For three years, Red Shed Garden & Gifts owner Michelle Glaser has seen both her plants and inventory grow as customers filled the space both outside and inside of her rented store at 302 Eighth St. in Baraboo.
“It’s a good problem to have,” Glaser said.
As the store has grown, so has the need for more space. Glaser laughed as she noted she had essentially taken over all of the outside lot space of the building owned by Missi Blum, who operates floral company Wild Apples in the shared space.
Currently, Red Shed is hosting a moving sale. They need more space, Glaser said. Red Shed will close at the end of November before reopening at the site of the former B&H Lumber Co. in the 1100 block of Eighth Street currently owned by Brett Zimmerman of Green Dreams Landscaping.
Over the winter months, Glaser will attend home and garden shows throughout the state as she has since the business started in 2016.
The business began when Glaser helped Blum design a perennial garden at the site. At the time, she remarked on how well the space could serve as a store for garden items. After suffering the loss of her home to a fire for the second time in 18 months, she was not sure if she could afford to take on a new project, but said it was meant to be. Glaser said suddenly a plan was put into action and she was in Atlanta buying items for the shop.
By February 2016, the doors were open. Customers who visit after meeting her at shows in Green Bay or Milwaukee, frequent local visitors and tourists have helped the business flourish.
“It was better than I ever thought it would be,” Glaser said.
As her business expanded, Glaser took on workers who could help enhance her vision for Red Shed.
Pam O’Neall is a designer there. When she first moved to the area from central Illinois, O’Neall said she was enamored upon seeing the building.
“I was just in heaven,” O’Neall said. “The first thing I said to my husband was, ‘I want to work there.’”
O’Neall has experience working in garden centers. She spent Tuesday preparing for the move in the face of changing weather, uprooting plants she believed were salvageable and planning to replant some for growing into the next season.
Excited for the move, O’Neall said Glaser has been a respectable boss who allows independence in her employees. The new space has more square footage, something needed for the business to host classes. Though the business holds learning events for small groups and accommodates various weather conditions with a tent outside, the expanded footprint of the new building should allow O’Neall to teach more interested patrons without the blistering heat or rainy days they have experienced, she said.
Learning is an important part of Glaser’s life. She noted that she earned a degree in food science as a returning adult at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She said the horticulture building was next door, and she nearly received a degree in that field as well, and took as many classes as she could, Glaser recalled laughing.
Even as she began the business, Glaser learned more about plants. Knowing how things are connecting enhances our understanding, she said. Glaser even gives demonstrations during the home and garden exhibitions she visits over winter about air plants, a focal part of her business alongside succulents.
Red Shed will say goodbye to Wild Apples and its birthplace at the end of November. Glaser said plans still are tentative about when the operation will begin at the new location, but it could be in March.
Follow Bridget on Twitter @cookebridget.