The pandemic made plants a popular home accessory. So, plant lover Jennifer DeLorenzo and her husband Brandt quickly opened their dream store and watched it thrive in two different neighborhoods and online.
During the height of the pandemic, safety concerns and social distancing made authentic human connection difficult. For Jennifer and Brandt DeLorenzo, the pandemic presented an opportunity to turn their passion for nature into a business that would help people find a sense of purpose during some difficult times.
In 2020, the DeLorenzos took over what they called an “ugly” space in the town of Nazareth, Pa. and transformed it into The Curious Plantaholic, a one-stop shop for greenery of all shapes and sizes. The timing could not have been more perfect, as people flocked to find a new green friend to keep in their homes.
“There was an initial rush where every day the store would be jam packed and you wouldn’t be able to move,” Brandt DeLorenzo said. “More and more people are still getting into them, and we have new people coming in every day that say, ‘Hey, I’m just getting into plants. This is going to be my first plant.’ It’s still nonstop.”
For Jennifer DeLorenzo, the mission behind The Curious Plantaholic is simple. She has a sign in the Nazareth store that reads, “Plants Make People Happy.” The idea behind the store is to give plant lovers and plant novices a safe place where they can talk shop or learn more about plant care, and hopefully make new friends in the process.
The popularity of the store inspired the couple to open another outlet in Clinton, NJ and build an online store to have a wider reach for their plants.
“We stay in areas where there’s walking traffic, where people can just park and walk to a bunch of different shops,” Brandt DeLorenzo says. “We stay away from the strip malls, the out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere type of shop. We want to be in the towns where the people are, and kind of go back to how shopping used to be.”
With two stores featuring different items plus and online storefront, juggling inventory can be tricky. Enter Clover. The Curious Plantaholic uses SKU IQ with its WooCommerce website to create real-time stock numbers that allows it to be nimble with supplying plants to its customers.
“Clover works really well using the SKU IQ app in your marketplace with our WooCommerce website,” DeLorenzo says. “We’re able to sell our plants, whether we have 20 or just one, both in-store – at either store – and on our website, and accurately display our inventory that’s available. And then that inventory is deducted not only from our website, but also from Clover. And we all have an accurate count of what plants we have in both stores, even if sales are made in one of those three locations. I feel that we’re ahead of pretty much any other plant store in our area because we have the ability to do that with Clover.”
Another area in which The Curious Plantaholic has bloomed is gift card sales. Customers found themselves wanting to give a plant to friends or family but didn’t want to make a specific choice due to the somewhat-personal nature of plant ownership. So, gift cards became a popular option.
“We have a lot of spouses who come in and say, ‘Hey, my wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband loves plants, I know they have all these, but I don’t know which one they want to get next, so I’d rather give them a gift card,’ ” DeLorenzo says. “So, we heavily market the use of gift cards.”
The Curious Plantaholic often runs specials with the purchase of its gift cards, giving 10 percent off an item, making it a good deal for customers to purchase gift cards. As a bonus for the store, most gift card recipients wind up spending more than the gift card amount to help round out their purchase.
“By bundling and offering incentives, it’s really made it easy for us to sell the gift cards,” DeLorenzo says.
As the business continues to grow, the DeLorenzos are excited about expanding into another town and spreading the gospel of greenery. As far as advice for fellow small business owners, the message is simple: love what you do.
“You can’t just go out there and be like, I’m going to let people come to me,” DeLorenzo said. “You have to market. You have to put yourself out there. You have to believe in that product or service that you’re putting out there. And that’s exactly what we do.”
Read more stories about how Clover can make it easy for merchants to offer digital and physical gift cards–and even store credit.