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Meet Kim Young-Joggerst

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Young-Joggerst.

Hi Kim, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My family immigrated to the US when I was four years old and we came to Denver hoping for a better life. Through the years we opened many restaurants spanning as far south as Canon City and all the way north to Fort Collins. My parents always kept us (six kids) in the business with them and in doing so taught us everything we know about hard work and resilience.

When I got into college I realized I didn’t want to be in the corporate world all day so I dropped out and went to beauty school at 19. I spent 17 years working as a cosmetologist while still dabbling in bars and restaurants part-time. Due to wrist pain about six years ago I cut back my time in beauty only seeing occasional clients. I started pondering what was next for myself.

Before I got to answer that question, in December of 2018 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It shook me to my core because I had gone in for a routine mammogram and didn’t suspect any health issues. Get those mammograms ladies!!! Needless to say, that put a stop to my career for a while. I was truly fortunate that my chemo and surgery went as well as possible and I have been cancer free for almost three years now.

Post cancer I looked at my life and realized that I had so many things I still wanted to accomplish. As I asked myself what I wanted to do COVID came upon us and all I had was time to daydream.

During COVID I looked for ways to spend my days at home. Something that would keep the anxiety at bay. Well, I found it when I went from 4 plants in my house to 80. My obsession with plants became so ridiculous that I was receiving 3 boxes a day from growers in Florida and California. As restrictions started to subside my siblings and I had a family meeting about our property in Lakewood near Sloan’s Lake. We had purchased the property in the early 90s and was once our family restaurant. Since my parents and siblings no longer lived in Colorado I found the task of finding a new tenant in my lap. As the cleanup got underway and I started converting it into a retail space the idea of a plant boutique and community gathering space just wouldn’t leave my mind. I decided to pitch the idea to my family and that is how it all began! They believed in me and my creative vision so here I am trying to grow in a completely different career.

We celebrated 1 year in June and I have a lot to learn still about retail. What I know is that when you’re knowledgeable, genuine and kind it will bring people through the door. We have been fortunate to have amazing support from the neighbors and our regular customers. I am excited to see what this next year will bring!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Opening any new business is always a struggle and this was no exception. Our building was a restaurant and getting it cleaned and making the space work was a lot. Somehow I managed and it’s an adorable boutique! The financial stress is difficult, but it is all part of the journey. I know when customers walk in the door they feel the energy I’m trying to create. Something welcoming and peaceful for all plant lovers.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Most days I spend my time curating our inventory and brainstorming ideas to bring more people through our doors. I hand pick 99% of our inventory whether plants, cards, candles, pottery or other items.

I have always been told I throw great parties and so secondary to the shop I spent a lot of time connecting with other small business owners, artists and creatives to collaborate on events for our calendar. We have a beer and wine license so that opens up a lot of opportunities for us to help customers create memorable events for their special occasions as well. Post breast cancer I really want to raise money for fellow cancer warriors. I’m currently planning a breast cancer fundraising event in October and that is something I will be incredibly proud of.

The Wardian is special because we have the ability to do so much and we’re not just a retail shop. We consult for clients, restaurants, and events. We offer classes to help plant parents learn and grow. We bring the community together at every opportunity and support other entrepreneurs whenever possible. It’s a wonderful place to be and I’m looking forward to sharing it with as many people as possible.

How do you define success?
Success is when you find joy in what you do. I go into the shop happy and I leave happy. I’d say that’s pretty awesome.

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