Like the succulents that grow at Joy Hill’s Main Street store, Nevaeh Hartman, 9, and her mother, Shelby Hilt, manage the town’s newest One of the businesses, so she is thriving as a young entrepreneur.
After a preview at Mount Joy’s Fall Fest in October, ShelNe’s Succulents (a combination of their names) held their grand opening in early November at 45 E. Main St., a location previously owned by Time After Time and Ladybug Suds ‘N Occupy Scrubs, a husband and wife team-run business, moved to a larger location across the street in September.
The mother-daughter duo will be welcoming customers at their store on Saturday, November 11. 26. To commemorate the occasion, customers get $5 off a $50 purchase; $10 off a $100 purchase.
Plus, kids can do crafts and win prizes. There will also be giveaway drawings, including potted plant arrangements and gift baskets filled with items from other vendors in the store.
The store also has a DIY Mom and Me section where kids can pick plants and pot them.
“I’m going to focus my business on a lot of things like getting involved with your kids,” Hilt said.
ShelNe’s succulents began production two years ago during the coronavirus pandemic. Hilt decided to quit her job as a special education teacher who works with students at home. In addition to Nevaeh, Hilt and her husband have three young children at home.
Hilt has been tending the plants. With the help of Nevaeh, who is homeschooling during the pandemic, she started selling plants from home through a Facebook group. Soon they had thousands of followers and lots of sales.
Hilt started buying plants from a wholesale grower in Lancaster County. The couple now grow most of their succulents in the home greenhouse. Succulents have thick, fleshy leaves and stems. Hilt now holds wholesaler and grower licenses.
After attending a local pop-up market, Shilt met Dave Schell, executive director of Main Street Mount Joy. Schell invited her to display plants in the MSMJ window. Meanwhile, Rodney and Lisa Wilbert, who own the space at 45 E. Market, are preparing to move to 67 E. Main St., which houses the Cypress & Myrtle gift shop. After learning about the available space, Hilt decided to rent from Wilbert within a week.
It’s an exciting time for Nevaeh, a fourth grader at Doe Run Elementary School, who is studying business and plants. She can easily describe how plants reproduce (from one leaf to another). It was also an adjustment for her.
“I think by far one of the hardest things I’ve had to do is store. Because at first, I couldn’t… picture it in my head,” Nevaeh said. But now she can see what needs to be done.
Nevaeh helps with planting, potting and watering. (Hilter also enlisted the help of an intern at Hempfield High.) For extra money, the young man painted rocks to sell, and she made sachets out of shells. Selling handprint waterproof stickers was also her idea.
“She’s really business-minded,” her mother said.
Nevaeh also often uses shells to create air plants. Air plants, which don’t require soil but water and air, have become one of the store’s unique features, Hilt said.
The store sells items from other vendors, including crochet items like headbands and plush toys, handmade home decor, art, candles and soaps. Nevaeh’s younger brother, Andy Hartman, also showed an interest in business, selling candy in his store.
Additionally, for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the store’s former owner, Wilberts, is offering special discounts at Time After Time, a clock sales and repair company run by Wilbert, and Ladybug Suds N’ Scrubs, which sells bath and grooming products handcrafted by Lisa Wilbert, including Soaps, lotions and hair care products. She also produces laundry detergent, which is very popular. Her store also runs the Lancaster Wax Co. Candles and other grooming products and gifts such as gnomes.
Ladybug is giving the first 50 shoppers 10% off all purchases and a complimentary 2 oz candle on both days. Time After Time is offering 15% off all clocks for both days.
Gina Alberty, co-owner of Collette Wagman next door at 65 E. Main St., says Moon Raven Alley is a metaphysical shop that deals with different spiritualities but focuses on connecting humans to each other and to the Earth.
A narrow art gallery has just been added to the store, featuring local artists and their own art; a prayer altar sits at one end. The store specializes in healing stones, crystals and herbs. Other popular sellers are candles and incense sticks; the owners make some incense themselves.
Alberty said the store will be offering some special discounts for small businesses on Saturdays. During the festive season, the store will also sell its homemade truffles, which people have been asking for since the town’s chocolate walk, Alberty said. Truffles are flavored with herbs such as lavender, rosemary and cayenne.
Another retailer, A. Lane Living, sells outdoor plastic furniture made from recycled plastic by an Amish manufacturer in Lancaster County. These can be seen outside on South Market and Main streets where the business has been located since August 2021. From Small Business Saturday through December, take 10% off new custom orders and 5% off in-stock items.
Two other Small Business Saturday Specials: Guitars on Main, 84 E. Main St., will offer 15 percent off guitars. The Rise Bake Shoppe at 740 E. Main St. (formerly The Bake Shoppe at Country Table) is offering buy one get one free cupcakes while supplies last.