Tina Castleberry – The Garden Bug
The seed for Tina’s new business sprouted fourteen years ago in her very own yard. Tina Castle had always loved the outdoors. She started to plant and cultivate her own garden and neighbors started to take notice. When her neighbors began to ask her to plant for them too she said yes.
Over the years Tina grew her landscaping company to about 30-40 customers. She’d handle the design, the planting, and the maintenance. Then, she decided it was time to graduate into a new business: The Garden Bug.
“We’re the very first garden center,” she said. “There’s nothing in Detroit for miles around.”
About fourteen miles away, to be exact, is Detroit’s Eastern Market. Tina says the closest garden center outside of Eastern Market is seventy miles in either direction. Having lived in the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood for years, she knew people had to drive far for their garden needs. Ako hardware used to be here but it closed several years ago. When Tina was landscaping, she had to drive all across the suburbs for what she needed. It was quite the pain for a busy business owner.
“Nobody around here sold everything I need. Now I do,” she said. “I thought, why not use my product knowledge to open a store convenient for everybody?”
She was ecstatic when she was able to purchase a building in the Rosedale Park neighborhood for her new garden center. Inside her space, she carries everything you need for landscaping and planting: fresh garden soil, organic seeds and plants, flowers and flower pots, furniture and decor. She hopes for it to keep a homey feel.
More importantly she wants to make plants fun for everyone.
“I want people to know it’s a fun place,” she said. “It’s a learning place. It’s where beautifying begins.”
Part of that learning includes bringing youth into the space to learn how to plant. Tina has plans to teach any customer more on their favorite plants, lawn care, and gardening. She especially wants to engage young people and millennial age folks who have grown up in such a tech savvy world. It’s cultivating a fun place to learn that she feels like will set her apart from any competition.
She knows that this can help change a neighborhood.
“If you inspire others to beautify one house at a time, then you can beautify one block of a time,” she said.
At the end of the day, after you’ve made your purchase at Tina’s Garden Bug and gone home to plant your new garden, Tina wants you to feel accomplished. That’s the same feeling she’d get creating landscaping art for others. She believes act of beautifying one’s own home can lift you up, and your neighborhood. She wants you to leave feeling proud.
“I want people to feel accomplished and their neighbors to compliment them,” she said. “When their yard is amazing there is a feeling of success.”