Sisters & Cactus Connoisseurs - "Best Little Cactus Shop in LA"
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely sister duo behind Ponderosa Cactus, one of LA's cutest cactus shops. Located in the up & coming neighborhood of Highland Park, this little shop with it's adorable orange door makes an amazing addition to this area. Boss babes Andanette (right) & Daniella (left) both came from very corporate worlds in the finance and pharmaceutical industry before taking the leap to boss-dom. Ponderosa has been in business for one year and they plan many more to come.
As someone who runs their business primarily online, the Brick & Mortar concept both frightens and excites me! I feel like it's the secret dream of most online retailers including myself. It was awesome to meet some gals that really dove in head first and are living that store-front life :) I even took a cactus cutie home with me and it looks incredible in my living room! They really spent time helping me decide the best one, pot it, and carefully pack and load it into my car. That's the service and love you get when shopping small!
Highland Park - 128 N. Ave 64, Los Angeles, CA, 90042 - PH: 323 861 0309
Monday: By Appointment
Read below Q&A and see the photos from my shop visit:
1) What is Ponderosa Cactus for those that don’t know? What did you set out to create when you decided to start it!?
Daniella: Ponderosa Cactus is a small cactus shop that offers a variety of unique cacti to fit any space, indoor or outdoor. We like to say we have a "back door" because we offer other services such as landscaping, consulting, showroom decoration, staging and planting. We wanted to create a space that was inspiring to others.
Andanette: Ponderosa Cactus is a cute and unconventional cactus storefront nestled in Highland Park. We set out to create a new take on cacti. Thought as unapproachable, we want everyone to appreciate the goodness a cactus can bring any space at an approachable price.
2) We think it’s SO cool that you guys are a sister boss team. Is it hard working together with someone so close?
It's actually the best working with a sibling. We know that each of us is putting a 100% at the table. It really makes the days fly by and projects easier to take on and complete. We have each other as a support system and collaboratively make one another strong.
3) Tell us a little bit about your background. What did you do before Ponderosa and did you have experience in the nursery world?
Daniella: Our summers were working alongside our mom in the nursery. When we weren't working on homework we were watering the lines of plants. I attended the U of A and focused my studies on physiology. After some time in Tucson, I headed west. I was offered a job in a phase one pharmaceutical company.
Andanette: I attended the University of Arizona and received a degree in International Studies focusing on world economies. After graduating, I found a job in finance, for a corporate law firm, in downtown LA. We grew up in the nursery world, our parents have owned their nursery for over 25 years. Each summer we would earn our allowance by helping out at the store. Our dad often joked that we would return back to what raised us. And here we are!
4) Many Dazey Ladies talk about the “big leap” being such a huge scary decision! How was it for you guys?
Daniella: There was a undiscussed fear that lingered for a few months after opening but we were so confident that the cacti, the stars of the nursery would do well.
Andanette: Yes and no. The "big leap" felt so reviving! Walking into your future is scary, but it's mainly the self doubt caused by horror stories you heard from others. Once you learn to shut them out, it's smooth sailing. Of course the bright days don't make an experienced sailor. The mistakes you make in the beginning are more like lessons that build a strong foundation.
5) You mentioned this younger generation being very supportive of small business, we love that! Would love to hear more of your thoughts on that.
We feel that our peers are supportive of entrepreneurial ventures. More often than not they are at some stage of pursuing their own special interest. So we exchange some encouraging words and have a instant recharge.
6) OK so everyones dying to know what are the best tricks for keeping succulents and cactuses alive?!
Don't over think it. They are so simple to tend. Funny as it sounds, plants communicate with you when they are sad or happy. New growth will show if they are happy, wilting or lack of color will reflect their sadness. Succulents need water every 10 days. Cacti need water every 15 days. The amount of water is comparable to the size of the plant. Simple?
7) What are the highs and lows of being self employed? How do you deal with the hard times? How to you celebrate the good ones!?
When faced with a bad day, it's okay to just mope for 3 minutes, at most. Then wipe the bad thoughts! Don't let frustration pent up; if tackling a bigger than life project take it in baby steps. It will get done before you know it. Set a calendar with a new task to do every hour. As your own boss, you won't really have a day off, but you're rewarding yourself with a life of purpose. Celebrating the good ones is by soaking in the satisfaction, appreciating the very moment. Take everyday with a new light, "this day will be greater than yesterday."
8) What’s your #1 tip to someone looking to start a brick and mortar shop?
Daniella: Stick to your vision, stay true to your brand. Don't jump into a space unless you're completely sure. You'll know it's the right spot when you can imagine yourself on the opposite side of the room greeting people in your shop.
Andanette: The best way to find your brick and mortar is driving around your ideal area. Walk up and down the area get a good idea of the neighborhood. Just search up and down the area. Something will pop up. Don't hesitate to call be persistent with the search. If you can't find something there go to a nearby neighborhood. Restart the same process. Make your first ideal place be your ultimate goal for the year to come.
9) What are your future plans for the shop!?
We would love to expand! Keep the boutique style, but have more property to showcase our cacti cuties!
10) What does being a Dazey Lady mean to you?
Daniella: Being a Dazey Lady means a lot to me. It's an art of being conscious. We all have a purpose. With collaborative efforts, like what Dazey provides, we each help each other leave a larger imprint in this society.
Andanette: It's about supporting one another, radiating positivity. We each are on a venture to making our dreams a reality, learning of other Dazey Ladies in their different chapters is spirit lifting. So happy to be part of something so positive!