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Meet Lauren Niceley of Earth First Plant

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Niceley. 

Hi Lauren, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Earth First started as a hobby my best friend, Emma, and I did together. We’ve always loved plants and thrifting, but last year we finally decided to start sharing our finds on Instagram. When posting, we would style our vintage home goods with plants, showcasing old things in a new light. Our Instagram page (@earthfirstthrift) gained quite a bit of traction in 2020, and we had SO much fun doing it. In summer 2021, the perfect space opened in our historic downtown Gallatin, so we hit the ground running! Earth First Plant Co. offers houseplants, pots, accessories, and vintage home goods. Our name signifies our focus on sustainability, which we promote through the circular reuse of vintage wares as well as our beautiful plants, helping folks bring the joy of nature into their homes. Plants just make people happy and I love sharing that with Gallatin! 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Dealing with my own self-doubt has been challenging. Fear of failure. However, something pushed me to take this risk. “If not now, when?”. Of course, it was terrifying leaving my full-time, steady-paying job but I knew doing what I’m most passionate about would be so much more rewarding. I am so inspired by all of the woman-owned businesses in our square. Being a woman-owned business brings up its own challenges. As a young female entrepreneur in a male-dominated field, I haven’t always been taken seriously. The unbelievable amount of support I’ve received from the Gallatin community helps remind me why I’m doing this. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Earth First Plant Co?
Earth First Plant Co. resides in the historic downtown square of Gallatin. We’re a small plant shop offering the largest variety of house plants in Sumner County and at really affordable pricing. We also stockpots, garden accessories, and vintage home goods. We love offering free repotting any time. We’ve also been enjoying designing spaces with plants for our customers. Our goal is for every plant parent to succeed so we are always there to help figure out which plants are going to do best in their spaces. Our newest offering will be plant classes after the holidays and we are so excited! 

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, so I have been training for business my entire life. My mom was a photographer, and I would travel to events with her, sometimes even being her little secretary. My grandparents had their own tool rental store in our hometown, and my cousins and I basically grew up there. Besides liking earning money, we loved just being there with our family. I learned so much about the makings of a business in that time. It was truly invaluable. As teenagers, we continued to work there even if it was just cleaning the bathrooms. I actually worked there through college and up until I moved to Tennessee in 2017. In those later years, I took on a more legitimate role as the online sales manager. That role truly taught me everything I know about running a business today. I love that I got those opportunities with my family and their businesses growing up because it’s absolutely why I am where I am today. 

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Image Credits
Tasha Schalk

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