Driving Miss Winnie

Brian Wildeman hardly can sit at an intersection these days without drivers shouting out compliments about his new ride.

The new addition to his landscape business Wilde Horticulture isn’t new at all. It’s a fully restored 1949 Chevrolet 6400 farm truck named Winnie.

“People always say, ‘It reminds me of my dad,’ ‘It reminds me of my grandpa,’ or ‘I learned how to drive on that car,’” he says. “It really brings back those memories.”

Wilde Horticulture, founded in February 2016, doesn’t have a storefront; that prevented Wildeman and the business from breaking into retail. With the new truck, however, the company has been traveling around the city since July for pop-up shops and parking lot takeovers at locations like The Red Poppy and the Reitz Home Museum and events like Kunstfest and Funk in the City.

After seeing similar pop-ups in different cities around the country and the world, Wildeman says he realized it was something Evansville needed, too.

“It’s trying to bring a little bit of what you see elsewhere back to Evansville,” he says. “You see a lot of the same old stuff around here. I think it just goes hand in hand with creating something fun and different.”

Through the holiday season, Winnie will travel around town stocked with Christmas greeneries, roping, wreaths, twigs, and berries. Winnie’s future stops are announced on the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages, but she likes to keep her appearances spontaneous. Shoppers can find her next at Christ the King School’s Jingle Mingle Mart on Nov. 17 and in front of The Red Poppy on Nov. 18.

“It’s been a lot of fun to see people’s reactions,” says Wildeman. “It just sparks that interest, and it brings back nostalgic memories.”

For more information about Wilde Horticulture, call 812-604-5322 or visit wildespaces.com.

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