There’s nothing I love more than watching someone pursue a passion that makes them come alive, so you can imagine how special it is for me to watch my little sister grow the business of her dreams—and now it’s making its home at the Silos! Mikey’s sense of wonder mixed with her love of plants and vintage finds has helped her create something truly special. We had so much fun working together to dream up the look and feel of the shop—I can’t wait for you to experience it here in Waco!
For the last decade, Mikey has been a stay-at-home mom of six, while holding loosely to her dream of opening a retro-inspired plant shop. A few years ago, the time felt right to start tending to something new. With Jo’s help, Mikey launched Ferny’s as a pop-up experience at our 2021 Silobration event at the Silos. Her vintage trailer went on to make appearances all around Waco. Now, Mikey and Jo have created a permanent storefront for Ferny’s at Magnolia’s Shops at the Silos.
Below, Mikey shares her vision for Ferny’s, how it came to life, and why she’s excited to see it at the Silos.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How and when did your dream of Ferny’s begin?
Mikey: I've wanted to have a little shop centered around vintage finds since I was in my 20’s. I had this vision of going around and finding vintage things that I could curate and fill the shop with. When I started having kids, I put that dream on hold. Then in 2014, after having my fifth child, I started dreaming again.
That’s also when I started getting into plants. I used to kill a lot of plants, but then a friend of mine gave me this zebra plant and it didn’t die. It all started from there. After that, whenever I’d have an hour away, I’d go visit local greenhouses. I felt so happy visiting those places and I slowly started bringing new plants into my own collection. I realized the plants were really therapeutic and healing for me.
Somewhere along the way, my dream of opening a vintage shop and my passion for plants combined, and that’s how the vision for Ferny’s came to be.
You’ve had this dream for so long—how did you know it was the “right” time to make it happen?
It just simmered for a while after I started dreaming about it in 2014. My husband David and I would go on date nights and he’d ask, “What do you want to do?” I’d tell him about how I’d love to open a shop one day.
Then, in January 2021, I was away for a night writing down my dreams and I felt like I was supposed to just go for it. It was scary to me because I’d played the part of mom for so many years, but it was also exciting to finally pursue a dream that I’d had for so long.
Can you share a little bit about the design behind Ferny’s? Why retro-inspired?
It's just something I’ve always been drawn to. I’m a sentimental person, so I’m realizing that a lot of the colors and styles I like remind me of my parents and their parents. Mustard yellow and a huge Devil’s Ivy plant trailing reminds me of my grandparents' home. A lot of what I love is linked to childhood memories and my family.
How has your family played a part in bringing Ferny’s to life?
It’s been sweet to watch how David and our kids have rallied around my dream. I’ve always been the most honest with David about my fears, and he’s really encouraged me along the way and pushed me to take steps forward.
It’s also been so good for my kids to see their mom step out and be brave. They’ve encouraged me too, saying things like, “Mom, this is fun! You can do it!” And then Jojo has just been huge. She’s always coming alongside any of my dreams and has always been there to support and cheer me on.
Some of the plants have names. What’s the story behind that?
I started naming my plants as a way to connect with my oldest daughter. We would name them together and then we would go check on them like, “How's Bob doing?” It was really sweet for us to share that.
I felt like some of the plants had little personalities, so I don't name all of them, but some are just calling out. You’d think it would be easy to pick a name and put it in a plant, but there's a certain name for each one. Sometimes it takes me a minute to choose the right name.
Do you have a favorite plant?
I really love cacti. They’re easy and low maintenance. We lived in the desert for a year and there’s just something magical about the desert. I also love Devil’s Ivy because it reminds me of my grandparents.
Best vintage item you've ever found?
My camper. It was my childhood dream to own one and at 40, I finally got one!
What advice would you give someone with a dream they haven't acted on yet?
It sounds cheesy, but I would say continue to dream, even if it might not be the right season. If it’s in your heart and it makes you come alive, then it’ll happen. It’s scary to step out, but just keep going and continue to take those first steps.
I think it’s also key to find good support. I’ve had such a good team around me to bounce ideas off of and share my thoughts and dreams with. Find people who can walk with you through that.
What do you hope guests experience when they come to Ferny’s?
It’s really simple, nothing profound—I just know the way plants have been healing and therapeutic for me, especially during harder seasons. I want people to experience that same sense of peace and happiness.
I also hope Ferny’s makes people feel nostalgic. That’s one thing I’ve loved about the pop-ups, hearing people say, “Oh my goodness, my grandma had this planter!” or seeing how people connect with vintage pieces because it reminds them of the past. People get to take home a plant and give it a little bit of love, and in return it brings so much joy and life to a corner of their home.
Experience Ferny’s Retro Plant Shop
Ferny’s Retro Plant Shop is now open at Magnolia’s Shops at the Silos in Waco, Texas! Can’t make it to Waco right away? A limited selection of Ferny’s products is also available online.
See Ferny's on Magnolia Network
Curious to watch Ferny’s come to life? “The Retro Plant shop with Mikey + Jo” is a five-part series about how Ferny’s went from dream to reality. Watch it on the Magnolia app and magnolia.com with a discovery+ subscription. And stay tuned for a full reveal of the shop, on the blog soon.