the plant shoppe does wichita!

One of my dreams when starting The Plant Shoppe was to figure out a way to make it mobile.  I wanted to take my passion of succulents and share it with like-minded individuals while getting to visit new cities around the country and meet new faces.  So when my new Wichita friend, Taylor, reached out to me on Instagram back in August, I decided now was the time to do it.  It was exactly what I needed after a long, stressful summer!  Taylor shared with me the ins and outs of the local Wichita scene and helped me find the BEST venue to host the workshop.

The workshop was hosted at The Workroom ICT, a locally owned shop.  It houses a sewing workroom for home textiles along with the work of local artisans and a handful of vintage finds.  Located in the Douglas Design District, Janelle (owner) had the perfect set up for us.  Tucked back in the corner of her shop, we had an intimate, yet homey space to gather in.

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For two hours, we all chatted about succulents, sipped on our signature prickly pear margaritas, chowed down on some chips+salsa and got our hands dirty.  Each of us made our very own little succulent world that we could take home and love on.

I am so very happy that Wichita allowed me to host the very first off-site workshop for The Plant Shoppe.  Thank you to each and every one of you who attended and to you- Janelle, Justin and Taylor- for helping me organize it.  I had a blast meeting you all and spending my Sunday afternoon with you.  Until next time......

#dirtythemhands #TPSWorkshop

thank you times a million!

Wow.  This makes the third time that I've sat down to write this blog post.  I've written and deleted, written and deleted, written and deleted.  All because I didn't feel my words were good enough.  It has been so hard for me to truly express the gratitude we have in our hearts for the acts of kindness that we were shown during what might possibly be the worst time of our lives.  

As most of you know, our son Memphis was brought into this world ten weeks early.  My pregnancy was no longer healthy and both of us were at risk.  It wasn't his fault, it wasn't my fault, it wasn't anyone's fault.  It was just how the cards played out for us.  Quite frankly, it was the most difficult, most scary thing ever.  Seeing our three pound tiny human working so hard to stay alive sucked.   And watching as he was forced to learn the skills of survival when he was still suppose to be protected by me in my belly sucked.  It sucked real freaking bad.  We spent all day, everyday in the NICU.  We encouraged Memphis to be strong and fight.  We were able to be a part of his care team and became his biggest advocate.  And it paid off.  Every second of every minute of every hour of every day that we were there played a huge role in his growth.  Memphis was able to come home after five short (but grueling) weeks.  He was a rockstar- only 35 weeks gestational, 1 month chronological.  Though we were discharged from the NICU, we are still having to watch him grow and develop at home.  Memphis is currently taking medication that stimulates his brain and helps him remember to breathe.   And we are still wearing monitors for those times he forgets to breathe (which have become far and few between!).  Only one more week until he is considered "term".  Hopefully by then we can move out of the "preemie" stage an onto the "newborn" stage.

So with all that said, one can imagine how hard it was/is to keep up with our daily lives, not to mention the business.  But you know what?!  We did.  How?  Because of you.  Throughout this entire journey, we've never felt so loved.   And we aren't talking about just everyday love.  We are talking about the kind of love that will drop you to your knees.  The kind of love that seems imaginable.  The kind of love that makes you cry and leaves you breathless.  The kind of love that gives you hope for the present and the future.  We are loved by so, so many people.  Not just by people that are near and dear to us, but by people that we've never met before and businesses from all across the city.  YOU all embraced us, supported us, helped us keep on.  And we can't forget to mention the generosity you all showed us.  Wow.  Just wow.  It is because of generous donations that The Plant Shoppe is able to stay alive.  

So to all of YOU we say 'Thank You'.  Thank you for allowing us to be transparent.  Thank you for following along with us on our journey.  Thank you for allowing us to do what we enjoy doing.  Thank you for being patient with us.  Thank you for loving and supporting us.  Thank you, thank you, thank you times a million.   We will make sure that our son knows how extremely blessed he is to be a part of one hell of a community and that he had the biggest team rooting for him.  Oklahoma City, we love you.

xoxo,

Jen Semmler, Chad Grubbs & Baby Memphis // Owners + Operators


We would like to give special thanks to the following (in no particular order).....

John + Laquita Semmler, Lara + Will Ciston, Mal Woodard, Kara + Mike Grafton, Brandon + Ivy Riggs, Terri + Willi Butler, Tim + Leslie Grubbs, Chris + Tara Grubbs // Your undying love helped us through the most challenging time of our lives.  You sat by our side, you cried with us, you loved on us, you cared for us.  From the moment that it all began, to where we are now you were/are there, no matter what.  We are beyond blessed and so lucky to have you in our lives.

David Kittredge + Ginger Roddick (The Idea Collective) // Your friendship means the world to us.  We are so very lucky to know the two of you.  You are always, always, always offering a hand when we need it the most.  We love you forever and ever and ever.  

David + Camden Chitwood (Emerson Events) // You two are the bees knees.  We love that you stepped in to help us at the shop.  From working events to washing vases, you helped us out tremendously!  We love you guys and are so lucky to have you in our lives.  

Jerrod Beck // You.  You are pretty amazing.  Your kindness, support and thoughtfulness will forever be appreciated.  You didn't have to do what you did.  You've got a BIG heart and OKC is lucky to have you in it.  Seriously, thank you.

Blue 7 // There is not enough kind words in the dictionary that can quantify how we feel about the B7 family.  Your support and generosity blows our socks off.  In awe of everything you do for our great city.  We are forever fans (and friends) of yours.

The Okay See // Blake and Kyle you rock with your awesomeness.  Thanks so much for creating the "Team Memphis" tees.  You all do so much for anyone in need and we thank you.

KatieBug's // You've kept us smiling ever since we met you.  Your kindness and generosity will never go unnoticed.  We are some of your biggest fans and Oklahoma is so lucky to have you (and your cute little trailer!).  Glad we can call you our friends.

The Keep It Local OK Community- Cuppies & JoeCollected ThreadJL WoodworksThe Makeup BarT an Urban Tea House, The Black Scintilla, Butter Sweet Cakes, Cafe 7, Capital City Barber, The Hall's Pizza Kitchen, Learning Tree, Organic Squeeze, Lewis Jewelers, Kickoff Couture, Red Coyote, Klemms Smokehouse // Thank you for your donations, gifts and time. We are forever grateful.

Local Musicians- Kinsey Charles, Jose Hernandez, Blake Burgess, Cameron Morris, Justin Fortney, Rachel Brashear, Sarah Reid, Erich Massad, Gabriel Hancock, Jerrod Beck // Thank you for donating your talent and putting on one hell of a show at the Roger Miller Tribute.  You all rock.

 

Winter Care Tips

Over the past several weeks I've had lots of conversations with customers regarding succulents that have experienced damage from the cold temps and freezing rain we experienced in December.  I hate to admit but, I lost a lot of plants this year because I didn't prepare myself for the winter like I should have!  So as we find ourselves in the middle of winter, I thought it would be appropriate to offer some care tips.  

Three things to remember- Little Water, Lots of Light & Comfortable Temperatures.

Water // Generally speaking, I tell my customers to let the soil dry out between waterings.  Your watering regimen is going to change with the seasons.  During the winter,  your succulents will be taking up very little water, especially if they are indoors and are in dormancy.  It will take longer for the soil to dry out between waterings which means you will need to water less- maybe every 3 weeks or so.  Don't ever let the soil become so dry that it pulls away from the sides of the pot.  If this happens, the roots can begin to desiccate and collapse and you might see that your succulent has begun to shrink or shrivel up.  Aim to give them enough water to keep their roots slightly hydrated.  

Light // Getting enough bright light in the winter can be tough, especially here in Oklahoma.  Although succulents can survive with less light, not enough light can cause them to become disfigured and/or deformed.  When not getting enough light, succulents will begin to stretch as they are trying to find more.  You will also see that they will begin to lose their color and turn pale green, regardless of what their actual color might be.  So during the winter months, you may need to move your succulents closer to a light source.  A south facing window is great and even some direct sun in the winter will be okay.  Aim to give them 4-6 hours of bright light per day.  

Temperature // During the winter months, it is important to protect your succulents from freezing cold temps.  Succulents prefer temps between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  A good rule of thumb is, if you are comfortable, your succulents are comfortable.  So if you keep your succulents outside during the spring/summer/fall months, be sure to bring them inside during the winter (or if there are any chances of a freeze).  Sometimes, a windowsill may provide too cold of temperature for the succulents too so just be cautious. 

I hope that these tips are helpful!  Above all, you are ultimately the best gauge of giving your succulent babies what they need.  Know that every environment is different.  Become familiar with your plant, watch for changes and most importantly, don't overthink it!

Best of luck,

Jen

Hello, 2015.

As I reflect on the last two years and how much The Plant Shoppe has evolved, I become overwhelmed.  What began as a hobby or rather a “lets see how this goes” project, has turned into a full-fledged business adventure.  Don’t get me wrong, I had every intention for the “lets see how this goes” project to grow, but never did I intend for it to come as far as it has so quickly.  And I’m so thankful that it has.  I’ve learned and experienced so much over the past year alone- what it means to be an entrepreneur, what it takes to own a small business and that its not as easy as it looks.  I’ve met and worked with so many wonderful people and have been flooded with loads of support.  My life as I know it has become The Plant Shoppe.  I live it, I dream about it, I am it.    

So if you follow me on social media, you have probably already heard the news.  In July 2015, I am expecting a little bundle of joy.  I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for this miracle to take place.  I honestly never thought it would.  So for me, this is such a BIG DEAL.  And I want to enjoy every moment of it that I can and not take it for granted.  I’m ready to focus on my family and for them to be my life.  

So what does that mean???  It means that I’ve got to let go of some things and make some changes both personally and professionally.  I want to go back to where the idea of The Plant Shoppe all started, back to that original plan I had for The Plant Shoppe.  I no longer wish to compete with the West Elm’s, the Home Depot’s or the local plant nurseries and to become the largest succulent provider in Oklahoma.  I want to make my mark by being unique and intentional, to have fun and be a part of an amazing community.   

So here’s where I’m at....  

> I will continue to offer “retail hours” up until springtime-ish.  Although the hours will be slightly different, I will be open 4 days a week for those that wish to come in and purchase succulents and play at the DIY Bar.  

> I will continue to offer custom orders, container fill ups and deliveries all the time.  This includes weddings and special events- these things I love to do!  

> I will push my online presence through our website, offering seasonal items that can be delivered or shipped anywhere in the US of A.  

> I will continue to offer and teach classes involving my passion of succulents and creativity.  Classes will continue to be held at the shop as well as other local venues in the OKC/Metro area.  I will always welcome the opportunity to host private groups/gatherings/classes in or outside the shop.

> I will continue to offer succulent items/arrangements at some of my favorite local shops including Blue 7 and Collected Thread.

> And to the part I’m most excited about, I’m going to bring out the Airstream!  Come springtime, I plan to do more pop-ups and events throughout Oklahoma (and hopefully its surrounding states).  The Plant Shoppe will become mobile!  

I believe in The Plant Shoppe and the fun that it can have.  I’m super excited about the changes and I truly hope that you are too.  I thank each and every one of you for being a part of the journey and being so supportive and understanding along the way.  The Plant Shoppe would not continue to live on if it weren’t for all of you. 

Thanks again for letting me live my dream,

Jen Semmler / Owner & Operator