Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanya Bartels.
Tanya, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always loved plants, but the journey from gardener to guide began when I moved into a home with no vegetation at all. While transforming my own space, I began to change and realized this was my path. Up to this point, I had been working in the footwear design industry for over twenty years. The stress of fashion was exhausting, and finding this new passion and peace reinvigorated me.
While still working full-time, I enrolled in the horticulture program at UCLA extension where I met fellow plant lovers and grew under new mentors. In gaining a broader understanding of nature, I spent two weeks living on a farm, studying the observer-based study of permaculture.
Two years ago, I made the leap to start my own small business, the Golden Garden. Through a chance encounter at one of my favorite destinations in Long Beach, retro row, I met the very talented, Melissa Carpenter, owner of the eclectic retail store: The Hangout. We partnered together to extend her space to contain an outdoor garden/nursery shop. Here, I have the chance to share my knowledge, passion, and experience with others and above all, connect people to plants.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The easiest part was learning about and being with plants. Creating a business around something so personal has its pros and cons. My passion made it easy to share it with others, but it changed the relationship as well. Every day I work toward balancing the demands of the business with my own gardening fulfillment.
Please tell us about Golden Garden.
We operate as a retail garden shop where you can buy plants, pots, books, tools, and accessories. We’re known for our monthly workshops which have included in the past: care and maintenance classes, painting in the garden, and flower arranging.
We are most proud of our work with the community. On the corner of Fourth St and Cherry Ave, we hosted a volunteer landscaping event where members of the neighborhood helped beautify, clean, and create a natural environment to enjoy. Last year, we spent our time volunteering at the children’s Millers Hospital, potting and sharing plants with patients and nurses. Lastly, we hosted the first plant-swap in Long Beach, where the community came out to share their cuttings, and meet likeminded people.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I believe that everything -good and bad- leads to some kind of learning and growth. I’m comfortable with the way things have turned out and the process that led to where I am now. Nothing was self-explanatory starting my own business and naturally, I made some mistakes along the way. If I could go back and tell myself something, it would be make water-proof/sun-proof price tags!
- Address: Located in The Hangout
2122 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @thegolden.garden
Most of the pictures were taken by Adam Fedderly and Katy Johnson