Jessica Anderson’s Journey to Growing Mrs Fancy Plants and Holding the Title of Mrs. GreenWood Village

With a crown on her head and a fluorescent fuchsia sweater, Jessica Anderson, a Colorado Native and certified plant lover, truly puts the fancy in Mrs. Fancy Plants. This past February, Anderson officially opened the brick-and-mortar location of the darling plant boutique with greenery glittering the walls.

Mrs. Fancy Plants, nestled right in Centennial, offers lovingly grown houseplants, plant care advice and a fresh option for those who do not live as close to North Denver. The adorable storefront is the perfect mixture of luxe and cute, however, the journey to its fruition is not one that one might expect.

Anderson grew up with the nickname “Wednesday” (in reference to Wednesday Addams of The Addams Family) and was known for having quite the pension for morbidity. In fact, Anderson earned a degree in Criminology and Forensic Anthropology from Metropolitan State University and later went to work as a death investigator with the Denver Medical Examiner’s office as an intern (a far cry from the sweet plant shop she owns today).

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As a single mother of two children, Anderson strived to be a hardworking example. However, when Anderson met her husband in 2014 and later married in 2019, she decided to take a step back from the incredibly stressful career of death investigation to take on a new path – yoga. Anderson proceeded to work on her 200 hours of training and received her children’s yoga teaching certificate. She then went on to teach family and children’s yoga at daycare centers in and around Denver.

Anderson’s plant journey was also taking its roots during this adventure. And it all started with a Peace Lily and a funeral.

Anderson explained, “The very first plant I got was from my grandpa’s funeral in 2014, it was a Peace Lilly. And I was like, all right bro, I can keep you alive then this is really cool. I kept it alive. I still have it and it flowers year-round, multiple times per year.”

After keeping the Peace Lily alive, Anderson started to slowly get more plants and take on her green thumb. However, in the midst of growing her yoga career and her Peace Lily, life took a turn. After COVID started and everything shut down, Anderson’s yoga career was stagnant.

Then a seed was planted. Anderson started to sell cuttings in local groups and later took on selling plants on Esty for a short time. As demand shot up with people staying at home and wanting to make their spaces more green, Anderson saw a glimmer of hope.

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“I just kind of shifted my entrepreneurial mindset and I was like okay so, plants. And honestly, Mrs. Fancy Plants was the best brainchild of my whole existence because it was three in the morning one time and I’m like, if that [username] is available on social media, I’m taking it. So I won that one. And I’m trademarked in Colorado and moving toward my federal trademarking,” stated Anderson.

In May 2020 Anderson then had a custom-insulated shed built in her backyard and started to take on appointment-based shopping hours as well as open houses for her business. The shed allowed people to come in and shop for curated plants in a relaxed setting without being cooped up in big box stores or having the worry of ordering online. 

Anderson also explained the reasoning why you should steer away from purchasing plants from big box stores stating, “You know, it’s not really that the plants are bad, it’s just that they get them in these mass shipments. They’re overwatered, they’re put in boxes and they can’t photosynthesize. So they develop pests and root rot and all kinds of stuff. So you buy a plant at [a big box store] for $8 but it could ruin your entire collection. I try to tell my customers when they ask about why a planet costs X amount well, they’re curated by me. And these plants, they’re like royalty. I mean, I sing to them. I talk to them.  mean literally, these plants, they’re babied by me. It’s very important to me that I keep these plants very happy and they’re very much living things and they pay attention.

After a harsh Colorado winter, Anderson, unfortunately, had to pull a lot of her inventory but then took to researching for a brick-and-mortar space. After some time, she found the perfect corner spot in Centennial, ironically right near the neighborhood where she grew up.

I’m born and raised in Colorado, so this was the perfect fit for my space. And now I’m actually, kind of tying it all together. I graduated from Cherry Creek High School and grew up in Heritage. Mrs. Fancy Plants is now here and then I am Mrs. Greenwood Village 2023. So it’s all kind of coming full circle. And if you would’ve told me this in high school, I would’ve been like, yeah, right!” Anderson exclaimed.

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As Anderson’s journey to Mrs. Fancy Plants was unexpected, as was her journey to becoming Mrs. Greenwood Village 2023. Anderson had never in fact taken part in a beauty pageant and took a wild chance at applying to the competition. As wild as her plants, she was then selected to represent Greenwood Village, an apt title as she grew up in the city and coincidentally ended up staying in the area. In April 2023 all of the competitors that have city titles in Colorado will compete at Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the Mrs. Colorado title. And if Anderson takes the title, she will compete in Las Vegas in the national competition to have the chance at winning Ms. America.
Anderson explained the reasoning for wanting to take part in the pageant, saying, “I think specifically as women we’re taught to be pitted against each other and really we’re our own allies. We’re not the enemy. We’re all on the same team, let’s help each other. I really wanna be able to connect, especially with the younger girls that maybe wanna start businesses and don’t know what to do. Making connections, I think is my biggest reason for doing the pageant. I mean, the crown is pretty good too and it’s kind of just like a fun thing that, again, aligned with the name of my shop.
As Anderson’s journey with Mrs. Fancy Plants and Mrs. Greenwood Village continue to blossom, so do her plants within the shop. And Anderson’s biggest advice for those plant lovers who are maybe afraid to take the plunge to get themselves a plant baby of their own? “Anyone can learn plants.”

Mrs. Fancy Plants is located at 7475 E. Arapahoe Rd. Unit 8, Centennial and is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All photography by Shelby Moeller.