BEL AIR — As many businesses struggle to stay open during this pandemic, one Harford County woman decided to open one.
Shannon Greaver has always dreamed of owning her own plant store and now she does. She opened Explorganics, a boutique plant shop in Bel Air on November 1st.
"I’m definitely excited. It’s still surreal. I still feel like I’m in a dream like somebodies supposed to pinch me or something because I never knew this is something I would actually get to do in my life," said Greaver.
An accomplishment for her and her 2-year-old daughter. She said, "part of its for her because I want her to know she can do anything if she actually puts her mind to it."
Not an easy task, opening something during such a difficult time. With restrictions, she can have about 15 people in her store at at time but she usually keeps about 5-8 to let people space out and enjoy the experience.
"I was definitely really nervous in the beginning. I was really scared. I was nervous because things got a little better, stuff was opening again but I was like is everything going to shut down again? We don't know. It's such an unknown time but it’s actually gone really well," said Greaver.
She added, "I always wonder how different it would be if we didn’t have this going on but it’s gone really well so far and people are appreciating they can come here and feel happy, escape for a little bit from the real world."
Her store isn't just green. She features local artists who picked up their craft during the pandemic.
"Everything here is all handmade and it's amazing. She's very talented," Greaver said, referring to a different Shannon who created M&E jewelry. She found this hobby when she was furloughed because of COVID. She added, "she started making clay with a kids kit and it turned in to this."
Then there's Lemon Bubbly, handmade macrame oil diffusers, key chains and plant hangers. Brittanie Hawkes is the artist. She lives in Boston now but is from Harford County.
"This is VRAIE. This is all natural aluminum free Deodorant and all natural make up remover. So Kelsey's from Havre de Grace, she makes this. She’s a full time NICU nurse so this is something she does in her free time," said Greaver.
Her full vision is to have a bigger space so she can feature more local artists and to be a space where people can just step away from reality, even for just a moment. She has a couch in the store to encourage people to do just that.
"People are starting to realize the joy that plants bring them. People used to call me crazy plant lady because they didn’t understand me and I think now they’re starting to appreciate plants and why we have them in our house," said Greaver. She added, "they just make us feel happy and this time of year we definitely need that."
To learn more about Explorganics, click here.
She offers online shopping and curbside pick up for people who aren't comfortable coming in to the store. She hopes they don't have to close but if they do, she said they'll survive with an online platform.