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ASK ANN: How did Gilden Tree Get Started?

Don’t we all love to hear the story of how businesses are started? It’s always interesting to find out what sparks and idea for a business.

The funny thing is that Gilden Tree was started by two people who didn’t have any business education, or much business background, but who just wanted to do something together.

Kumy and I were living in Karachi. He was an architect and I was a teacher. We wanted to move back to the US, and start a business together, and we had two good ideas. We now realize that having two good ideas is really quite rare.

The first idea was to start a company that would make easy, but authentic Indian spice mixes. Kumy comes from a long line of amazing cooks, and the first product Kumy developed, an Indian Lentil Mix (Daal) was easy and delicious! Remember, in 1990, Indian food was pretty rare and well beyond the average home cook. Great idea, right?

The other idea was to import a little terra-cotta Foot Scrubber that I found in Pakistan, because it really worked – even on my horrible feet and I knew other people would love them, too. I was right and Gilden Tree Foot Scrubbers took off, leaving the Indian spice mix company, QuickCurry, Inc. behind.

It wasn’t until 2004 when Jed Horowitz, Publisher of The Healing Arts Guide approached us about profiling Gilden Tree, that he put into words something we’d never considered before.

Instead of writing a profile about products and markets, Jed found a different story. Kumy and I had met in college, fallen madly in love, and I’d followed him to Pakistan, where we were married and started a family. After several years, we came back to Nebraska and started a business together.
Jed understood that the real start of Gilden Tree was a love story. He wrote a lovely article and included lots of old photographs. Can you still start a business that way? I surely hope so!

Want to read the full article? CLICK HERE.