Throughout August the nursery became impressively busy. Customers strolled around as they searched for a great find. Several couples came to Wendy about different plants they wanted on their patios, and she gave them suggestions about plants for morning sun as well as those for the shade. One couple wanted to know what plants might be good in the room where they were getting married. After they showed her a picture of the room Wendy took them around to see different plants she had in mind. The couple agreed with her choices.
At the counter Wendy wrote up the order and the delivery date they wanted. The gentleman wrote a check for the entire amount. Wendy liked the fact she could make a difference.
“Miss,” a middle-aged woman said as she approached Wendy.
“Yes, may I help you?”
The woman set a pothos she carried onto the counter. “Are you by any chance the owner?”
“Yes, I am. I’m Wendy Murray.”
“My name is Claudia Amber. I’ve come here quite often since you opened the nursery. You have made this place into a haven. It’s an escape filled with beauty. And I appreciate new pots being available.”
“Thank you so much for saying that.” Wendy face flushed.
“I’m not just saying it to be polite. Was the design idea yours?” she asked as she turned her head to look at the whole place.
“Yes. I wanted it to be a tropical paradise and a mountain retreat, so I made the far end a combination of forest and woodland-like with tropical plants mixed in and around the nursery.”
“Well, you’re very creative. Could you pot this pothos? I left the pot I chose on a shelf in the container area.” Wendy went with her to get the pale blue pot she decided on, and they moved to the potting area. The variegated plant looked very nice in the chosen pot. When finished, they went to the counter where Claudia made her purchase. She thanked Wendy, took a business card from the counter and left. What the woman said overwhelmed Wendy and left work that day with a renewed respect for her capabilities. A week later Wendy received a call from Claudia. It turned out she owned a design studio called House Retreats and wanted to talk to Wendy about joining her to do some patio and indoor plant designs. Wendy’s mouth dropped.
The two women met at a local restaurant. Claudia was a tall regal looking woman. As soon as the waiter left Claudia explained the proposition. “Much of my work is decorating indoor spaces and a great deal of time on patios. Gazebos are also in my domain. I cater to very important business people, celebrities, and corporations who want patio gardens in their buildings, sometimes in a courtyard. However, the issue is, gardens and plants are not my specialty. I prefer creating the indoor spaces with arrangements of the furniture, buying new drapes, anything I know will bring satisfaction and at the same time keeping in mind the owners’ desires.”
Wendy hadn’t begun her lunch, just listened intrigued by what she heard.
Claudia chewed a bite of her salad, put her fork down and continued. “For indoor plants and the patio, I’ve tried several landscapers, but they don’t have the creativity and flare I’m looking for. I believe you do. If you’re interested, I’d like you to be part of the business, at least, occasionally.” Wendy gasped.” I realize you are very involved with your own business, but if you could find time to work with me you could do your own designs. There will, of course, be deadlines, but a good salary also.” Wendy’s stomach fluttered. Awe transformed her face. “I don’t know what to say.”
“I realize this is a bit of a surprise.”
‘Get a grip on yourself,’ Wendy told herself. “Yes, but an intriguing one. The thing is I’d love to be involved in what you are offering. I just don’t know how I could find the time. And I’m one of those people where everything has to be just right.”
“I saw that in your nursery, and I expect nothing less. I may be able to work my projects around your schedule if, occasionally, you are able to take some time off.”
Wendy didn’t hesitate. “I think so.” She kept her excitement in abeyance.
Wendy ate as she listened to Claudia describe several projects she’d done in the past.
As they finished their lunches, Claudia said, “I’ll tell you what, why don’t you take a few days to mull it over and give me a call.” Claudia pulled out her business card handing it to Wendy.” Thank you so much for thinking of me. I’m very flattered and I will give your offer serious consideration.”
Once she reached home the first thing she did was pour herself a glass of Chardonnay and sit in the comfy chair near the fireplace, resting her feet on the footstool. Can I really take this on? she questioned. She weighed the pros and cons. The challenge of the fun projects Claudia mentioned could keep her creativity flowing. Her heart quickened and she sat upright. “YES!” she yelled. ‘” I want to do this. I’ll find the time.”
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