The Story Behind Our New Website

A cast of characters did a ‘lean in’ on the problem of creating a way for customers to get the plants they so dearly enjoy. 

There is no way we could have done this without a solid foundation.  John and Charli kept meticulous records of everything that came in.  John engaged in a name setting exercise that spring boarded us to be able to build a cornerstone.  Janice has been maintaining our plant cards in “the book” for some 30 years (Go Janice!). That book and the permission to use it online was fundamental to the rapid development of our new world-class site. 

It would not even have a start if Jemima had not volunteered to lead the project. Jemima, as it turns out is a bit of a whizz with site development. Possessing that rare ability to not only be able to develop the needed software, but also to have the vision of what a site needs. While working with her, she took new ideas in rapidly, assimilated the new requirements with existing constraints, and came up with a least-cost path to success. She pulled multiple all-nighters to hit our (admittedly self imposed) deadline. Some setbacks of non-technical nature happened, and some technical ones. But she was a trooper, pulling through and launching a site that is a wonder to behold.

Kate volunteered to extract the data from Janice’s book, and found herself dealing with a worthy opponent.  How to get good data from a living entity that is 30 years old in the digital world, she did it!  Go Team! 

Then came the arduous task of ratifying all the content and did you know, a dozen or so people spent a day each tagging the information for a database that NO other nursery can hold a candle to!  We rock! Barbara was lead on cleaning some 1200 records and making sure they matched other public records, Beth managed getting us an inventory of everything on the sales floor, a task that involved touching and counting 6319 items. Lesley lead a data integrity team and got us all the criteria in a database friendly format. Each of the 206 unique records had to have 21 different tags applied, and she had the job of making that matrix usable!  Oh my. 

Per took on the job of wrangling all the data into a format that had all the plant attributes, origin locations, pot sizes, and active quantities in the right order, in the right format, without any added funny invisible characters, odd punctuation and otherwise hygienic. Then there was playing traffic cop for new ideas and content so Jemima could focus on getting the engine and chassis of this vehicle built. A job in itself.

Finally, we had to move existing and new content like Jane & Tom’s excellent Phyto-FAQ,

All this delivered by volunteers of Native Here in an effort to support our community and our nursery.

All in all, we launched what most people do in a year, in under seven weeks!  Go NHN!

-Per Brashers

Data Team
Launch Team

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