Dreams Do Come True, June 2016

gillnurseryLife in The GardenLeave a Comment

cassie2One of James’ dreams for Gill’s was to build a business where  enthusiastic, energetic people would want to work. He wanted to build a business where folks would line up at the door, anxious to get in and learn about the world of plants and people. I think we’re there! For some, Gill’s becomes their career and for some, Gill’s is a stepping stone. Meet Cassie and Kady.

Cassie moved to Corpus two years ago after receiving a BFA from Texas State University. In my interview with her, she said she was told by friends she should work at Aloe Tile or Gill’s. Thank goodness we were her first stop! She had worked at Whole Foods in Austin so she certainly had learned from one of the best. Her soul mate, Ryan O’Malley, was (and is) an associate professor at Texas A&M CC in the art department. She had gardened with her parents in Austin, she wanted to learn more about plants and she had a warm, kind spirit about her. HIRED!

In less than a week, we all felt like Cassie had been with us forever. She caught on to our funky systems and terminology in a heartbeat. At the time, we needed more help at the cash register and again, by the end of the week, she had it down. Plants are always a bigger challenge since many have two or more names and each has different needs. She absorbed this necessary information like a sponge! She became Merlien’s right hand woman, receiving and stocking many, many flats of annual bedding. Then one day Cassie mentioned she had worked with her mom representing gift lines in Central Texas.  Snap! She started helping me with garden gift buying. She has a great sense of style, understands inventory and can navigate through vendors with her eyes closed.

Cassie is a passionate and successful printmaker; her art is found all over the country. During the two years she has been working with us, she has also been producing and showing and selling her pieces. Last month she received a full scholarship to Tulane in the MFA Studio Art program. Dream come true!

IMG_3382Now meet Kady.  Kady was a student at Texas A&M CC, earning an undergraduate degree in psychology. Her passion is helping young people with special needs. Kady had worked at another garden center so she had plant experience. In my interview with her, even more than experience, I was delighted with her quest for knowledge and with her energy. Excitement with plants and desire to help people exuded from her. HIRED!

Kady has worked at our Alameda store while going to school. She came to work early in the morning, helped open the store, left for school and then came back mid day. She was ALWAYS ready to help DeAnna. She unloaded trucks, checked in inventory, watered, fertilized, stocked and most importantly, shared her plant knowledge with customers. DeAnna loved watching Kady with the kids in the store. She was drawn to them and they to her. She talked with them about our fish or the butterflies or their favorite plant or just how their day was going. And, in her spare time she surfed. She loved that often she would meet her boss James paddling out at Packery Channel.

Kady graduated from Texas A&M just a few weeks ago. Her dream has been to attend Texas State University in their Master of Science in Recreation and Leisure program, majoring in therapeutic recreation. Therapeutic recreation enables individuals with special needs to experience the same leisure options as able bodied individuals through the use of recreation as a treatment modality. It’s the only program like it in the state of Texas, and Kady just received her acceptance letter!

We at Gill’s Nursery are privileged to spend our days with enthusiastic, energetic people, all of us learning about plants and nature and people.  Cassie and Kady, although leaving us, will carry with them a better understanding of the plant world.  As a matter of fact, Kady, on a road trip now, is texting DeAnna about sightings of plant varieties she sold at Gill’s.  Both Cassie’s and Kady’s dreams are coming true and we are all happy to have been a part of their journey.

sally-Sally

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