In 1998, John Derrick and his wife Shirley were walking the Mogollan Rim in Eastern Arizona, collecting pods, seeds and cones to blend some natural potpourri for their cabin home. They were antique dealers at the time, "picking" antiques and collectibles, and reselling them to storefront dealers at trade shows, flea markets and other venues direct to the public. After spending time collecting organic materials and researching organic fragrant oils, Shirley began scenting her potpourri blends, bagging and selling them alongside the antiques.
The potpourri was a hit, and by 1991, John and Shirley moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They began developing their blends from reliable organics suppliers, and John developed a process for dehydrating fruit to maintain long lasting color. He then engineered, designed and built dehydrators, each to hold about 6 bushels of apples and oranges at a time. Once dehydrated, they blended that fruit, along with herbs, spices, pods and cones into their own signature line of hand made potpourri. Further, they began building wreaths and garlands, using their dehydrated apples, oranges, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, "potpourri on a string". They had found their niche! Shirley's Potpourri offered a truly natural way to introduce beautiful fragrances into your home. It didn't take long for Shirley's Potpourri to establish tremendous growth in Texas and the Midwest, as well as through vendors selling at crafts and seasonally at malls all over the country. The work involved in making their products is so labor intensive that no one else has ever been able to copy their look and quality. If you have ever seen or had one of these beauties, certainly Shirley's, out of Canton, Texas, had made it.
After Shirley passed away in 2007, John left the potpourri business to the family in Texas, retired and moved back West to pursue other interest, always knowing the potpourri company been his life's success. Little did he realize that his journey with the potpourri business was not over. Traveling the West coast, John found a few art/craft shows to do for fun and meet some new friends. He quickly realized his craft is timeless! People love the wreaths, garlands and potpourri. And they love the organic blends of refresher oils. "Truly a natural way to introduce beautiful fragrances into your home".
So, in 2014, John began dehydrating fruit again in Las Vegas, Nevada, blending potpourri, building wreaths and garlands. With the help of friends and family, John introduced his new company, Thru the Garden Window. And to this day, John continues to enjoy traveling to venues all over the Western regions of the United States, setting up shop, meeting new friends and sharing his beautiful creations. Among those venues are Home and Garden shows, Art and Wine Festivals, art and craft festivals, Harvest Festival Original Arts and Craft Shows all over California and Cowboy Christmas during the NFR Finals each year in Las Vegas. John and his friends have also designed and built a successful website and Facebook page, so that his clientele may order online for themselves, as well as share and have gifts shipped to friends and family all over the US. John is truly living the American dream, sharing his love for beauty and fragrance from nature.