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Stories, things to do, and one of a kind tips from downtown Cape Girardeau.
#InternationalWomensDay: Christy Smith
#InternationalWomensDay: Christy Smith

This is an ongoing blog series to celebrate International Women’s Day! Each day this week, we will be highlighting a female business owner in #DowntownCG, hearing their stories and advice, and what it means to them to have a day set aside to recognize women around the globe. The questions asked are mostly the same, but the answers are as unique as the ladies themselves, so be sure to come back each day to gain even more wisdom from the women of Downtown.

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Christy is the owner of The Plant Lady’s Corner, located on Independence St. Follow her on social media!

What was your motivation for owning your own business?

It kind of just happened! I was a single mom going to school learning about environmental biology, and I’ve always loved the outdoors and nature. It was very difficult trying to maintain working, going to school, and raising kids, and I got tired of being at a desk. So I took a minimum wage job working outside, and continued school part-time. I came to know Debbie, the previous owner, and began educating myself by working with people in this field. I ended up having to take a break from school to work full time [at The Plant Lady’s Corner] working with tropical plants. When I went back to school I ended up going into the horticulture side. Then I moved to South Georgia and got a job managing a greenhouse. In the process of moving, Debbie told me that she was selling the business. But I went and while I was there I started an interior maintenance business along with managing the greenhouse. I ended up coming back home to Cape when my little girl was 5, and Plant Lady was still for sale. I knew when buying it I would have to put all of my time into it, because small businesses can’t survive without hard work; but I was ready to do it. I was working hard anyway when I was working for someone else, so it made sense to do it for myself.

What is your favorite part about owning a business?

Doing the things that I love doing! If I didn’t love it so much, I wouldn’t be doing it. It’s a lot of hard work, so I have to love it in order to keep going.

What advice would you give a woman looking to start her own business?

Don’t give up! Seek advice from other female business owners. Don’t let someone tell you, “No, you can’t.” Find ways to educate yourself whether that’s going to school or working with someone else who knows the industry.

Do you have any influences who have inspired you?

I would say my mom. She could do anything! I lost her when I was 18, but I remember that woman could move the entire house on top of her car by herself if she had to. She ran her own business out of her home doing alterations and also opened a clothing store Downtown. She battled with cancer throughout my childhood, but she never stopped. She was a big influence on me.

What do you think is a woman’s greatest superpower?

From my perspective, since I own a plant shop, I believe women are very good at nurturing, whether it’s a family, a business, a project. Once we set our minds to something, we go after it, but we do it with heart.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

We’ve come so far. It’s huge that we can celebrate the things we’ve accomplished in our history!

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Check back tomorrow to learn about another incredible female business owner!

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