Rozlan Fransen is “totally enamored with succulents.”
Take a look through any magazine or lifestyle blog and you’ll find succulents adorning the interiors of most offices and living spaces. Though typically found in desert climates, the plump, cacti-like plants can thrive almost anywhere because of its large water retention.
Fransen's love of the tiny green plants drove Fransen to open one of the first succulent and air plant-exclusive businesses in the area: Baton Rouge Succulent Company.
Fransen became the owner of Frameworks Gallery on Highland Road seven years ago, but it wasn’t until this spring she decided to open the succulent company, which is connected to the gallery.
The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native was raised helping her father in their garden, but found she lacked a green thumb, she said. Fransen even had trouble keeping her indoor succulents alive at first until one day it clicked. She realized she only needed to provide the plants with sunlight, water them rarely and give them plenty of time to dry out, she said.
“From there I began to branch out, [I wanted] to collect the ones [I didn’t] have, and it almost becomes like a game,” Fransen said.
Throughout the winter months, Fransen’s house was filled with succulents until she and her husband decided the plants needed a space of their own. After a visit to East Austin Succulents, the duo was inspired and their next move seemed obvious — to open a store in Baton Rouge.
“There was just nowhere like this in [the city],” Fransen said.
One of Fransen’s favorite aspects of the company is the joy she gets from arranging the succulent gardens. Like a florist, she carefully organizes the gardens by mixing and matching heights, sizes, colors and textures, she said.
The company sources its succulents from local nurseries, while it gets rarities from states further west, like California.
The company often hosts succulent bar events, where attendees can assemble their own succulent gardens, to inspire a sense of community and build their brand, Fransen said.
Fransen hopes to acquire a greenhouse in the future to provide stable living conditions for her plants, and to begin growing her own succulents from cutting and rooting blooms from mother plants, she said.
On Dec. 26 the company announced via social media it acquired its own space at 7276 Highland Road, and would open for business in early January.
Until then, Baton Rouge Succulent Co. is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. connected on the right of Frameworks Gallery on Highland Road.