Who the heck is Walter?

I began my career as a Stetson University graduate with a major in Finance. In hindsight, it is clear that I was much more interested in having an adventure than I was in to nurturing a prosperous career in numbers. I left Florida after graduation and took off to Boston (I had been there once and loved it), where I used my Finance degree at a mutual fund firm. I eventually left that career to start a new career in Real Estate which fascinated me, especially during the boom, and it still does.

I had dreamed of living in NYC since I was 16 so again, prioritizing adventure over planting roots, I decided it was time to take the leap. I said goodbye to the coldest place I'd ever lived and went south.... to New York City. I spent 5 amazing and life learning years in the Big Apple where I eventually realized that although I was having a great time personally, I wasn't really wanting to continue on the corporate path. I call it my quarter life crisis: I took out a student loan and enrolled in Parsons University, conveniently located 2 blocks from my miniature apartment which was only slightly larger than the walk in closet I have now. I have loved clothes and fashion since before I can remember and I decided that maybe it was time to explore that interest. After one year at Parsons, I became more and more interested in the retail side of things. My family, having been in retail most of their lives, had a large retail business in my home town of Port St. Joe, FL and were having some growing pains which I tried to help with from afar. I eventually decided to come down and help them for a while, with the agreement they would help me get started with something of my own. I didn't mean to open a store selling swimwear, but there was no room in my parents' business for all the swimwear and there was an empty space across the parking lot, an old Movie Gallery that had gone out of business. I suggested we put the swimwear over there for the summer.

Coming straight from NYC, where I still kept and subletted my microscopic apartment (it's hard to find an apartment in Manhattan!) I thought it would be neat to name this new location an ambiguous name because what if we decided to put shoes over there? or jewelry? or...? So I came up with my grandfather's name and my favorite color. My grandfather was from Port St. Joe and is partly where I get my work ethic from (that, and my dad making me start cashiering at his store at 12 years old. He still hasn't confirmed whether that was legal) :) It sounded fancy (at least I thought so at the time). Which is where the name Walter Green came from. It wasn't until a couple of years later when I really took ownership of Walter Green in Port St. Joe. During this time I adopted my sweet puppy child, Grover, and then we met my now husband, Ron (Grover eventually approved). Ron and I got married but I still kept and sublet out my apartment in NYC (I'm telling you, it's very hard to find an apartment in New York!) I convinced Ron that Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand were great places to go on our honeymoon (a year before I also convinced him that we should go to South Africa and go on a safari, which we did, so he knew he could not get away with going on a traditional honeymoon). So we went on a 13 day adventure which may or may not have involved us drinking out of a vat that housed a snake. We also ran in to some Manhattanites in Cambodia who very much understood why I still kept my apartment on 14th and 7th in Manhattan :)

It was 3 years in to my new retail career when my father encouraged me to open a second location. I settled on Tallahassee, where eventually my husband and I would move because of a job opportunity, and is where we live now. Still craving adventure, you'll find us taking mini trips to NYC, Burning Man (been going since 2009), and we have plans to eventually revisit Vietnam (guess we loved that snake juice). We now have a 4 year old daughter who you can occasionally find windexing my store windows. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree ;-) I eventually gave up my apartment in NYC.