Name of business: Green Aura Plant Life
Type of business: Backyard discount nursery
Location: 694 Mitchell Ave. in Turlock
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. by appointment Sunday through Monday
Contact information: 209-202-8839; email@example.com; @green_aura_plant_life on Instagram
Specialty: Indoor plants for all skill levels
History of business:
Like many people throughout the country and the world, Turlock resident Audrina Mae’s world was turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. The single mother lost her job thanks to the virus that shut the globe down, and as a result her mental health took a turn for the worst.
Also like many, Mae found solace in taking care of indoor plants — a quarantine hobby that not only helped pull her out of depression, but resulted in a business she could call her own.
“I found that plants were very therapeutic for me,” Mae said. “I really wanted to collect plants, but I couldn’t afford them.”
Mae was inspired by her own love for plants and decided to open a nursery in her backyard, which she named Green Aura Plant Life. Instead of driving to work as she did before the pandemic, now she simply steps out onto her back patio where shelves featuring a variety of plump succulents and a greenhouse filled with a lush array of houseplants greet her.
“I decided to get my hustle on,” she laughed. “I went through the entire licensing process and all of the steps to be permitted, and now here I am offering affordable plants to the community.”
Mae’s backyard nursery is eye-catching to passers-by, with a mural she painted herself decorating the fence facing North Denair Avenue and signs alerting drivers to the goldmine of plants perched alongside the sidewalk. She’s amassed nearly 2,000 followers on Instagram, many of whom she’s met selling plants at farmers markets and pop-up shops.
She purchases all of her plants at wholesale nurseries up and down the state, taking care to pick out unique plants she knows many other nurseries will not carry, as well as fan favorites that are popular with both experienced and novice plant parents. Mae prides herself in Green Aura’s boutique-like experience, where she’s the only employee and can lend customers her expertise in a one-on-one setting.
Whether customers are looking for non-toxic plants they can grow around their pet, succulents which can withstand plenty of neglect or hard-to-care-for greenery that will wow their guests, Mae helps her clientele find exactly what they’re looking for.
“I love connecting with people and helping them meet their own, personal plant needs,” Mae said. “I’m here as their support and their helper so to speak, and to help them learn their plants inside and out.”
Green Aura offers succulents starting at $1.50, and other plants range from $10 to $25. Mae also sells vessels for plants, like ceramic and clay pots in a variety of fun shapes and sizes. Customers can contact Mae via text, phone call or Instagram message to set up a time to come shop in the backyard nursery.
“The support from Turlock has been so positive. Connecting with people and offering plants at prices they can afford has been so rewarding,” Mae said. “I think there’s definitely a thirst for this in the community.”