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Dragonfly Nursery and Garden- From desk job to dream job
Posted 04 - 19 - 2010

Photo: Dragonfly Nursery & Garden owner Kimberly Wright at her downtown business.( photo by Elizabeth Bailey)


Dragonfly Nursery & Garden feature for the 4/19/10 Chamber page; The Daily Sentinel

From desk job to dream job

By Elizabeth Bailey

Chamber Intern

The owners of Dragonfly Nursery and Garden, Richard and Kimberly Wright, have turned their love of landscaping and gardening into a successful career. They started their business two years ago and became a member of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 14, 2008.

When the Wrights decided to turn their hobby into a career, they started shopping for property that would help their business flourish. They began construction two years ago at another location, but the site was not large enough for the green house and the parking that the city required.

“It is so amazing how things work in such a perfect way,” Kimberly said. “We were so frustrated and so discouraged and the minute we let it go and said this won’t work, the lot next door to our home opened up. It was fate.”

The gift gallery of Dragonfly Nursery, which opened up last November, used to be the Wright’s home.

 “Customers who did not know any better would walk right into our home if we didn’t lock it,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly’s son, Nathan Diven, who helps run Dragonfly Nursery, gave some insight into the situation.

“Living right next to your business is a blessing and a curse,” he said. “The commute is unbelievable, you walk out your door take a few steps and you’re there. But at the end of the day work never ends, people are always knocking on the door after hours wanting to check out the nursery.”  

The Wrights did not have any intentions to move but after five months, they found a home about 10 minutes away. Kimberly thought about ways to use their former home next to the nursery, and the gift gallery was created.

The Dragonfly gift gallery offers a wide variety of garden gifts and art, along with fine art and jewelry. Many of the items are produced by the local artists with consignments always welcomed.

Dragonfly located, one block off Main Street in downtown Nacogdoches, is the only nursery inside the loop. It offers trees, shrubs, bedding plants and water plants. It also offers custom potting, landscape design and installation, water features of all types and sizes, pottery, garden gifts and décor.

            The Wrights are constantly looking for unique and hard-to-find items. Unusual items in the nursery include carnivorous pitcher plants, exotic orchids and Hoyas. If a customer can not find the plant or item they can place a custom order.

Dragonfly never planned to offer landscaping services, but, according to Kimberly, that part of the business just took off.

“It is hard for us to manage so much all at once but I’ve been really lucky because of my son Nathan, who got out of the Air Force the October before we opened up the nursery,” she said. “He came home exactly at the right time and has just saved us and has done a beautiful job of keeping things rolling so that we can go out and do the landscaping.”

Before opening up Dragonfly, Kimberly sat in front of a computer for 21 years creating presentation graphics for Houston oil companies. She decided she wanted to spend the rest of her life in a career instead of simply a job.

            “When you love getting up in the morning to go to work you have a career,” Kimberly said. “I spent my entire adult life in an office with no sunshine. So it’s fabulous to be able to spend my time outside as my career.”

            They share information they know about plants so their customers will be successful in planting and growing the plants they buy. After a customer purchases a plant or tree from Dragonfly, the nursery staff tries to set people up for success by educating them on what they need and how to take care of a plant.

“Our goal as a business is to make the biggest impact beautifying downtown Nacogdoches, from decorating the corners of downtown to giving back however we can,” Kimberly said.

Dragonfly’s biggest job right now is the planters project for Main Street in downtown Nacogdoches. The planters project is made possible by a $20,000 donation from James I. Perkins of Citizens 1st Bank in honor of Gayla Mize and Lois Marie Bright to beautify Nacogdoches.

“Kimberly is phenomenal to work with,” Sarah O’Brien, Main Street manager, said. “Not only is she in business for herself but she’s in business for her community as well.”

            The Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau hired Kimberly to landscape a flower bed in front of their building in downtown Nacogdoches along with doing their planter boxes.

 “Kimberly Wright is absolutely fabulous,” Melissa Sanford, director of the CVB, said. “Dragonfly Nursery is all about customer service. When it snowed here, they came out and put plastic covers over the flowers without us even asking them to. We don’t have to worry about anything; they provided a full service for us.”

A big obstacle for the Wrights is overcoming the seasonal aspects of their industry.

 “The term is 90 days of spring from March through the first of June to make two-thirds of what you are going to make for the year,” Kimberly said.

 Nathan has discovered other challenges in being in business for yourself.

“The hardest thing is motivating yourself to actually get up and start the day,” he said. “You are your own boss, and your customers are depending on you to fulfill your promise to them by providing great customer service.”

Kimberly believes that becoming a member of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce was the best thing she could have done as a business owner.

“The chamber gets our name out there and the members of the chamber are actually our best customers,” she said. “The ribbon cutting was amazing publicity, we had our picture in the paper and the chamber posted our ribbon cutting on their Web site. Any new business would be foolish not to become a member, the benefits of being one is rewarding in its self.”

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