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Check Out Meagan Black’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meagan Black.

Hi Meagan, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My love for plants began in a dark place. It all started in June of 2018. I didn’t know it at the time but I had developed severe anxiety and depression. I remember going into a store and seeing a cute little plant and thinking “I hear these make things better” well little did I know, I was right. Of course I still struggled with my mental health however everyday even if I didn’t get up to take care of myself, I always showed up for my little plant. It was so cathartic watching this plant grow and thrive, in a time when I couldn’t. In a way, I felt like I was doing at least one thing right. Once I started doing healing work and finding the right medications, I was back to work. I remember sitting under fluorescent lighting for 9 hours a day looking out the windows at all the greenery surrounding my works building. I would often daydream while the wind kissed the tree branches. Before I knew it I had plants on my desk at work, my kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc. My house literally looked like a jungle, and I was more than okay with it. During the pandemic we were sent to work from home due to Covid. I was in heaven, are you kidding me? I got to be in my pajamas all day, surrounded by my dogs and plants. Life was great, except my cup wasn’t filled. I noticed my anxiety started creeping back up and I found myself feeling so sick before work. I remember it like yesterday, I called my best friend and I told her “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t sit here and work this mind numbing job and not feel like I’m contributing to something bigger”. After she told me I didn’t have to that anymore, I sat down with my partner and I told him how I was feeling. He initially told me, just try to hang in there a little longer until you find something else. He was right, right? As I opened up my work computer to sign back in to my grueling 10 hour shift, he came up to me and said “email your boss you are leaving for the day”, I was so confused. He said “we’re going to the nursery, you’re going to start your dream”. So from that day on, Open Hand Plant Co was born. I went from working a customer service job at a desk to owning my own business and making real connections with amazing people in a matter of days. I will never forget when I sold my first plant and I saw their face light up. I remember that feeling. That feeling of happiness, joy and hope. Along the journey I have made mistakes and I have learned so much. But I can tell you that every morning I wake up for me and I show up for myself, and that is a feeling I don’t know that I can ever get used to.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It hasn’t always been easy. I didn’t go to school for business and I truly didn’t know anyone close to me that was an entrepreneur. I remember watching countless videos on YouTube and doing extensive research on the internet. One thing I learned was you have to be good with numbers. I’ll be honest with you, that was intimidating. Luckily my partner is a Virgo rising and knows about just everything. He handles the numbers aspect of the business and taxes while I handle the creative side of things. I love that I get to get my hands dirty and play with plants all day. With that being said though, I did take the time to learn his part of the business as he did mine. I think it’s important to share responsibilities and know the ins and outs of your business.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I have always been more free spirited. I remember growing up on my report cards my teachers would often say “Meagan is a great student, however she tends to talk too much and often has her head in the clouds”. I didn’t like algorithms and periodic tables. I was more interested in painting, drawing, making connections with people and being outside. I love that in my everyday life I get to fill those creative ideas through my work. I pride myself on sustainability, I try to make use of everything I have. Weather it’s reusing nursery pots to grow more plants, recycling old soil, and thrifting pieces in the shop. I love to hand paint my pots and be a part of someones home. One thing you should know, is I always name my plants. It’s up to my customers of course if they would like to rename them or even call them by their scientific name. But I feel like my plants are my kids in a way, and when they leave and go to a new home, I feel so grateful that I am able to share my creative outlet and love for plants with others. With all of my plants, they come with care cards and specific instructions. I want to set my customers up for success with their plants. I also include some cute plant stickers, because who doesn’t love some goodies? We just launched our customer loyalty program that is a punch card system. After 10 punches, they receive a free plant. I truly appreciate every customer who has taken a chance on me and I want to show my appreciation however I can.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I remember being told from a young age “you’re such an old soul” or “you’re so mature for your age”. Now that I am an adult I fully understand due to my surroundings I was forced to grow up quickly. I was often the problem solver or mother figure. I developed a love of taking care of others. I think that’s where my love for plants came from. I remember my mom would often have plants in the home growing up, those poor plants. Bless my mother, she did not have a green thumb. But that never stopped her, and in a way it showed me that she still kept trying to do something she loved even if she didn’t succeed.

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