United States Edition

My experience with Optimara, Inc.

  • SneIrish

    Folia Helper

    1052 plants United States6b

    For anyone who might not be aware, Optimara is a huge grower of African Violets and a few other decorative plants like Begonias. They sell on-line directly, and many African Violet dealers also sell their plants. Optimara is also one of the biggest suppliers of African Violets to the big box and chain stores in the USA, with Lowe’s being the prime example. They are a family run business since 1904 and are located near Nashville, Tennessee.

    I have several violets that I received in a swap in November 2010 from a woman who had run an Optimara coop that summer. These were some leftovers where the tags had been lost and were not in bloom so she had no idea what variety they were. They were, however, definitely Optimara named varieties, and 2010 active varieties.

    Last week I found the site MyViolet.com which is also run by Optimara, in addition to their own Optimara.com. It has forums and photos, and a place to log in your own Optimara Violet photos. They also offer to help identify your Optimara Violet if you send them photos. So, I figured, why not? I sent two emails and a contact message through the site and all were returned as “permanently failed.”

    Now I don’t usually do this, but I decided to contact Optimara directly and find out what the story was. Thursday, I sent a message via Optimara.com at 7:23 pm, and at 9:20 pm I had an answer back – from Reinhold Holtkamp, the owner of the company, directly.

    His answer was:
    “Thank you for the update, they are working on fixing the problem. We had a fall out with the original company not delivering the services and the new company is fixing the problems over the past couple of weeks. Stay tuned regarding myviolet.com. As to being able to assist you have come to the right place. How may I help you”

    So I sent a reply and the next morning I woke to a message sent at 2:58 am from Michael Coleman from Optimara Web Services who suggested I post my pictures to their Facebook page, which is their own business page. I did that and within 24 hours I had confirmation of identity of the three violets from the coop I have had bloom so far, with explanations of why they are that variety (per description).

    Needless to say, I am an Optimara fan right now! With IDs for Texas, Chico and Rhapsodie Monique. :)

    Posted over 3 years ago | Last edited over 3 years ago

Join the conversation!

You'll need to sign up for a free account, or log in if you're already a member.

Folia is the best Garden Tracking community on the web - take our Tour to find out more.

Hi there! You're reading a conversation in the African Violet (Saintpaulia) group on Folia.

The propagation and care of African Violets

Topic Watchers

Other Recent Topics See more...


Apartment Therapy logo

Whether you're rocking a full-fledged veggie garden in the backyard, have a stellar natural landscape in place of the front lawn, or are coaxing edibles and bee-friendly varietals from random containers on the porch, this online garden journal is for you.

More buzz about us...

Latest Activity

Folia Badges and Widgets

Folia Blog Widgets

Want some super cool badges to stick on your blog? What about a funky widget that shows everyone what you are growing? Sounds like you need to get over to our Goodies page pronto!

Tour | About | Help & Support | Contact | Terms | Privacy | Community Guidelines | Goodies

Homegrown by Nic & Nath All photos and content © their respective owners.

Free Gardening database | Free garden organizer | Vegetable garden software | Mobile gardening app

Popular Plants: Tomato | Sweet pepper | Chili pepper | Basil | Bean | Rose | Carrot | Cucumber | Lettuce | Onion | Strawberry | Daylily | Spinach | Potato | Radish