first things my sponsor said was not to start out too big but to test the water. ( I don’t have a lot of start up cash and the biggest reason businesses fail is that they don’t have enough cash). This offer allows me to do that. It lets me start off with cheap rent, and minimal investment. It has a lot of what I was looking for: traffic, a building with a yard to put my flowers for sale in, and I am opening on the day Chickamauga has “Down Home Days” which draws big crowds. Open house will be two weeks later to allow me to restock.
The name of the shop will be “The Jasmine Moon Gardening Shop”. I enjoy reading mysteries, especially the Susan Wittig Albert, China Bayles Series. China owns an herb shop in Texas, and the mysteries are entwined with herbal lore. Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mysteries, involve the amateur sleuth, Theodosia Browning, who owns a tea shop in Charleston, South Carolina. It was in her book, The English Breakfast Murder, that I saw the term “jasmine moon”. It was referring to a cemetary, but when I researched it a little more, I found that it is called the jasmine moon because jasmine only blooms on a full moon. I had tossed around a couple of names for the shop but when I heard the name, it felt right. Jasmine is one of my favorite flower vines, and a popular southern plant.