From the July 2002 issue of Startups

In Meredith Laws' community, gardening is like second nature. Skagit County, Washington, is one of the world's largest seed producers, and the region is also known for its tulips, so it makes sense that Laws would take up gardening.

While enjoying her newfound hobby a few years ago, the mother of two began admiring some of her neighbor's gardening hardware, which, she discovered, came from a flower show in nearby Seattle. "Because I had two small children, getting away to go to something like a flower show was kind of a luxury," says Laws. "My neighbor and I started talking, and we thought, 'Wouldn't it be neat to have a home party company that focused on quality garden tools and garden accessories for people?' "

MAKE THE CALL
Good to Grow Garden Outfitters LLC, (888) 339-7977; also visit the Biz Opp Zone

The thought stuck--and in 1999, Anacortes, Washington-based Good to Grow Garden Outfitters LLC was born. Laws and husband Robert are owners and co-founders, and neighbor Linda Ferrario acts as a product consultant. The company currently has about a dozen demonstrators who sell a variety of short-handled garden tools, accessories and gifts at in-home parties.

Laws, who was the first to offer Good to Grow parties, continues to sell the products to people in her gardening-friendly community. "I think it's important for me to know exactly what the associates are going through when they're out there with the products," she explains. "I need to be able to help my associates as much as possible, and the best way to do that is to get out and do it."