Palazzolo finds her niche with new
'Plant One on Me' stores
She turned her down time during COVID-19
into a new enterprise
(July 2021) – Colorful plantings of annuals in planters and flower beds bring out the gardener in many of us. However, not everyone has space for outdoor plantings. Not everyone is able to keep up with the maintenance of outdoor flowerbeds. Lush green plants that will grow easily indoors have a simple beauty that is also enticing. The ideal indoor plant is one that is low maintenance, hard to kill and always looks great.
Kaitlyn Palazzolo has always loved plants. Her houseplant hobby expanded during the pandemic lockdown. She said, “I always had plants, but during the pandemic, I bought tons of plants. I thought it would be awesome to have a plant store.”
She was tired of ordering plants online or looking for plants in big-box retailers like Walmart. Her vision was to create a business where it was easy to find unique plants – a place where shoppers could ask questions about plants or even bring in a sickly plant for advice on how to save it from certain death.
Palazzolo, 32, last month opened exactly that store – Plant One On Me in Madison, Ind. It was her second plant store. Her first store had opened in La Grange, Ky. in June 2020. Coincidentally, both the Madison and the La Grange plant store are located across the street from a Red Pepper Deli.
Kaitlyn Palazzolo opened her
La Grange, Ky., store last year and a second store in Madison, Ind., in June 2021
“I wasn’t really thinking about opening a second store, but Ellie Troutman and Taylor Rinehart (owners of McWhiggins Toy Emporium) told me about retail space they had available in Madison. Both La Grange and Madison have that same charm,” she said.
The once common houseplant was raised to celebrity status during the pandemic. The touted benefits of indoor plants include reducing stress, speeding recovery from illness or surgery, improving air quality and creating a sense of well-being. Current HGTV shows feature large statement plants in bold containers, intriguing hanging plants and collections of small unique plants in fun little pots tucked into strategic spots on a bookshelf, desk or kitchen counter. Walking into a plant store for the first time is like walking into a toy store. There is so much to see. Just like toys, it is hard to choose just one.
Hailey Gray, 23, is the manager of the store in Madison. When she was bored during the pandemic, she bought plants. Now she has more than 50 plants in her bedroom. She is just the person to provide practical advice to help shoppers select the best plant.
“Hailey is knowledgeable and loves plants. She was phenomenal immediately,” Palazzolo said. “Catherine Robertson, my manager in La Grange, has previous floral experience. She has been my rock at that store. I don’t have many rules, just water the plants.”
With the daily operations under control at both locations, Palazzolo said she is looking at other ways to expand the business and the services they are able to offer. She is planning a terrarium bar where shoppers can create a personalized terrarium. Classes will be available to provide a good group event for birthdays celebrations, wedding parties or an evening with friends.
When Palazzolo was considering a store in Madison, Troutman worked with the Madison Main Street board and Executive Director Austin Sims to create an active recruitment plan. Troutman told Sims, “Kaitlyn needs to meet people in Madison.”
Valecia Crisafulli, the previous Madison Main Street Board Chair, scheduled a luncheon with other business owners, including Ralph London (owner of Betty Jeffries clothing store), Beth Lewis (owner of Olde Thyme Marketplace), Colleen Sutton (owner of Richwood on the River in Milton, Ky.), Troutman and Sims.
“The pandemic was a real eye-opener,” Sims said. “One good thing that resulted from the pandemic was the collaborative way our local business owners worked together. In addition, Madison residents really supported our local businesses.”
That collaborative spirit was evident in the luncheon meeting Palazzolo attended. “Beth at Old Thyme Marketplace carries outdoor topiaries, which we do not stock, so we are not competing against each other. Everyone has been so helpful and kind,” Palazzolo said.
Plant One On Me is an anchor store on the west end of Main Street. Sims welcomed Palazzolo’s new business to Madison. “Kaitlyn sees the opportunities beyond just a plant store. She makes it so easy. Anyone can get help with a struggling plant. She is willing to do whatever her customers need,” Sims said.
Reflecting on her expanding Plant One On Me stores, Palazzolo said, “It is awesome to be able to do something that I love and that brings joy to other people. It is not work for me. I’m really happy to be in Madison.” Located on the southeast corner of west Main and Craigmont streets, the new store features a colorful “Plant One On Me” sign that makes the building stand out. The sign was designed and created by Kevin Carlson, local artist and sign company owner. Palazzolo said she plans to add a table and outdoor seating on the sidewalk in front of the plant store.
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