Success has come quickly to a recently planted San Andreas succulent boutique, For Succ Sake.
Business is great, according to co-owners and Calaveras County natives Krista Cagle, 39, and Celena Torales, 25, who opened the downtown shop on July 24.
“The support on social media — people spreading the word for us — has been amazing,” Torales said.
These friends and business partners are on a mission “to make a difference on Main Street, to make it alive again as it once was,” said Cagle. They are doing just that by bringing life —particularly plant life —to the downtown area with their new shop.
As its name implies, For Succ Sake specializes in succulents and succulent arrangements. Succulents are plants that are native to deserts or semiarid regions that store water in their stems or leaves. Cacti, agaves and aloes are some well-known examples of succulents.
But don’t think that succulents come only in greens and yellows. Deep reds, mild purples and flaming oranges are just a few shades that are found in the succulent family.
In addition to these drought-tolerant plants, the boutique sells home décor and locally crafted items. Its front and back rooms bloom with both the natural and manmade: a potted string of pearls succulent spills its pea-shaped leaves across a bright windowsill. Small glass votive holders filled with tiny air plants sparkle on a sunlit table. A rustic “Home Sweet Home” sign cozies up to a ceramic owl planter. Cacti carefully perch on an old ladder.
“It’s been slowly evolving,” Cagle said of the space, which started out housing the pair’s photography studio, K.C Photography, and now includes both businesses.
Opening the succulent shop within the photography space seemed like a natural fit to Cagle and Torales.
“It all fell into place,” said Krista’s daughter and shop employee Peyton Cagle, 20, who also assists with the photography business.
Cagle’s aunt, Sonia Gryder, is another family member who lends a hand. She creates the air plant arrangements, showcasing succulents that don’t require soil to grow.
Gryder also played a major role in the shop’s development. She got Cagle hooked on succulents, and Cagle in turn taught Torales about these hardy plants.
“My aunt and I fell in love with succulents,” said Cagle. “They’re our passion, and (For Succ Sake) grew from there. Without her, this wouldn’t be,” she said of the shop.
Cagle also shares her love and knowledge of succulents with plant parents who contact her for advice on the shop’s Facebook page.
“People message me: ‘Help me, please! Save this (plant)!’” Cagle described a typical request. When she’s able to help, “it’s a feel-good moment.”
Cagle finds that some people are wary of caring for succulents, believing them to be easy to kill. Not so, according to Cagle.
“They thrive off neglect,” she said, which should come as welcome news to the succulent-shy.
The shop sells both potted and unpotted succulents. Prices range from $3.50 to $45.00 for the potted plants. Cagle and Torales also welcome orders for custom succulent arrangements.
Cagle and Torales voice appreciation for the support they’ve received from their families, friends including Dan Hirsch and Vickie Dill, and the community for their new venture.
“We opened this for the community,” Cagle said. “It’s locals helping locals.”
For Succ Sake is located at 16 Main Street in San Andreas. It is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Cagle and Torales by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or on Facebook (facebook.com/forsuccsake1).