Dandelion Home & Garden is owned and operated by Susan Veasey and her partner Rachel Morris. The new Hillcrest store opened on May 15 after nearly two years of planning, decorating and trips back and forth to Dallas to procure plants.
Many of the plants featured in the store are potted inside of antiques, and they pride themselves in having plants that could fit in anyone's budget.
"We wanted to make it where if you wanted to come in and get a cute little $12 arrangement, you could," Veasey says. "But if you also want to come in and get a $60 or $100 arrangement, you could do that, too, if you need it. We will do custom arrangements. We wanted to have price points where college kids could come in and afford stuff and, you know, college kids can barely afford tacos."
Not only do they sell antiques, but their store practically is one. The building, which formerly was home to Haus Werk, is 92 years old. The potrack they hang plants on is 125 years old and from Veasey's grandparents' farmhouse. The display table is from her great grandparents' store and is also 125 years old. The sink where they trim flowers is 114 years old from the farm, too.
Everything that wasn't a family heirloom, Morris built herself, including the counter, several of the shelves, potting stations and displays.
"This store if you look at it, this half with the pillows and the candles and the 'cozy/comfy' is very her, and the side with the plants and the cactus and the music is very me," Morris says. "This is her personality and my personality joined."
Veasey is a nurse that runs the COVID-19 unit at Baptist Health in Little Rock. Morris is an airline pilot. Now, they also own a plant shop and they couldn't be happier.
"I have found that plants are healing," Veasey says. "Whenever someone brings in a plant into a patient's room, it really does make a difference in how the whole room feels. Plants are therapy."
That's why part of their mission in the community is to donate arrangements and trees to patients and families in hospice care.
"We always wanted to find a place to be a part of the community and we get to help the people here," Morris says. "That's really important to us. Her background is in hospital and hospice and I've been in the hospital before. And a plant; just how much joy that can bring. It's really important to us to get that philanthropy going."
Along with plants, Dandelion also sells artwork, pillows, candles and so much more. In fact, they want artists to reach out so that they can display their work along the walls of their store.
"We're just excited to be part of the community," Veasey says. "We try to be edgy. We are super diverse and want to support diversity and women's empowerment. We wouldn't be anywhere else. We love [Hillcrest]. We wanted it to be in a community where people could be walking their dog and pop in and say 'hey' and get some cool plants."
They also plan to bring in master gardeners and artists to teach classes such as a macrame and mojito-making or hanging baskets. They want to connect the buyer to knowledge, whether they themselves possess the knowledge or not.
"We just want everybody to feel at home and like they're family with us,' Veasey says. "We're just warm people, and if you ever feel like you need some healing from plants, come in. We want this to be a venue for people to relax. We want it to be for everybody. We want people to know how grateful we are to be a part of the community and how much they embraced us. It's been a dream. At first it was terrifying, but everyone has loved it and feel like it's needed here."