Tilted Tulip, many things for many people
MOTT—Mott's Tilted Tulip is many things: coffee shop and cafe, flower shop and greenhouse, a gift shop showcasing local items, and above all, a place for people to come together.
Owner Aryn Hansen is fast approaching her first full year as a business owner, having opened the doors to her store in May 2017.
"It's always been a dream of mine," Hansen said. "There's a lot of younger kids moving back to Mott, and I wanted to have a place for people to gather and meet."
Opening day was "crazy."
"I didn't really know what to expect," Hansen said. "It was May, so it was warm out, and I just had a great turnout. There were a lot of community members who just wanted to check it out and came for drinks. It was awesome."
Tilted Tulip serves breakfast with homemade baked goods, plus coffee and lattes and daily lunch specials, such as knoephla soup and a bun, all available to go.
No two days are the same for Hansen.
"It's always different," she said. "We started serving lunches, and that's going well. The flower times are slow. Seems like I always stay busy."
In starting the business, Hansen especially enjoyed designing its warm, rustic interior.
"That was my favorite part, definitely remodeling and picking out the paint and doing the little things, the final touches," she said. "I always wanted a farmhouse table, people to gather, people to just hang out really. I love the old farmhouse look. I love antiques. I just wanted to keep it rustic."
Starting a business has been everything Hansen hoped for "and more."
"It's been very hard work, but it's worth every hour I've ever put in here," she said. "I'm always up early, always willing to stay late. As a business owner, you can't just say that will get done because you're the one who gets it done."
She added, "Every ounce of hard work is worth every penny."
Hansen was only able to open the business, she said, with some helping hands.
"I've had awesome help," she said. "There are people who just want to come and help. I have friends who always help out. My family helps out. People in the community. I've had tremendous support."
Tilted Tulip already is planning to expand during its second year. Its greenhouse starts in May. The shop will offer tuxedo rentals in time for local prom and, in summer, also will begin selling fireworks.
"Last year we didn't get to because it was so dry, so I'm hoping for a wetter April and June so we can sell some fireworks," Hansen said.
Hansen also is planning an Easter egg hunt for local children in March.
The store also will continue to offer locally made goods, including handmade soaps, cutting boards and pottery.
"A lot of the things I sell here are made by people in Mott. I have these essential oils—a gal, she grows everything and makes them by hand," Hansen said.
Hansen enjoys being able to provide an avenue for the area's crafters.
"There's so many talented people out there that have wonderful things they made, but they have no place to sell it, so it's really awesome to be able to that," she said. "It's fun to keep everything kind of local."
As with any small business, there are challenges, including winter weather and a daunting drought.
"People just don't want to spend money," Hansen said. "In the winter, everybody's ready for spring, and they just want to stay home. Even pheasant season, there's not as many people from out of town who come in. They could come in for coffee or lunches, but they're not here so they're not coming in."
The generous flow of local kids has decreased through the school year, as well.
"They don't come really after school anymore, because they go to sports and then after sports I'm closed," Hansen said. "When I first opened, there were kids in here all the time."
Hansen is most excited for the future.
"I think this year I'll have a better grasp on things, and it will be way more organized," she said. "I'm really excited about the greenhouse this year. I'm really excited about prom, the tuxes. I'm excited about the fireworks. I'm excited for summer and spring, and whatever the future has to hold."
She added, "I couldn't have asked for a better first year and to keep growing in the future."
It is a privilege, Hansen said, to be a local business owner.
"I feel like I can offer something to the community, and that makes me feel like I'm involved. Everyone wants to be involved in their community," she said. "I don't like the word blessed. I'm very fortunate to be able to do this."