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ANDREW’S GARDEN IS GROWING!!

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If you’re a business owner, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the memes about the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. You’re on top of the world one day and then about to go bankrupt the next, followed by panic preparing for the next big rush, and then a slow month that convinces you it’s over. All true-and 2020 was the rollercoaster on steroids!

 

During the shutdown, Andrew & I thought we saw all of our dreams on ice. We weren’t sure how Andrew’s Garden could possibly survive. What we could not anticipate though, was the determination of our community. Not only did the Shop Local movement firmly take hold (amazing!!), but we nurtured very formidable relationships with other small business owners. We are in the trenches together. We need each other. And we will go to the ends of the earth to help each other.

 

I will admit to a bit of “survivor’s guilt” that Andrew’s Garden ended 2020 on solid ground. First, I know too many people who have lost family members to the pandemic. It’s brutal. Second, there are lots of businesses-especially restaurants-who continue to suffer dearly. But, with the very long list of terrible events in 2020, there are some amazing highlights. The first half of 2020 was terrible for Andrew’s Garden, but the second half made up for it. Not only did we survive 2020, but we ended the year strong. We are so grateful.

 

So, we started 2021 feeling fortunate and very hopeful. We have the best staff in the world and we sleep well knowing that our community has our backs. We started to feel safe imagining what might be next for Andrew’s Garden. Then, on January 2nd, I received a text from my dear friend, Alicia, that turned our world upside down-in a good way! We’ve been friends for more than 20 years, and Alicia owns Alicia’s Photography in Naperville. Not only is she THE photographer you have to know, but she started a project during the pandemic featuring stories and photos about small businesses. Please check out The Heart of Us.

 

Back to January 2nd…, Alicia’s business has continued to grow and she is ready to build the studio of her dreams! After 11 years, her lease was at the end and she couldn’t bear to leave her beloved studio empty. She knew that Andrew & I had long talked about it, so she asked, “Was it time for Andrew’s Garden to open in Naperville too??!!” 20 minutes later (I am not kidding), we were standing on the sidewalk in front of her studio talking excitedly about possibilities.  Alicia, I promise we will take very good care of it, and, we will pay it forward too. Besides, you still have a place at 32 W Chicago.

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ANDREW’S GARDEN IS OPENING A SECOND LOCATION IN DOWNTOWN NAPERVILLE!! We still can’t believe it ourselves! We couldn’t do this if the community hadn’t been there for us in 2020. We couldn’t do this if we didn’t have just the right staff at just the right moment. We couldn’t do this if Alicia didn’t send me a text on January 2nd and want to share her special place with another small business. Some things are just meant to be.

 

Instead of passing the baton, we settled on some bubbly. We have so much to celebrate! Alicia’s Photography and Andrew’s Garden are both thriving! This is simply an opportunity we could not pass up. Andrew & I are so excited to continue to nurture and grow our garden in Wheaton, and we can’t wait to share with you our new space in Naperville! We are busy working on making it extra special and hope to be open by April, so get ready! You’re going to love it!

 

Please help us celebrate by continuing to support the small businesses in our communities. By supporting one small business, you are really supporting many. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting ours.

 

Be Well & Flower On!! 

–Tonya & Andrew

 

PS – DON’T FORGET TO ORDER FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

 

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Dutch Antique Hydrangea

Andrews_Garden_5541-500x500As we count down the days to the end of 2020, let’s talk about some flowers! Believe it or not, not all arrangements leaving our shop right now are red & green! This arrangement in a footed compote caught my eye yesterday because of the gorgeous Dutch Antique Hydrangea bloom! The bloom is so large and voluptuous that it takes up about a third of the entire arrangement! If you have taken one of our design classes, you know that using a giant bloom like this requires some balancing with other elements in the design.

 

To me, Antique Hydrangea blooms are a fantastic example of the perfection in nature’s imperfections! Every bloom is different and every shipment arrives with lots of variations. With knobby and crooked stems and giant heads, the color varies from creamy greens to blues, reds & purples. Sometimes, all of these vintage colors are in a single bloom! The complex colors make Antique Hydrangea look equally comfortable in an arrangement with peach and pink roses and ranunculus as it does in a holiday mix of deep red roses, anemone and tulips! In fact, you don’t even need to be that complicated! A bunch of Antique Hydrangea head to head in a vase is simply perfect too!

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When hydrangea blooms arrive at Andrew’s Garden, they are often wilted and tired from their traveling time on the road. I’m not a road trip person, so I completely get it. Here’s the tip you can use to impress your friends-unlike most flowers, hydrangea blooms love HOT water! If you have a hydrangea bloom in an arrangement and it’s looking a little droopy, try giving it a fresh cut and putting it in a vase with hot water-not boiling, but more like a nice hot bath.  They really appreciate deep water too, so sink that stem as low as you can go into the water. Try not to get the petals wet though, we don’t want them to start to mold. That’s what we do when hydrangeas arrive at our shop-give them a fresh cut and drop the stems deep in hot water. They perk up quickly and the flower heads become firm and ready to go! With proper care for your arrangement when you get it home, Antique Hydrangea blooms should last a good 5-7 days at a minimum, sometimes much longer. Unlike other varieties of hydrangea that may collapse as they get older, Antique Hydrangea blooms are more likely to start to dry. In fact, dried Antique Hydrangea blooms are gorgeous! When you’re ready, stop adding water and let the blooms dry on their own. It can help to hang them upside down, but it’s not absolutely necessary. You may eventually want to replace the dried blooms if they get dusty and brittle, but you can enjoy dried Antique Hydrangea for a good long while first!

 

We love using hydrangeas in our designs at Andrew’s Garden! Next time you are in the shop, take a look around and see how many varieties we have on hand that day! Our supply is different every day!

 

Be Well, Friends – and Flower On!

 

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November Holiday Shopping Hours

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NOVEMBER SHOPPING HOURS

 

 

October 31-November 1 CLOSED Set up Jingle & Mingle-Reimagined
November 2 9am – 6pm HOLIDAY REVEAL
November 3 CLOSED Election Day
November 4-22 Monday – Friday 9am – 10am Appointment Only
10am – 6pm OPEN for Walk-Ins
6pm – 8pm Appointment Only
Saturday 9am – 11am Appointment Only
11am – 2pm OPEN for Walk-Ins
2pm – 5pm Appointment Only
Sunday 11am – 2pm Appointment Only
November 23-24 9am – 7pm
November 25 9am – 5pm
November 26 CLOSED HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
November 27 Black Friday 9am – 5pm Appointment Only
November 28 Small Business Saturday 9am – 6pm OPEN for Walk-Ins
November 29 CLOSED
November 30 9am – 6pm

 

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Jingle & Mingle-Reimagined!!

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2020 just keeps on giving, doesn’t it? What a year! We are so grateful that we are still here. We are still standing. For the moment, our doors are still open for shopping inside! We are doing everything we can to keep our staff and our customers safe. We will be eternally grateful for the way our community has stepped up to keep our business, and so many others, alive this year. I can’t imagine a place I’d rather be right now than Downtown Wheaton. Seriously. It’s been real hard, but you’ve had our backs like we never expected. Our business community is strong & resilient, but we still need your support more than ever. One of the best things about being a business owner in Downtown Wheaton is how we work together with the other business owners. Our situations are all different, but we all understand the struggles that have made 2020 what it is.  Thanks to YOU, thanks to the Downtown Wheaton Association (Elle!!), thanks to the City of Wheaton, thanks to all of the hardworking owners & staff of downtown businesses. You’re awesome!!

 

That brings us to the holidays.  Did you know that Andrew & I shop for our holiday merchandise in January every year?! Yes, JANUARY. Just as we pack up one Christmas, we are already choosing a color scheme & theme for the next Christmas. Do you remember January 2020? COVID-19 had not reached our radar yet. So, we planned for the best holiday season yet for Andrew’s Garden. We really pushed the envelope and bought some extraordinary things to share with you! We planned for our Jingle & Mingle Open House to be the best ever with a huge crowd of excited, festive people ready to take home lots of beautiful things. Nope. 2020 had something else in mind. We couldn’t cancel Jingle & Mingle. We had to reimagine it!

 

People always tell us that they want to just sit down and stay inside our shop for a while. When we host our Design Classes, our classmates have a change to enjoy some private time inside the shop. It makes us feel good when we hear that because we want Andrew’s Garden to be an experience, not just a store. So, in an effort to keep everyone safe and yet still experience Andrew’s Garden this season, we bring you JINGLE & MINGLE-REIMAGINED! We have scheduled a series of exclusive shopping appointments limited to 6 customers at a time. Our recommendation is to bring a group of 6 people (maybe your “pandemic pod”?) and have your own private shopping celebration. We will provide some treats as usual, but packaged just for you. You will have 45 minutes to browse uninterrupted.  Our design staff will be on hand to help you put together the perfect décor or find the perfect gift. You may also want to take the time while you’re here to pre-order your Thanksgiving and Christmas floral arrangements.  It must sound like a good idea because, as of the writing of this blog, we have nearly 150 people already signed up!!

 

In order to accommodate all of these appointments, our hours for walk-in customers will be limited during the month of November.  Our December hours may be adjusted too, but we are waiting to see what the next couple of weeks bring our way. (We even have a Plan B in mind just in case we have to pivot again, but we’re not going to talk about that yet!) If you do not already have tickets, please visit the Events page on our website and reserve them right away! It’s easy and FREE. Please see our updated hours below.

 

We can’t wait to see you soon. In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek at our very messy prep for Jingle & Mingle-Reimagined!!! Aggie is our master of tie-ons, and she is making everything look spectacular for you!

 

So, wear your mask, watch your distance, & wash your hands.   BE WELL & FLOWER ON!!

 

–Tonya

 

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NOVEMBER SHOPPING HOURS

October 31-November 1 CLOSED Set up Jingle & Mingle-Reimagined
November 2 9am – 6pm HOLIDAY REVEAL
November 3 CLOSED Election Day
November 4-22 Monday – Friday 9am – 10am Appointment Only
10am – 6pm OPEN for Walk-Ins
6pm – 8pm Appointment Only
Saturday 9am – 11am Appointment Only
11am – 2pm OPEN for Walk-Ins
2pm – 5pm Appointment Only
Sunday 11am – 2pm Appointment Only
November 23-24 9am – 7pm
November 25 9am – 5pm
November 26 CLOSED HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
November 27 Black Friday 9am – 5pm Appointment Only
November 28 Small Business Saturday 9am – 6pm OPEN for Walk-Ins
November 29 CLOSED
November 30 9am – 6pm

 

 

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Sprinkle Kindness Like Rose Petals!

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May 30, 2020
Today is a great day! We have opened our doors again!! It is 70 degrees & sunny outside – we ordered that up too. Doesn’t it lift your spirits to get out in the fresh air? We hope Downtown Wheaton is on your list.
Yesterday, we celebrated the hard work of the Downtown Wheaton Association and the City of Wheaton and witnessed the opening of our favorite restaurants for outdoor dining. We never knew how good Phase 3 of Restore Illinois would feel! Wow. Andrew & I enjoyed a perfect bottle of Prisoner Red Blend under the Hale Street tents last night. Outdoor dining is happening all over town. With outdoor dining comes visits to local retailers. Please come support our local businesses! We need you!
So, here is the complicated part. All of us – shops, restaurants, service providers – we want to be there for you. But we must first make sure that our Teams are safe. There are SO many new guidelines to study from IDPH, CDC, OSHA, FDA, Johns Hopkins, City of Wheaton, the list of names & acronyms goes on forever. We are all doing our best. Small business owners are emerging from some of the most difficult weeks of their lives-quite literally.
Let me give you a little glimpse of the roller coaster. On March 1st, Andrew’s Garden was heading for its best year ever. On March 12th, we became really afraid as business evaporated. On March 21st, we closed our doors & thought we might lose Andrew’s Garden forever. On April 5th, we could hardly breathe. On April 16th, we celebrated PPP Loan success. On April 20th, we weren’t sure how it could ever work. On April 23rd, we started proceeding with cautious optimism. On May 1st, we hoped people would still order for Mother’s Day. On May 10th, we collapsed exhausted after a very busy Mother’s Day with a small team. On May 11th, we wondered how many flowers to order in case no one bought any after Mother’s Day. On May 15th, we thought this might be working. On May 18th, we were extremely worried about possible permanent closures of many businesses in Downtown Wheaton. On May 20th, we became hopeful for the restaurants. On May 30th, we opened our doors and celebrated-again with cautious optimism. How does your stomach feel now?
I don’t give you these details to ask for anything other than understanding. All of us have been through varying degrees of personal & business trauma. We have seen and felt the most extraordinary love from our community near & far. This roller coaster is in the minds of all small business owners and our employees. When you run into any of us, please keep that in mind. We are trying to be creative as we re-imagine and re-invent our businesses. Most of us have nothing but passion for these businesses that we live & breathe every day. That is what has given rise to my favorite saying today. Let’s try to outdo each other with Kindness.
Sprinkle Kindness Like Rose Petals!
— Tonya, co-owner of Andrew’s Garden
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