Small Business Spotlight: Lush Plant CoAndrea Kidd (left) and Jennifer Martha (right) started Lush Plant Co as a pop-up shop in 2020, and have been in their brick-and-mortar location since April 2021. Photo submitted by Andrea Kidd.
Decatur, GA — Lush Plant Co. started as a pop-up plant shop in August 2020. Andrea Kidd and her sister, Jennifer Martha, had a passion for houseplants, their favorite hobby.
They had always joked that they wanted to open a plant store because plants make them happy.
“Neither of us really had any retail experience at all. Then during the pandemic, she sells wine, and I was doing events, so both of our careers came to a total halt,” Kidd said. “We were both at home doing virtual school with our kids and pandemic life. We decided to do a plant pop-up to make us happy, to make everyone else happy and bring joy to the neighborhood.”
At the time, there weren’t any houseplant shops in Decatur, and the pair felt the city needed one of its own.
Kidd and Martha opened Lush Plant Co in 2020 at Scout Oakhurst as a pop-up on the weekends.
“In our first weekend, we sold out of almost all of our inventory,” Kidd said. “We took a week off after that, and we were like what are we going to do. We hired Kari, who is now our shop manager, and we decided to be open every weekend. We did that for nine months.”
The sisters eventually realized they needed more space. They moved into the building at 317 W. Hill Street in April 2021.
“We’re open six days a week. We now have about six employees,” Kidd said. “We like to kind of pinch ourselves because we still can’t believe sometimes how it kind of just snowballed. Each day we did a little more, a little more, and here we are.”
The shop offers a variety of plants, pots and accessories. One corner of the store houses the humidity loving plants, which are set up with some humidifiers. This section features a variety of calatheas and ferns.
While the calatheas can be a bit dramatic and high maintenance, Lush Plant Co. also have a selection of low maintenance plants, like aglaonemas, which can adjust to low levels of light.
Other plants the store carries include vining plants, ficus, birds of paradise, snake plants, Venus fly traps, cacti and succulents.
The store also carries a variety of ceramics, hanging pots and macramé.
“We like to have as many different pots as possible,” Kidd said. “On our center table, we display all of our mama pots. They’re made in San Diego, and they just come in the best colors.”
One corner of the store features locally made products like a propagation station, pots made by local artist Todd Terra Nova, and candles and body butters made by Wild Earth Mama.
“We really like to support local artists, and we’re lucky to live in such a big city and there’s tons of them. Eventually, we’d like this shelf to be all locally made,” Kidd said.
Local designer Huckleberry Starnes has also made some banners and other merchandise like bags, wine tumblers, coffee mugs and coozies, for the shop.
In addition to selling plants and pots, Lush Plant Co. offers repotting and consults to help budding houseplant owners, and even those who have a green thumb.
“All weekend long we’ve got people schlepping their plants in here, and we’re handling the repotting,” Kidd said. “We do home consults, so sometimes if someone’s got a plant that’s too big that needs some attention, we’ll go to their house, and we’ll do it there. Or if they just are looking for advice on what plants to put in their space, we’ll go and evaluate their lighting, and we’ll put together some recommendations for them.”
Customers can make an appointment on the store’s website for repotting.
“Anytime somebody brings us their plant, we’ll check the roots, we’ll make sure there’s no root rot, we’ll check it for pests, we’ll treat it with our solution, we’ll shine up the leaves,” Kidd said. “It’s kind of like a full tune up. [We’ll] get it fresh soil. If it needs a bigger pot, we’ll do that.”
Lush Plant Co. recently began hosting workshops about every two weeks on Sunday mornings. The staff serve mimosas during the event. Participants can pick a succulent planter and Lush Plant Co walk attendees through a hands-on workshop on how to create their succulent bowl.
Kidd’s favorite part about working at the store is just being with the plants, she said.
“I always say I could be here for 12 hours, and it feels like I’m here for two hours because I’m just listening to the plants,” Kidd said. “They really do speak to you if you’re willing to listen.”
Her advice to those just getting started with houseplants is to put a plant where it wants to be and not just where it looks good.
Shop Manager Kari Howell said she loves that the store is peaceful and relaxing. Howell has had houseplants throughout her whole life.
“Houseplants are in my blood. My grandmother always had houseplants. My mom always had houseplants. They taught me the way since I was little,” Howell said. “My hands have always been in the dirt, so having houseplants is just kind of like second nature. It’s always been a part of my life.”
Her advice to those with plants is not to water them too much. She also encouraged people to use tools, like a water meter, to help with their plant care.
The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store’s hours will soon change to be open on Mondays and expand the hours until 7 p.m. Kidd said she anticipates the hours will change at the beginning of May. For the store location and hours, click here.