On the sixth, we'll officially be open two months. It's very surreal. I daily wonder how is this possible that my dreams came true. Then I remember, because Gail would NEVER let us give up. Trust me, we all tried. We begged her to put the for sale sign on the door, and she refused. She always said, God wants us there! I won't give up! We all rolled our eyes, and said it feels like it will never happen. How do you want to go about getting the store open? She would say, "I don't know, but God does." On we continued for one more day or week. Well it finally happened. Our financing was FINALLY approved by WWBIC. (We strongly recommend them to anyone, looking to start a business, who has a business plan.) We worked what felt like day & night. The store opened May 6th! We had a wonderful first month being open. It's been great getting to know the people of West Allis. It is wonderful to be part of a community.
This isn't to say we do not have struggles. We do! I just said the other day the dream is fun; reality is WORK! For example working with my daughter at the store. I thought would be a great bonding experience for us. It is, but holy cow does it come with challenges. How anyone gets anything done with a baby is beyond me. I'm still learning to master that skill. I could go on & on of all the fun challenges a start up business goes through. It all comes down to. with all of our challenges, this year, we continue to scream "BUT GOD!!!!" & we get through one more challenge. Take a deep breath & prepare for the next one. One moment, one day, or one week at a time. God continues to keep on blessing us and helping us through.
We have a lot planned to come. The ideas are racing through our minds like crazy. We're really trying to concentrate on telling the people that Eden Garden and Pets is here. Trying to keep this website updated, as much as possible. Trying to keep everyone updated on what's going on around here. So Thank You Everyone who continues to pray for us & support us, because our journey has only just begun.
David - married to Gail for over 36 years. He is the backbone of the company, that keeps the walls up & the heat on. He is consistently found "putzing" at the store, fixing the latest project. He just recently took some classes to become a master gardener. This man is known for having many passions such as gardening, fishing, hunting, and sailing. He also is very knowledgeable when it comes to freshwater fish. Bottom line with Dave is, there is nothing boring here.
Gail - She is happily married to David for over 36 years. She is a licensed minister. Her calling is people. She is the glue that keeps us all together. She keeps us all going, when we are feeling discouraged and want to give up. She truly is an amazing example of the woman I want to be when I'm all grown up. She loves to be out in the garden or reading a book. Her very large German Shepherd is her pride and joy.
Ryan - Recently married into this fun family adventure almost 3 years ago. He recently became a father of a little girl, who has quickly stolen his heart. Ryan brings the laughter and joy to the team that encourages all of us. He brings us together when even the glue isn't working. It's like he was meant to be in this fun family dynamic we have going on. (Guess God knew exactly what he was doing). Ryan is another man of many hobbies, that includes video games, hunting, fishing, and camping. In his own way he is a jack of all trades. He enjoys fixing and putting things together. He has a growing knowledge when it comes to saltwater fish. He has some building projects he's starting for product display. Again, never a dull moment with this guy.
Jen (Me) - married to Ryan for almost 3 years. I want to do something that will make a difference, even if it's just in the life of one person. I love the motto that a smile to one person can go a long way. My passion is pets and people. Over the years I've been known to be Mrs. Doolittle by my friends, as my passion for pets has brought me to have a large variety of pets over the years. I also love to garden and go fishing.
Five years ago driving down the road a "for sale" sign forever changed our lives. I wasn't looking for it. I didn't know quite what God's calling was for my life. I was working full time in the mortgage industry. I was driving down the road to visit a friend. I'd taken the drive a hundred times before. There it was a "for sale" sign with a phone number. I have to have that building, something told me. Why would I want a building I thought. Later that night, on my way home, I wrote the number down. A week later I was getting together with an attorney to look at the property. The floors were a mess. The walls and ceilings were chipping and falling apart in most areas. It was obvious the property had been vacant for some time. I loved it! Why? I have no idea, but my spirit was jumping thinking of the potential. My next step was to get the people I love and trust more than anyone. Mom and dad here I come. They loved it (okay maybe not at first, but eventually), but how could we afford it. We are not in the position to afford a commercial building. I got together with the attorney and had to have another walk through. She had an offer for us that was out of this world. And by out of this world, I mean it had to be God. We ran to the bank and were told multiple times no, even with the amazing price.(Commercial Lending is nothing like the residential side, I know) I couldn't understand why God would place this building on my heart. I refused to give up. We kept pursuing and praying. Finally a bank approved our loan, with enough money to buy the building and to rehab it. We got to work, And we worked and we worked. We were able to get the property in working order to the point we could rent the upper units to pay the monthly bills. Ooh! Step one done. Thank God for good people and good tenants. We are so blessed, but please understand that it was not an easy road. Things go wrong, things go unexpectedly, but we made it. So next step was getting downstairs, the main store ready for us to use. The walls are stained yellow. There is old massive freezers to rip out, with surprises around every corner. I could go on & on. With all four of us still going to our full time jobs, Ryan & I getting married and a few years later pregnant, and actually having lives, we just keep going. One step at a time. Doing what we can ourselves and hiring when we can afford to. We do what we can to learn about starting a business, by taking a class. David takes a class to become a master gardener. We learn what we can to be the most prepared. We get help from our wonderful friends and family whenever they are able to bless us.
So where are we now? Good question! We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We see our dream just ahead. We have been applying for loans over the years to get the store officially open, but with some resistance from the banks. Start up businesses are very risky. We understand that. One place tells us we make too much, and another will tell us we don't make enough. My life motto this year is BUT GOD! No one can tell me otherwise. This journey has been full of God loving and God fearing people coming into our lives and getting us that one step closer. We've all wanted to give up. But we are going to just keep on trusting God and moving forward. Hence the reason we started this website. This website is our current beginning and bringing us that one step closer.
We want to make a difference and we are determined.