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How did Gilden Tree Get Started?


People love to hear the story of how businesses are started.  Anyone who’s thinking about starting a business will tell you that you can often learn a lot by finding out what sparked the idea for the business.   

The funny thing is 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 worked on my horrible feet, and I knew other people would love them, too.  I was right, Gilden Tree, with the Foot Scrubber took off and we left the other company, QuickCurry, Inc. behind.

It wasn’t until 2004, when the 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.  

That Gilden Tree was actually started because of a love story.  

Instead of writing a profile about products and markets, when he interviewed us  Jed saw something different.  He saw that Kumy and I had met in college, fallen madly in love, and that I’d followed him to Pakistan, where we were married.  He also saw that we’d come back to Nebraska, started a family and a business at about the same time.  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.