Clark County at Work: Shorty’s Garden and Home
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Business name: Shorty’s Garden and Home.
Owner and general manager: Colin Mahoney.
Address: 10006 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver and 705 N.E. 199th St., Ridgefield.
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What the business does: Shorty’s is a locally owned and operated, multilocation retail garden center company. It offers a broad array of flowers and soils, pottery, trees and shrubs, and garden treatments and fertilizers. For 42 years, Shorty’s has been independently and family run, focusing on high-quality plant material, solution-based customer service and community involvement. The business is founded on a vision of engaging customers, offering advice and plants suggestions that are appropriate for the Pacific Northwest climate.
Steps to build your business as the economy recovers: Colin Mahoney said his nursery is expanding services and selection. He is seeing an increased interest in home care and gardening as homeowners and hobbyists alike take measures to improve their outdoor living spaces, home appearance or favorite flower bed.
Greatest challenge: Given the fickle spring weather in the Pacific Northwest, Mahoney has to balance his inventory, timing and offerings to appropriately respond to the “last frost” dates, spring rain and customer interest.
Favorite part of the job: Mahoney said he sells products that make people happy. His customers make purchases that are for their personal enjoyment rather than to fulfill a need. Mahoney said it is hard to have a bad day when people are shopping for things they want.
What’s ahead: Shorty’s is likely to return to growing some of its own inventory, Mahoney said, possibly including hanging baskets, perennials and annual flowers. He is also looking at adding a planting service for the company’s “Rewards” members. The largest attraction for the fall will be the annual Oktoberfest concert that Shorty’s hosts, which attracts close to 1,000 people and benefits the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation.
Year established in Clark County: 1962.
Employees for both locations: 20 full-time and 25 seasonal employees.
Telephone: 360-892-7880 (Mill Plain location) and 360-887-3936 (Ridgefield location).
Hours at both locations: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.