The North Iowa Women In Business Series continues, as we introduce you to Mary Hopper of Natural Plus Nursery. Mary is your resource, when it comes to selecting the perfect plants, shrubs and flowers in North Iowa.
Natural Plus Nursery
When Did You Start Your Business?
Natural Plus Nursery was started in 1978 by my in-laws, David and Linda Hopper. My husband and I bought the nursery from them in March of 2014.
Why Did You Start Your Business?
Dave’s parents were looking to sell the nursery in 2013, and both Dave and I were working full time jobs elsewhere. We had talked at length about wanting more freedom to do what we wanted, and to be investing our time in something we were building ourselves and our future family. The nursery seemed like the obvious choice. It was very appealing to move onto this piece of land that has been in Dave’s family since the time of his Great Grandfather. We knew the nursery and his childhood home would be a great place to raise our family, and we wanted to try our hand at being our own bosses and being in control of our own destiny. We both can’t imagine doing anything else now.
What Advice Would You Give A Woman Wanting To Start Her Own Business?
Just go for it. There are always going to be people that will tell you that you can’t. And sometimes that person will be you (that little voice in your head), but you have to set that aside and go forward. You’re going to have failures, and not everything is going to work out as planned. Often it’s in the failures of the unexpected, that you learn the most.
Who Has Mentored You Through The Process of Growing Your Business?
The fall before we bought Natural Plus Nursery, we attended the Launch & Learn Class put on by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Small Business Development Center at NIACC. Since that class, we have met with them several times, and they have helped connect us with integral people in our journey. We are also fortunate to have Dave’s parents, who were right by our side. As we learned how to run the business, they have let us lead in our own way, but are still here to help whenever we need it.
Tell us about your family.
Dave and I have been married since 2013, and are adding a little one to our family in January 2017. We have a lovable pup named Lena.