Uptown Gardening & Hardware


(912) 234-7151

After being laid off by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, after twenty years of loyal service, Joan Clabbers decided it was time to visualize her dream and then “go get it!” While employed by Gulfstream, Joan was responsible for inventory control and all hardware items utilized by the company. Using her knowledge and experience, Joan began talking with an independent hardware store operator on the Southside of Savannah. In talking with him, Joan discovered that there was a niche market in downtown Savannah that was just waiting for someone to fill it. Joan’s advisor, the other independent owner, told Joan that he too, at one point several years ago, planned to open a store downtown but never quite got around to it. He also suggested that Joan follow her dream – armed with all her experience – and fill that niche; that he would be pleased to serve as her advisor and counselor in operating a store. Such was the beginning of Uptown Gardening and Hardware.

Joan worked with the local SBDC office to prepare a business plan and projections for her new venture. She then met with a banker at SunTrust Bank who suggested that Joan work with the SBAC to prepare an SBA Low Doc application. While in the midst of the process and paperwork, Joan lost the lease on her original location. Not to be deterred, she began searching for another, better location. The one she found is in the heart of the residential district of downtown Savannah. What better place to be? Where people can walk a couple of blocks and get the tools, supplies, and gardening utensils they need AFTER they get home from work. Joan decided that in that neighborhood, she needed to open later in the day and stay open into the early evening to serve her target market – her neighbors.

Joan’s SBA Loan was approved and closed shortly thereafter. Uptown Gardening and Hardware had its Grand Opening celebration in the middle of November 2001. Joan, once asked how she planned to finance this venture, answered “on my good looks and charm!” Joan’s charm has already endeared her to the neighborhood making her customers feel welcome to come in and look and chat whenever they want.

Check out Joan’s hardware store – it’s the only building on the street that has a purple awning. You can’t miss it!