Bowood Farms' sister team isn't afraid to introduce offerings that are outside the box. "We like to play around and experiment with different things," says Assistant General Manager Lizzy Rickard, 35. One of the many chances Gift Buyer and Merchandiser Katherine McPheeters, 31, took last year was buying nail polish, about 30 colors, for the store. Rickard says, "It's naturally based, so it's on trend with our philosophy of offering really unique, quality items."
Bowood puts the focus on inspiring customers in everything it does. "We integrate our displays and show people how to grow plants in their environment," Rickard says.
Customers are wowed by the garden center's two green roofs, about 600 square feet total. One is planted with sedums, and the other grows herbs used at the garden center's Cafe Osage, which serves organic, housemade dishes for breakfast and lunch. Bowood's vegetable garden across the street is also tapped by the chef.
Window boxes full of passion vines growing up the side of the building get people talking, as well. "We've sold more passion flowers this year than ever because of it," Rickard says.
To stay on trend, McPheeters shops home and clothing stores. She also likes to look through the pages of Garden Chic: "It's easy to read, and there are really good photos - very inspirational photography."
Lizzy Rickard, Assistant GM, and Katherine McPheeters, Gift Buyer & Merchandiser, Bowood Farms, St. Louis, MO
From: Garden Chic, IGC Show Preview, 2013