Closing Down The Garden

Written by Pat on January 4th, 2009

The end of 2008 was also the end of The Learning Garden. Between the babies taking up all of Shae’s time and the crappy economy taking all of our customers we decided it was time to close up shop. We spent most of the week between Christmas and New Year’s eve trying to get everything cleared out of the office by the end of the month. We sold everything we could, brought home tons of stuff we couldn’t sell, and threw away about a dumpster worth of old crap. It was a ton of work, but the babies helped and we got everything done just in time.

When Shae and I bought The Learning Garden a year ago, we had all kinds of ideas on how to get the business back on track. Shae did a great job, and for the first couple of months things were pretty good and she brought in quite a few new students. Then Shae found out she was pregnant and her focus shifted more towards growing babies than TLG. She still taught and put in tons of work running everything, but after a few months of baby-carrying she just didn’t have the energy to get up early every morning and go in to do all the extra work/marketing that was needed to stir up more business. Of course, then the gas prices skyrocketed and all of the longtime customers who had to drive down from North County stopped coming. As the economy has taken a giant dump parents have decided they just don’t have the extra money to spend on tutoring, and over the past few months business has trickled to almost nothing. We finally decided that it was time to just throw in the towel.

My feelings about closing down TLG are mixed. Part of me is sad to see it shut down. A year ago Shae and I were very excited about running our own business and were very optimistic we were going to be successful. It’s disappointing that it didn’t work. However, a larger part of me is OK with everything. Shae is happy she gets to spend more time with the babies without worrying about how we’re going to pay The Learning Garden’s rent the next month, and she’ll probably do some tutoring out of the house for some of her students. It would have been nice to have a wildly successful business, but I guess we’ll just be happy with two babies.

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