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New business Q & A - The Abundant Garden

November 28, 2004

Name of business: The Abundant Garden

Owner: Gale McKenney

Address: 18706 North Village Center, North Village Shopping Center, Hagerstown

Opening date: Sept. 24

Products and services: Home and garden dcor, gifts and crafts, jewelry, books, plants, stationery and more. Also offers landscaping services.

Market area: Greater Hagerstown area

How did you get into your business, or what motivated you to start it? "After going through the grieving process for my late husband, then facing a corporate reorganization at the company I worked for, I was going through the well-known 'what-do-I-want-to-do-with-my-life' scenario. I turned to the things I enjoy most in life: God, gardening, decorating and shopping. I've always said I should open my own store, but always thought 'I could never do that.' Then I asked myself, 'Why can't I do it?' and thought about it seriously. I couldn't stop writing down the ideas for the store - there were so many. I then quickly found so many people and tools to show me how to go about starting my own business. Now I believe that God has been preparing me in so many ways for this business venture - I only wished I'd done it sooner. God has blessed me in so many ways during the process of opening this store, and I've grown tremendously in learning to rely on my faith in God to run this store through me. Many people call my store eclectic (antiques, books, jewelry and plants?). I call it selling all of the things I love. I love to come to 'work' now and can't believe I don't complain about a 65-hour work week."


Previous business experience: "The majority of my work experience has been in the cost accounting and finance field with government contractors - SAIC for the last three years, five years with Atlantic Research Corporation and Computer Sciences Corporation. I spent five years with Deltek Systems, a government contracting software company, doing customer help-desk support and quality assurance software testing. My retail experience includes Merrifield Garden Center in Merrifield, Va., as a cashier and in accounting, and a wholesale/retail picture framing business in customer service and bookkeeping. I also worked in a commercial real estate office for three years in accounts receivable and as an assistant property manager."

Number of employees: Six

Hours: Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 12:30 to 4 p.m.

Web site:

Phone number: 301-797-5544

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