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Watters Garden Center of Prescott Putting People Over Profits

Article audio is made possible by CAST11 Prescott Podcast Network. A Talking Glass Media production.

Watters Garden center, the Prescott plant store, has always marched to the beat of its own drummer. From its ‘Gardening Should be Natural, Safe and Organic’ ad in the Prescott Woman Magazine to using Mother’s Day sales not to line its pockets but to give back to the community and environmental causes. Watters’ goal is to make the Central Highlands of Arizona a more beautiful place to live.

Watters Garden Center

Not to be bound by convention, Watters announced it was closing the garden center from December 25 through January 2 “because our people need a break,” said Lisa Watters-Lain, owner.

While the Watters online store at remained open, they warned shipments could be delayed until after the holiday week.

A typical retail store generates 60% more sales in a December week than any other month of the year. For clothing stores, it’s even higher at 85%.

Taking care of People is the Purpose for Business.

It’s more than commendable. It’s a variation on the “Waiter Rule,” where a person’s character can be judged by how they treat servers in a restaurant. The same applies to companies. While other retail brands care about customers, more or less, Watters cares about people, including their own people.

A good company treats its employees well, not as impersonal automatons for profit. Retail employees so respected will give back to their workplace and the customers they serve all while having fun at work.

Watters doesn’t just talk about doing good for people and the planet; it walks the walk. Sadly, that’s a rarity in business today.

Family Values with Authentic integrity

“Brands are struggling to create meaningful, authentic connections with consumers because they are not authentic,” says Ken Lain, owner. “Watters Garden Center is different. We don’t strive to connect with people authentically. We’re naturally authentic ourselves. Our authenticity goes back to our beginnings 60 years ago with family values, community service, and integrity.”

Watters is different because their plants and products are grown with such high quality that ultimately, you need to buy less. You get more out of the gardens you already grow in. Our purpose is to help people enjoy nature, preserve, even enhance their home and environment.

Watters Garden Center

Making a difference

Watters is doing more than just mouthing words and quoting statistics. They were just honored with the national ‘Best Horticulture Company to Work‘ because of their community involvement with help from their staff. They are making a real difference.

In accepting the award, Ken and Lisa Watters-Lain graciously stated, “We are learning how to successfully contribute to our community, our customers, and those that work with us. We are humbled by the national recognition and continue working toward Watters’ reason for being, which is to make our community a more beautiful place to live.”

Watters Definition of Sustainability

Ultimately sustainability is about making the world a better place, and Watters lives and breathes sustainability with its recycling program, yes, but also supporting others in the community by donating $93,000 of their time, plants, and cash, back to Central Arizona.

In a world where profits are measured by every minute a retailer is open, Watters closed their garden center so employees could fully enjoy the holiday season.

This article was written by Ken Lain. He can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his website at or

Get more gardening tips from Watters Garden Center in the Mountain Gardener Column on Signals A

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