The Garden Club Council of WS/Forsyth County has operated The Garden Boutique since the early 1950s and has called 100 Reynolda Village home since 1972.  For decades the store has been the primary revenue source for the Council, funding our beautification projects and other activities that serve our mission. In 2017, under the leadership of Loy McGill, a strategic plan for the Boutique was developed outlining profit goals to assess the financial sustainability of the store as a continued fundraiser. The store was able to meet 1 of the 3-year goals and was most impacted this final fiscal year by our temporary closing due to the COVID state and local recommendations.

It was decided at the May Advisory meeting that a special committee, with powers, would be appointed to make an evaluation to answer the question as to the continuation of the Garden Boutique as an ongoing business/fundraiser for the Council. The committee included:
Kristie Blanco (Boutique Chair)
Martha Abernethy (Boutique Treasurer)
Lynn Auringer (Boutique Committee Member)
Francie Bray (Garden Tour Chair)
Loy McGill (GCC Past President and Parliamentarian)
Susan Gilmore (Fair Flower Show Chair and District 4 Representative)
Leah Crowley (GCC President)

After meeting on Friday, June 5, 2020, it was the special committee’s recommendation to close the Garden Boutique.  An unsustainable business model, future plans for Reynolda Gardens reclaiming the space, and current pandemic implications on store-front retail businesses make it illogical to continue to operate the store as a business and/or fundraiser.  This recommendation was proposed to the Council via email on June 10 and has received the necessary number of votes to move forward with closure.

I personally met with the director of Reynolda Gardens, Jon Roethling, to discuss a transition of the space and a continued partnership between the Council and Reynolda Gardens. Thanks to a couple of year’s worth of groundwork by Kristie Blanco, the decision to close came as no surprise to Jon. With restoration needs for the entire greenhouse, our vacancy will provide Reynolda Gardens with the most flexibility for scheduling repairs and future space design possibilities. We agreed that the Council’s “home” will remain at Reynolda Gardens. The Council brings in a significant amount of revenue for the Gardens via selling plants at the Boutique and we will explore new ways to support that effort.

On a personal note, I am sad as the end of the Garden Boutique Era is imminent. Though I will miss shopping there, I can’t help but look forward to how we can better use our funds and volunteers to further the mission of the Council. Thank you for all of the support you have given the Garden Boutique over its 65-plus years! Please read on to find out how you and your clubs can help us finish strong while enjoying some amazing shopping incentives.

Leah Crowley
GCC President 2019-2021

The Garden Boutique is hoping to move most of its merchandise over the summer through ONE-ON-ONE, APPOINTMENT ONLY shopping. Please note these appointments are currently available to Garden Club Council members (all clubs), we will open up to the general public soon. Click on the Sigh-Up Genius link to reserve your time now!

We are available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 3 pm for your appointments. We ask that all patrons wear a mask. There will only be one patron and our sales associate in the boutique space at a time. All sales tickets will receive 30% off, on top of any current discounts. We are also willing to negotiate with any patrons on specific larger items. This is the time to think through ANY gifts, parties, patio, and gardening needs. We have a lot of BRAND NEW merchandise that was never even on the floor when COVID caused us to close our doors. Remember, most of our items are in limited quantity, the early bird catches the worm for sure!!! Don’t wait to schedule your shopping appointment.

This is a wonderful opportunity to support the Council! Please come visit us and say goodbye. Additionally, if a time does not work for you, please feel free to call the store at 336-722-5640 or 336-413-1477 and we will work to get you scheduled.