One of the newest businesses to come to Forest City is Lola's Plants and Gifts.
The store offers a wide-variety of plant and garden-related items, from potted plants to terrariums and printed hand towels to unicorn sprinklers.
The mother and daughter duo of Lorae Current and Linsey Current, respectively, said they had a similar business two years ago in Belmond, with a backyard greenhouse called Winding Creek Gardens.
“We both love plants and we liked the whole deal, so we just decided we’d try it again,” Lorae said.
Linsey said they wanted Lola’s to be in Forest City because there wasn’t a greenhouse-type specialty store in the city. They also thought it would be fun, especially since their family already owned the property.
The mother-daughter duo said they do most things together and they’re very like-minded.
“Mom’s really good at ordering the flowers and she knows all the flower names…and she’s got a lot of plant knowledge, and I have a lot of technical knowledge like the cash registers,” Linsey said. “We feed off each other’s different strengths.”
Lorae described herself as the cautious and wise one, the voice of reason, and Linsey said she wanted to buy it all and splurge. But, Lorae said Linsey sometimes makes her buy things she wouldn’t normally buy, like unicorn sprinklers.
Because the two are so different, they balance each other out nicely, Lorae said.
“It’s two different generations of what people want in a store,” Linsey said.
Lola’s is open Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The strange hours are because Linsey and Lorae are still working their regular jobs.
Linsey works at Hogan-Hansen and Lorae does massage therapy.
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“We don’t want to give up those jobs either,” Linsey said. “This is kind of a second thing just for fun for us, so we just made it work in our current schedule, so thankfully we’re able to do that.”
They also thought the later hours would work better for people leaving their 9 to 5 jobs to get flowers and plants. Being open later when more people can come by is especially important with the summer coming and the busy season approaching.
Linsey said the hours will also change with the seasons. The current hours will change at the end of June, and the store will be open a little less by the end of the summer and a little more in the winter, except January and March.
The store boasts a variety of items of not just plants but also rugs, sprinklers, kitchen items, terrariums, greeting cards, floaties and other trinkets.
“We tried to find stuff we wouldn’t normally find in Forest City and that we thought was fun,” Linsey said.
Linsey said most of the plants come from Minnesota and the perennials and trees come from Oregon. They also go to some big vendor shows in the cities where they can order some plants.
Lola’s also is not limited to just the inside of the building. It has plants needing sunlight in the small space to the right of it and plants that need shade in the small courtyard to the left of it.
Linsey said she thinks the ambiance of the store is the most unique part of it, especially because of the “secret” courtyard
“Most people don’t even know that’s there, so it’s kind of like a secret garden in a sense,” she said.
Because it’s somewhat separated from the rest of the city, Lorae said it’s like a little oasis.
Linsey said they are also planning to have some classes in Lola’s in the near future but they are still working on what each class will teach and the logistics of each class.