Mj's wants to grow! Starting with my own perennials, pumpkins, and other specialty crops. I need 3 hoop houses, shade covers, beehives and equipment. Second, I want to build a landscape, garden center and gift shop full of knowledgeable staff, great products, and that benefits my community.
Megan Archer, owner of Mj's CountryScapes, started out in 2008 with nothing more than a few shovels, wheelbarrow, and a pick-up truck. Over the years Mj's has grown into a full-service landscaping company. Offering services such as design plans, plant installation and maintenance, seeding, sod installation, retaining walls, and twice a year liquid lawn weed and feed. Mj's services 6 counties in Iowa and 4 counties in Missouri. Megan does both residential and commercial landscaping. Commercial examples include Burger King, Menards, Quincy Place Mall, local Care Centers, vet clinic, banks, schools, hospitals, and pharmacies.
Megan had worked for various flower shops, garden centers and different landscaping companies, until the company she worked for decided to shut-down operations. After sending out countless resumes, she was faced with a decision. She had always dreamed of setting out on her own and decided, why not now?! Born and raised on a family farm with 65 year old roots in Davis County, hard work and old fashioned values and principles were instilled in her upbringing. So when Megan started out, she picked the motto "Diggin it Right Oldschool" because she knew that through hard work, dedication, and honesty she would build the kind of business she had always dreamed of and one that she could be truly be proud of. She didn't have lots of fancy equipment or a huge crew to do it all for her, but she worked hard and dedicated herself and all that she had to Mj's CountryScapes and overtime, she built up the business to buy the equipment she needed and continued to add more services to her list. Unlike most landscaping companies with 'manly crews', Mj's is an 80% one woman-manned crew and company. Megan does everything from the consultation, the design plans; which are all hand drawn, she pitches the plans and bids, and does the installation. Megan is passionate about what she does and enjoys working with customers to make their dreams become a reality. She knows that every job not only has her company's name on it, but it also has her own. Megan's perseverance, hand-drawn design plans, and craftsmanship is only a small part of what makes Mj's unique. Megan might not be very good with a skill saw, but if you give her a block saw, stand back and watch the magic happen!
The need and want for beautiful curb appeal and relaxing outdoor spaces is growing by leaps and bounds every year. As the cost of travel and vacationing rises, people have become more centered towards turning their own backyards into a paradise oasis. A place they can go 6 months out of the year to relax, entertain, and enjoy, instead of only a week. Not only adding beauty and value to their everyday life, but also to their properties' bottom line. Plants and materials are evolving and changing rapidly. Megan wants to provide a place where consumers can get advice and help make decisions that is right for them. Here in Davis County, we have a huge Amish community who have capitalized the market in Annuals and vegetables. We also have Bloomfield Greenhouses, a garden and landscaping center. Mj's Flowers and CountryScapes not only wants to help compliment the existing businesses, but also wants to provide additional products, services, and events not yet in the community.
The future for Mj's? In a dream where money is no object! Megan wants to buy an acreage to grow her own perennials, shrubs, trees, and other specialty crops. She wants to build an 'event center' for weddings, family gatherings, etc... and surround the center with massive beautifully landscaped gardens and relaxing outdoor spaces. And perhaps even someday, a winery! But for now, a few hoop houses and a landscape, garden center, and gift shop is on the agenda. Megan is excited for what the 2015 season has in store. She looks forward to continue growing Mj's and serving her community. The funds provided through this process would certainly make a huge impact on Mj's and help Megan continue to 'Dream Big, and Grow Here'.
With Mj's 8th season fast approaching, Megan feels like its time to grow and make 2 more dreams a reality. First, she wants to grow her own perennials, pumpkins, and other specialty crops and will finally get the chance to start that this season. Megan has already prepared the site, but still needs to purchase 3 hoop houses and shade covers to create the ideal growing environment. She also, would like to start beehive boxes to help amp up production and help contribute in the fight to bring back the honeybees.
Secondly, Megan has purchased a vacant lot, right off the very busy and major highway 63 that runs right through the heart of Bloomfield. This is where Megan plans to break ground in the summer of 2015 to build a new home for Mj's Flowers & CountryScapes, a retail landscape, garden center, and gift shop. Mj's Flowers and CountryScapes is a chapter that has been put on hold for the last year. Megan first opened Mj's Flowers in 2012 in Lancaster, Mo, which is 3 miles from the Iowa/Missouri border and 20 miles from Bloomfield. Megan purchased an old bus barn/antique shop and completely remodeled the building into half an apartment and half into a full-service flower shop and garden center. She offered everything from fresh and silk flowers, Willow Tree figurines, purses and snow boots, annuals and vegetables, to bulk mulch. Megan held events such as 'Ladies Nights', where she not only opened her store to the community offering huge sales, but she opened her home to a vendor show. Megan cleared out her kitchen, dining and living room to accommodate the vendors. Ladies Nights received a huge positive response from the town and surrounding communities. They gave a night out, shopping and connecting with local entrepreneurs, discovering products and services offered in the communities. Megan also hosted local Head Start field trips, teaching the children about Christmas Trees and providing a little Norfolk Island Pine for each one to decorate with garlands, ornaments and tinsel. Mj's Flowers made many contributions to the local cancer foundation, 4-H Events, and made fresh Christmas wreaths for a local 4-H fundraiser. Mj's Flowers received a tremendous amount of community support and had a really great first year, but unfortunately it just wasn't enough and by the end of the 2013 closing of the shop was evitable. Megan wants to reinvent the store in Bloomfield, where the obstacles that caused the closing in Lancaster are not a issue. She will continue to plan 'Ladies Nights' and other such like events. As well as, host field trips and sponsor fundraisers with local organizations. Megan also, plans to build a classroom in the new store to hold educational workshops, fun paint nights, lectures, etc... Megan wants to keep giving back to the town where she was born and raised and help create more events in the community. She is also, currently in the early stages of preparing a community garden in Bloomfield, in which all the produce will be donated to the local school. In addition, Megan wants to help close the gap between her company and her customers. Most of the community is a d.i.y.er, and she wants to tap into that by opening a store and continuing to be a source for knowledge, plants, landscaping materials, and much more. Megan wants to create a local store for her customers and community instead of them driving the extra 40 mile trip to the big box chain stores. She already has a established customer base and has received a positive response to her plans for growth.
Mj's is only just beginning to grow. Megan knows that through her hard work and perseverance, she will make all of her dreams for Mj's become a reality, but she is hoping for a little help along. The Dream Big, Grow Here Grant can help give her that hope.
Thank-you for your time and consideration.