MISSOULA — Despite all of the obstacles the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, entrepreneurs are still finding ways to open businesses and stay afloat.
Missoula’s new “plant leasing shop” is the perfect example.
Outside 235 North First Street, it looks like a typical November day in Missoula, chilly with hints of a winter wonderland -- but the inside looks more like a jungle.
Clare Cornberg opened Leaf + Quiet on Aug. 1 and as a first-time business owner, she didn’t know all the ins and outs when she opened up shop -- but had a unique business plan and a love of plants guiding her.
“I realized that a lot of people have holiday homes -- especially in Montana -- and they buy houseplants, and they let them die over the winter, which just didn't make a lot of sense to me,” Cornberg said.
“And I figured somebody should start something where you can lease plants so you can just have them part-time, and then somebody could take them back when you're finished with them. That was kind of the idea that started it all,” she added.
In addition to individuals and businesses leasing plants, people can also purchase plants from Leaf + Quiet.
Even if you don’t see yourself as an expert gardener, Cornberg assures her customers that you don’t need to have a green thumb to get the green light.
“It is more so about choosing the right plant for your space because they all have such different needs in terms of light and humidity and temperature and watering,” Cornberg explained.
The plant industry has been thriving since the COVID-19 pandemic began which Cornberg describes as a double-edged sword.
"This has been the biggest boom that this industry has ever seen because so many people are staying home and they're a lot more aware of their spaces,” she said. “And they're focusing on enhancing their spaces using plants, so the supply of things was just kind of obliterated, so everything has been on backorder."
If the pandemic has given business owners anything -- it’s resilience. “I'm weirdly grateful to have opened my first shop now because I feel like I'm prepared for anything that comes next,” Cornberg said.
Leaf + Quiet is open Wednesday through Sunday, or you can call to set up a consultation with the owner. Click here for more information.
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