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A Day In The Life Of..., Downtown Businesses, Interviews

A Day In The Life Of… Sandi Hillermann

The new section of the blog, “A Day In The Life Of…” will feature a different form of interview, giving you a closer and more personal insight of the life of somebody we all know (or we should, if we don’t ;-))

Sandi Hillermann was one of the people that first came to mind, because every time I see her she greets me with a smile. The oldest of 6 children, Sandi spent most of her childhood following her dad around in the Nursery, and helping him with whatever she could. Her love for plants has continued to grow, and now everybody knows her as the president of Hillermann Nursery and Florist. Sandi and I talked about the little things in her day that put a smile on her face.

Sandi at work, always smiling and feeling at home.

The Morning I am not an early morning person. It is best if the sun is up already, or it is a struggle for me to crawl out of a warm cozy bed. I get ready for the day in silence. I cannot turn on a radio or television, or I get involved and then I will be running late. I hate to be late. I take my dogs out first thing every morning. My yard is not fenced in, so therefore they go out on leashes. Rain or shine we head outside. I rarely ever eat breakfast, and I know that isn’t good for me. I pack lunch after I am dressed and head out to work.

The Coffee I am not a big coffee drinker. Maybe 2-3 times a week I have coffee in the morning and then I drink some coffee at work. We serve coffee all day for our patrons, so it is always available. My favorite drink of the day is ice water with double lime. Or an occasional diet Pepsi.

The Drink If we are talking about spirits, I like to have a glass of wine every once in a while. Dry white wines are my favorite: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or local Vingoles. I must admit Tim and I enjoy happy hour before we eat in the evening.

The food Now you hit a sweet spot. I love to eat. Where should I start? My favorite foods are salads of all types. I also love veggie sandwiches, loaded nachos, pizza, bar-be-que… the list goes on and on 🙂

The shops I love to shop local! I was born and raised to shop in Washington, because of our business being in town. I want to patronize those who patronize us. I’ve always wanted a Volkswagen beetle, but never bought one because they are not American made, nor is there a dealer in Washington. Our store slogan is “Our Roots are in Washington”, and I try to live by that. Even when I eat out or have guests at work that we take to lunch, we pick independent restaurants. I’m not a big box lover, even though I shop Target and Penny’s. I am proud to say I have never been in our Wal-Mart here in town. I should shop it just to see what my competition has to offer, but that one is hard for me to go into. I rarely go to St. Louis to shop but I love Achiever’s in Chesterfield. And, of course, one of my favorite shops is my very own store! I cover a lot of bases there. We carry so many neat items in our gift and garden center that I am never short of gift ideas from here.

The accessories I am not a big jewelry person. I do, however, love pins and scarves.

Do pets count as accessories? Sandi with one of her adorable dogs.

The personal space I do love my personal space. I need my “alone” time every day.

The friends You can’t ever have too many friends. I have dear friends from high school, in choir at Borgia Church ( we call ourselves the Margarita Mamas), from a woman’s retreat at church (CRHP sisters), at work, relatives, customers, and the list goes on. My best friends though are my husband Tim and my daughter Abbey. They make life so very special.

At work I love my job and I tend to be “on” 24/7. I love plants and nature, so it is easy to do what I do. I am always on the lookout for new and exciting things to share with our customers and employees. I love to visit garden centers and nurseries wherever I go, and I always find some idea to bring home. It could be a display, signage, a new vendor, or a neat program. I am very fortunate to have the great team of employees that we have here at Hillermann’s. They are truly dedicated and loyal. Plant huggers can be that way! They help us provide quality products and work. We are a much diversified company for our industry. This is what won us the “National” Revolutionary Garden Center of the Year award in 2009. I am proud of our accomplishments, happy to be serving Washington and the surrounding communities. We don’t want gardening or outdoor work to be intimidating, and I know it can be to some. Your outdoors should be an extension of your home, a “sanctuary”.  One of our goals for 2012 is to get people to fall in love with plants again. My new focus is, “Plants can live without people, but people cannot live without plants!” This statement really hits home for me. We just want people to be aware of the importance plants and nature play in our lives every day. Knowing where your food comes from is another big push in today’s world. We want to make gardening of food crops easy and enjoyable as well. You don’t need an acre of land to grow food for a family of four.

Plants can live without people, but people cannot live without plants! Spring is on its way to Hillermann's Nursery and Florist.

At home I love my home! It is in town, close to church, work and shopping. My home is my sanctuary. I have our home certified as a “Backyard Wildlife Habitat” by the NWF. I feed the birds year round. They give me peace. I love birds, and have them inside and out, at home and at work. Our screened in deck is a favorite place to rest and read when the weather cooperates. I love my gardens and flowers. I started a “mini garden” inside of a landscape bed outside my home, where my granddaughter Anna and I love to play. My grandchildren (I have two, Anna 4, and Noah 2) who live in Colorado, are very much outdoor kids. So when they are here we spend a lot of time outside. I have  a lot of windows in my house, so it is bright and cozy. My husband is the chef of the house and also loves to do laundry. How lucky am I? In my spare time, I love to make cards and scrapbook. I’m a “do it myself” kind of person, I love crafting.

Downtown I love our downtown! But I must admit I miss Droege’s a lot. I would stop in there 2-3 times a week. Grocery shopping is more of a chore now for me. We have great shops in downtown. And there is a lot of pride in our downtown community. To have such a beautiful riverfront park and trail is an extra blessing. People do connect with nature there. I appreciate the new development going on in that area.

I am proud to say that this photo has been taken at Hillermann Nursery & Florist and it has been a part of my note cards collection. You can find it, along with some more of my work, at Hillermann's.

I would like to thank Sandi for taking the time to do this interview for Re-Discover Washington. Hillermann Nursery and Florist is family-owned garden center, established in 1951. The company is diversified with many departments including: Nursery, Garden Center, Floral/Gift Shop, Outdoor Equipment, and Landscape/Irrigation. Hillermann Nursery & Florist is located on 2601 E. 5th St. Visit their website here or call 636.239.6729 for more information. Like their Facebook page to stay informed on current events and new garden trends.

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


4 Responses to “A Day In The Life Of… Sandi Hillermann”

  1. Hillermann’s Nursery (and Sandi!) is AWESOME! I visit Hillermann’s many, many times throughout the year because it’s constantly changing…and I always find something that must go home with me! 🙂 From annuals in the spring, to Christmas decorations in November/December, to perennials and shrubs and gifts year-round, I can always find it there! My entire Christmas wish-list for my hubby to choose from this year was from Hillermann’s! He was very happy with the one-stop shopping, and I was thrilled with my gifts!!

    Posted by Wendy Becker | February 14, 2012, 3:42 pm
  2. Wendy, you are a good friend, thank you for your kind words.

    And Slava, you are a very special person. You make Washington an even better place to call home!

    Posted by Sandi McDonald | February 15, 2012, 8:03 am
  3. I agree 100+% with your comment about Droege’s. Miss them terribly. And I appreciate your support of the Dog Park and animal causes. Thanks, Slava, for this selection.

    Posted by Julia West | April 20, 2014, 7:30 am

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