I had been seeing tags on social media about a plant shop in town. I would see people posting about cool new plants they had gotten or noticed when new offices opened, they would share videos of someone planting their new office plants for them. While I would see the posts, they always seemed to be at a time when I was busy doing something else and I didn't follow up even though I had every intention to do so.
Then, a couple of weekends ago, I happened to see a post and decided today was going to be my day! I had a bunch of errands to run, but my first stop was going to be HOJA! I needed to see this shop and all the plants for myself. HOJA is located inside the B&L Vaccum store just off of Juliette AVE in Manhattan, KS. If you turn South at the corner of Fort Riley BLVD and Juliette, it is literally right there. You can see their bright mural painted on the North wall of the building.
As soon as I walked into the store, I was greeted by the owner's new dog, and it's the cutest thing ever. Then I met the owner of HOJA Plant and Gift Shop, Sarah! Sarah visited with me as I walked around looking at all the plants, pots, and gifts she had in her store. I probably made three laps around the store, and every time I went around, I would see something new. LOL Plants, pots, and gifts of all shapes and sizes, it was wonderful!
Sarah was super welcoming and helpful. I told her what I was looking for and I appreciated her feedback especially when it came to the lighting conditions I would be working with. As we talked, she shared some of her story with me and what led her to open the business. I am actually making this post on what will be HOJA's birthday, the shop is turning four today!
For those doing the math, that means she opened the shop right before the pandemic and as we all know that was an incredibly tough time to be a small business owner, but Sarah found a way to pivot and make it work. Being able to pivot is incredibly important as a business owner. You can have the idea and plan, but that doesn't mean that is what it will be.
As Sarah and I were visiting, I kept thinking about how she could be one of the most genuine people I have met. After only visiting with me for a short amount of time, she told me about an event happening in town that she thought I might be interested in, it was so heartwarming. Unfortunately, the KSU football game was that evening so I couldn't make it, but you bet the next time that event is happening in town I will be there!
After I found a couple of plants and two new pots that I knew needed to come home with me, Sarah asked me what I am sure she thought was a simple question, but as a business owner myself, it was much more. She asked if I wanted her to plant my new plants in the pots for me. I knew I really liked the store, but that one question made it official, I was in love with this store!
Is planting a plant in a pot hard, no, but is it another level of kindness and service that you don't always find, 100% it is! As Sarah was planting my plants, we chatted more. I couldn't stop thinking how much I appreciated her doing this. This simple act was going to save me time, and a mess at my home. Plus, if I am being honest it would ensure that the plants were going to go into said pots that day!
In the shop, Sarah also carries a variety of gift items. All the items are made locally by women and it is something that Sarah is passionate about. If you are a fan of Kombucha, then this is the place for you. Conveniently located in the corner is a kegerator with Morning Light Kombucha on tap! While I didn't grab any that day, I will need to next time I stop in.
If you are looking for fun and unique plants then you definitely want to stop at HOJA and see what all she has in stock. If you are looking for a fun gift, or want to surprise someone with something fun and local, Sarah will have something for you. In addition to meeting Sarah in the shop, simply going to HOJA's Instagram and checking out all the mentions and rave reviews speaks for itself, ask anyone, HOJA is a MUST!