We, Carol and Christy, mother and daughter, opened Wilshire Garden Market in March, 1998, because we couldn’t find any decent garden accessories in this city; not even a galvanized watering can, only plastic and ugly plastic at that. We were also looking to work at something that we loved and that could benefit others as well. We would visit my daughter Kim in Houston and patronize their garden stores, bringing home heavy cast stone garden ornaments on the plane, wishing that there were garden retreat stores a little closer to home. We thought and thought about ventures some of our family could do together, enjoy together, and fill a niche; garden accessories and furnishings was our favorite choice and we decided to go for it. We took a comprehensive six month course in entrepreneurism sponsored by the Kaufman Foundation, produced a 50 page business plan, and about a year later we opened. We were fortunate to find our building that is close to our respective homes and is of the vintage and style that suits our focus. Built in 1948 as a two bay auto repair garage, it later became a lawn mower repair garage and was enlarged. It took a lot of power washing to get rid of the oil and a lot of French soaps and candles to get rid the eau de motor oil aroma. That is why and how we’re here.
Where we came from stems from learning more about our ancestors; we discovered that our roots are in gardening. In the 1880’s maternal great grandparents brought the family from New Mexico rangelands to Okeene, OK, where they operated a fruit orchard and vineyard complete with wine cellar.
A great-uncle owned “the” nursery in Enid, and my grandmother worked for him in highschool deadheading acres of roses. It was through this connection that she met my grandfather, who became an entrepreneur as the owner of a successful paint and wallpaper store that served them well even throughout the Great Depression. They are still our role models for many reasons, including her superb rose cultivation skills and his way of doing business. My parents were self-employed as well and spent much time and effort making their garden a little oasis. Happily, our fate was sealed.