8 questions with The Zen Succulent founder Megan George

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Megan George | Photo courtesy of Megan George

This piece is part of our RALtoday Q+A series. Do you know someone we should interview? Nominate them here.

If you’re a Raleigh local, you’ve probably walked by a shop filled with shelves of succulents in colorful planters, air plants, stationary, and other cute little gifts.

Behind the greenery is a talented force. Meet Megan George, owner + creator of downtown’s popular succulent haven The Zen Succulent, located at 208 S. Wilmington St.

We caught up with Megan + asked about her tips for success, favorite local influencers, and thoughts on Raleigh’s future.

The first Zen Succulent is in Durham. What inspired you to open another location in Raleigh?

I was born and raised in Raleigh. It’s where my foundation is. I remember riding downtown with my father as a kid and seeing the lights of Glenwood lit up and all of the college students walking from place to place. Our downtown has always had a special meaning to me, so when I had the honor of opening a shop in the town that I know and love, it just couldn’t be any better.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

I start by opening my laptop with a cup of tea and reading emails from customers. Then I lean into inventorying — a lot of computer work. By noon, I’m in the storefront around the plants. I started my business around my passion for plants and being around nature, so having that as the cornerstone of the day is always essential.

Name local leaders, influencers, or movers + shakers you’re watching.

I follow Good Dirt — they’re a Raleigh-based company and a vendor of ours. What they’ve been doing is not only plant installations around town, but also sky installations to create green spaces out of typically unusable spaces.

I’m also watching Allie Lochiatto of Allie Wears. She is a phenomenal Raleigh blogger who gives helpful tips on style and the city, which I love so much.

What’s something that every Raleighite should know about?

All of the parks and nature trails that we have. While the city is full of greenery, go further and explore those additional areas. There are a lot of great parks like the William B. Umstead State Park — continue to explore that.


Inside The Zen Succulent | Photo by RALtoday

What were the last three things you did locally?

I took a walk in Umstead Park — I love going there with my family + my toddler. The variety of different nature walks are endless!

Marbles is a go-to with a toddler. When I was a Girl Scout at 10-years-old, I actually slept in that museum as a part of a camp project + now seeing my son walk around the same halls is just so amazing, especially since the museum has evolved over the years.

I also recently stopped at DECO to get a gift for a friend.

What’s one tip for success that you would give a new business owner?

If you’re going to be one of the few that opens up a brick and mortar location, make sure that it’s in a location that meets your customer’s needs. I’m aware that if our shop was even a few miles outside of downtown, we wouldn’t be reaching our client-customer base — people that love indoor greenery but might have a smaller space to place it in. I would also encourage business owners to look at all of their resources. We have tons of other business owners + resources that are within walking distance that would be more than glad to help.

Who are other local leaders you’re inspired by?

The co-owner of Slingshot Coffee, Jenny Bonchak. Something that’s inspiring about her is that she started from scratch and now she’s running this empire. She was named as a fellow for the Coca-Cola’s Founder’s Forum [2018 class]. Jenny is currently creating a new drink called “Needs and Wants” (it’s a sparkling superfruit tea)

And then, of course, Boulted Bread. It’s definitely inspiring to see where they started and where they are now.

What do you think Raleigh will be known for in 10 years?

The tech industry. It is awesome that we have so many great companies that are moving to the Triangle and wanting to continue to build in our area, but I really want it to still hold on to the small town feel. So I really think we’re going to have a lot of big players, but remain a place where everyone knows their neighbor.

Contributed by Megan Pociask

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