Chwynyn Vaughan is looking forward to one day welcoming Canadian customers to her already popular Point Roberts’ roadside business.
It was back in August when the avid gardener decided to take her passion a step further and start selling plants, cut flowers, produce and her homemade organic products. Living in an isolated community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there was certainly plenty of time to do it.
Her husband spent a weekend filling in the ditch that fronted their family home. The additional space allowed for the “Garden Stand” to be built and it opened for business the following day. The response was more than she ever could have imagined.
“You don’t think much is going to happen because we have such a small population but it was amazing. Streams of people started coming,” said Vaughan, a mother of two. “It was always in the back of my mind (to do this) then with the pandemic I suddenly had more time. I wasn’t running my kids to classes. We were all at home all the time together and I felt like as a family, we were working more as a unit.”
A steady flow of business resulted in the Garden Stand being open seven days a week well into October when then the changing of the seasons meant Vaughan no longer could sell her very popular flower bouquets. She then turned to making holiday wreaths for Thanksgiving and Christmas that also proved to be a hit.
She takes orders on her Instagram page and recently launched an e-commerce site through the Etsy platform to sell balms, moisturizers, soaps and tinctures, all made with wild local plants and organic plants from her garden.
The Garden Stand re-opened last weekend with a plant sale that promptly sold out with many reserved in advance.
“Locals responded and embraced my small business and I made new friends. I have developed meaningful relationships with community members who have become loyal customers,” continued Vaughan. “I am very much looking forward to the time when we can welcome Canadians, especially those from Delta, back across the border and into our town. Prior to the border shut down, I saw Tsawwassen and Ladner as extensions of my own community and I have many friends in these places whom I miss spending time with.”
Vaughan and her husband moved to Point Roberts from Los Angeles six years ago. She has dual citizenship, having spent part of her life in East Vancouver, and her husband is a professional artist, originally from Montreal.
“We knew we always wanted to come back to this area and my son was about to start kindergarten and it’s just a different culture (in LA). We looked at North Vancouver and Bowen Island but Point Roberts just seemed like a great option as I like the rural life. We love it here,” she says.