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The Garden Bug is a full-scale garden center located in Detroit’s Grandmont Rosedale community. After dabbling in landscaping for years and noticing a need in her neighborhood, owner Tina Castleberry decided to run her business full time. Through the TechTown SWOT City program, Tina was able to choose from various resources needed to grow her business.
How do you feel The Garden Bug plays a role in Detroit’s revitalization?
Being local and providing a convenient service for our community. Being accessible. The average age in our community is 50 to 69. The seniors really appreciate the fact that they can come get their things and be back home in 5 minutes.
How do you collaborate with other local businesses?
We actually collaborate with other businesses often. Through ProsperUS Detroit, we were able to have a local artist come and paint the outside of our building, and give us a facelift. In addition, local artists create our hand blown glass and trees we sell. We also collaborate outside of the city. We have partners in Chicago where we hold our independent garden shop. In the future, I hope we can collaborate with organizations in other cities.
What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?
The first challenge is cash flow. I feel that is a common challenge for most entrepreneurs. The second challenge is finding qualified staff that have product and industry knowledge. Many do not realize the hard work that comes with running this kind of business.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
The one thing that has worked for me is having some money saved. Whether it is your 401k, family support or private funders have a strong financial plan. It is very difficult to open and sustain a business if you do not have your finances in order. It is also important to have the support of your community, your family and friends. Having a solid support system is essential when you are an entrepreneur.
The Garden Bug is open now until July 4th.