This summer we are thrilled to feature some local moms who are thinking outside the box and making a difference in our community through the businesses they own, organizations they are involved with, and work they do. Check out the rest of the series and read profiles from previous years here.
Jenna Lovan’s business The Plant Dealer is a subscription service that sells indoor houseplants and everything that goes with them. It began out of her love of plants and has grown into a business that sells plants nationwide.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hi, I’m Jenna! I was born in South Korea, adopted when I was 6 months old, and lived in Iowa ever since. My husband, Pete, and I met in high school and got married a few years after graduating. We’ve now been married for over a decade! We live in Urbandale and our son, Oliver, turned 7 this year. He is a social butterfly and enjoys gaming and soccer in his free time. Our immediate family is conveniently located within miles of us and is a wonderful support system.
What do you consider the biggest challenge of motherhood to be? Biggest joy?
My biggest challenge with motherhood is time management. It’s difficult to find balance with family, work, friends, community, self care, etc. without feeling some sort of guilt. But my biggest joy is seeing my son’s unconditional love at this age, knowing he is getting older by the minute. It’s crucial to raise a compassionate, loving gentleman in this world.
When did you start The Plant Dealer? Is it something you always wanted to do?
I started the business in January 2021 out of my home for the first year. It was never on my radar to start a business, let alone involving plants. I was a stay-at-home mom with a simple plant hobby and some extra free time. It really grew into something I could have never imagined being a part of! Now I am a licensed grower, and I get to share my plants locally and across all 50 states.
What’s the best part about being your own boss?
The empowerment from being my own boss and knowing my hard work made someone’s day, is the best feeling in the world. I’ve made some amazing connections through plants locally and across the United States. Who knew plants could have such an impact!
What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
The hardest part of owning my business is the organization of every detail and the pressure to try and please everyone. You don’t think of what goes behind a product until you’ve built it from the ground up, right down to the paper clip. With my own business, it’s easy to stretch myself too thin trying to seize every opportunity I can, but learning that it’s ok to say no sometimes.
What advice do you have for moms who want to start a business?
Find a product or service that no one else is selling. With an already over-saturated market, your individuality will be the key to stand out and succeed. It helps if you love what you do too! Trust your gut and plan ahead. Never stop learning, because the more you know, the more you grow!
What do you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I knew that my product was going to reach such a large audience. I should have gone with my gut and gone bigger from the beginning, but sometimes the fear of success can hold me back as much as the fear of failure. I am better prepared now for the future because of it.
What do you love about raising a family in Des Moines?
Des Moines may not seem like the hippest, coolest city, but you can’t beat the community for families. There are family friendly events all year round. Our neighborhood has several families who have kids who attend the same school as Oliver. They all play together, and we help each other out when we can. It’s a wonderful place to settle down with a family!
Favorite local restaurant: My husband, Pete, actually cooks the best food-my own personal chef!
Best place to take kids: Greenwood-Ashworth Park
Favorite summer activity: Traveling and hanging with friends and family
What’s the last show you watched, thing you listened to, or book you read? I just started Grey’s Anatomy, I’ve never seen it but I hear I have an emotional journey ahead!
How/where do you relax? I feel like I’ve been so busy for the past two years, I relax when I go to bed for the night!
Connect with Jenna
Know a Des Moines mom we should feature? Let us know! Email [email protected] with details and we will be in touch.