Wholesale Grower My husband and I started Hillside Nursery, in 1979. We were a wholesale…
Rebranding Behnke Nurseries to Beyond Behnke’s
Drum Roll….. After months of working on this thing called Rebranding, here it is! Are you as excited as I am? Maybe not, but that’s okay. This whole process has been a little overwhelming at times, but then I will get an email from folks about something I might have shared or a memory of their childhood sparked from an old article. I knew that I wanted to keep some of what Behnke Nurseries was around. I didn’t want the name to fade away like the once beautiful property along US 1 in Beltsville has.
Why It All Started
So a little background on my journey to today. The main thing we heard from you when the decision was made to close our garden center was now what? Where should I go? What will happen to all of our friends that we count on at Behnke’s? Who is going to answer our questions?
Looking at all the articles about plant care on our website, I knew that somehow we needed to keep this information flowing. We needed to be able to give you access to them. Plus, then there was my need to have an outlet to write about my memories growing up Behnke and telling stories about the early days of Behnke Nurseries. I wanted to share my grandparents’ struggles with starting a business during the Great Depression and writing about my beautiful mom and her brothers, what they went through growing up in the nursery business.
Then there was the need to share about our staff. The idea was to let you know what they are doing now. Some are more private than others, but most have landed doing things that they love. Many retired and are enjoying their days not having to be at work at the crack of dawn to get everything watered and ready for when the nursery would open.
Why Beyond Behnke’s
Beyond Behnke’s was an idea my daughter, Jaimie, came up with when writing about our last day back on June 15, 2019. It took off, and with the help of Larry Hurley (my good friend, horticulturist, and editor)and Larry Bristow (who keeps the website going and always helps me with so many technical things), I started writing each week. To offset some of the expenses in maintaining the website, emails, and other stuff that goes with keeping a blog, Beyond Behnke’s evolved.
Rebranding Support Along The Way
Along the way, I was always lucky enough to get support from different Behnke folks like Susi O’Hara, who helped with my first logo and gave me good advice on how things should look and flow. Of course, thanks for advice from Marian Parsley, Miri Talabac, and Alfred Millard, who would answer questions about plants that you would ask. Even our good friend, The Orchid Lady, Carol Allen, gets emails from me with questions. This has been a joint effort and has somehow filled a hole in my heart while the dismantling of our Beltsville property and the end of Behnke Nurseries was taking place. Thank you all.
Rebranding Step by Step
Last Fall, while talking to my son Steven, he pointed out all of the countless pieces of information on the website and asked why don’t we keep the Behnke name alive by rebranding the business as an online community? Oh my goodness, so many ideas, and of course, they all sounded great. I tend to jump into things without a lot of planning. Not my son. He wrote guidelines and suggestions for me. My “why,” a mission statement, and a values statement, along with a fresh new website and logo.
First Things First ~ My Why
Part of rebranding is creating a mission statement, values, and the biggest and most challenging thing, my WHY. Why did I feel this need? It was tough explaining to my son, but after a while of trying, I finally sent him a few of the emails I had received from so many of you. Emails that shared what Behnke’s meant to so many of you. From there, Steven helped me come up with questions to put out to you my readers to get your input. My WHY turned into our Vision Statement.
At Beyond Behnke’s, we envision a community where gardeners can come to share stories of their successes, ask questions, and get answers. We see a world where gardening and nature can bring people together to celebrate the joy of growing plants.
Once we had the vision statement and your feedback results, we nailed down the mission statement and value statement along with the tag line.
Growing Forward Together
Nurturing the minds and souls of gardeners both new and old
The New Beyond Behnke’s Logo
We decided we needed a new logo. I hope you love it as much as I do. I kept The Behnke B which was so important to me (a story for another time). But then I had to pick a color! Seriously, so many greens, and I thank you all for helping with that. Then I had to decide on other colors to go with THE GREEN. You will be seeing these colors used more and more as we move forward and when the new website is ready. For now, the old website will continue with the NEW LOGO. I learned what meaning colors have, and then we were onto fonts. By now, my head was starting to hurt. Did you know, in re-branding, you need to pick fonts for headers, fonts for sub-headers, and fonts for the content of the articles? Next up was learning about SEOs. (Search Engine Optimization) When I think I might be too old for all of this, something clicks, and it starts to make sense.
More Plans For Beyond Behnke’s Coming Soon
There are many plans in the future for Beyond Behnke’s, but I will be taking it slowly. My son has suggested having pod-casts which we will have to wait and see about that. I am excited about the idea of a Gardening Forum, which I am hoping to have ready later this year. Speaking of the website, I can’t wait to share it with you. Larry has been working on moving ALL the content from our current website to the new one. It will be a fresh new look but easier to navigate.
So times, they are a-changing, and I am changing right along with them. I am so excited about what the future has in store. We hope that our site will inspire you in your gardening journey and nurture a sense of community among plant lovers of all ages.