Tanya here, founder and owner of Golden Garden.
First of all, THANK YOU. We have been in business and on 4th St. for four years now and your outstanding support and enthusiasm have been critical to our journey and growth.
I am the first generation in my family to be born in this county and I come from a long line of hard workers and survivors. Starting and running a small business, especially as a woman in my culture, is a big deal. Having that business spark from a personal passion or belief is an even bigger deal. We have heart, and nature has always been in mine.
The start of Golden Garden didn’t emerge out of the pandemic. My home and garden were filled with plants long before the craze. Golden Garden started with a need to heal. I had been working in the fashion industry designing footwear for 20 plus years when I started to feel the burn out. That, mixed with some personal challenges, drew me to the soil. I began to garden.
Every free minute was spent outside, plotting, planting and researching. I found peace, I found a deeper connection to the seasons and I found a new way to express my creativity. It was a shift in my being that was a little scary, but at the same time felt so right. I adjusted my career and threw myself back into school. Being a student of horticulture (the art of gardening) and permaculture (designing harmoniously with nature) was a thrill for me. I was surrounded by like-minded people and all of sudden I felt a new path emerge in front of me.
Landscaping was the first avenue. Transforming outdoor spaces with intention and designing with plants that would not only survive, but thrive over time was and will always be important to me. And even though I did not move into that industry full time, I will always look to help people along their own journey.
As luck would have it, one winter day I walked into a little neighborhood shop in Long Beach called The Hangout. Something spoke to me when I was in the space. It wasn’t only the beautiful vintage goods lining the walls and tables. Trust me, I can shop and spent years doing it in my footwear career. It was something more. A story being told. A depth of detail and care that warmed and inspired. One conversation with Melissa led to another and there I was loading my first batch of plants to sell on the floor and in, what was then, a tiny garden.
Melissa with a similar fashion background and the need to create special spaces was the perfect match for what was to come. Brainstorm after brainstorm, build after build, learning after learning and year after year, it all led to what we now know as The Hangout. A collaborative space, a platform to grow and share your passion.
Looking back, YOU have been part of every one of those steps. Our clients and friends have planted in the community together. Exchanged tips on plant care, discussed design concepts and inspired each other to try something new. We have laughed about your pets getting tangled in your plants, and cried over some of the losses we could not help. We have held community plant swaps, led classes in plant maintenance, painted the garden, arranged dried bouquets together and even created pressed floral artwork.
For us, that is what is important. We want you to experience plants in the many different ways we love too. From the excitement of a new seed sprouting to the art of drying and preserving their beautiful forms. We are inspired to create, connect and build a relationship with plants. We believe that connection creates a better version of ourselves and each other. Plants are a special living and breathing aspect of the world around us and honoring and respecting them is key.