HOLLAND — Always dreamed of the perfect fall-friendly front porch? Mariah VanderPloeg is looking to make that dream a reality for busy homeowners with little time for decorating.
“About a year ago, when I was pregnant, I had the idea,” VanderPloeg said. “Every year, I’d post my own porch on Instagram or Facebook, and people would leave comments and say, ‘Come do mine!’ I never took it seriously. But last year, I was like, you know what? This would be a fun little side gig.”
A few days ago, VanderPloeg announced the creation of Warm+Welcome — a seasonal porch decorating business that offers zero-hassle. VanderPloeg shops, designs and decorates. Homeowners can supply their own photos for inspiration, or VanderPloeg can call the shots.
“The morning after I posted it, I had, like, eight messages already,” she said. “I just jumped right in. It happened really fast.”
Customers can pay with cash, check, Venmo or CashApp.
“I’m pretty laid back,” VanderPloeg said. “I’m starting with fall, but I plan on announcing I’ll do winter, as well, with Christmas decorations. When spring rolls around, I think it’d be really fun to offer springtime and summer decorations, too.”
Packages range from $50-$175, all with custom styling. The smallest package includes eight pumpkins of multiple colors and sizes and two large mums. The largest includes 30 pumpkins, four large mums, four small mums and four fall cabbages or four more small mums. Add-ons are available, too — like baskets and signs.
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“It really is customizable based on what people are looking to have done,” VanderPloeg said. “Once we decide what a customer is going for, they pay ahead of time, I purchase everything, and drive over. They don’t even need to be home. If I purchase anything, it’s for them to keep. I don’t come back and pick anything up.”
Not only does VanderPloeg help busy homeowners — she supports local harvest stands.
“I actually have a list I keep of notes and tabs on which stands offer what,” she said. “I think one of the really cool things is supporting local farms and stands. It’s like a circle of giving back to everyone.”
She doesn’t make a huge profit, but VanderPloeg genuinely enjoys the hustle.
“There’s so much pressure with social media to have a Pinterest-worthy house,” she said. “I think a lot of people feel that’s out of reach, so being able to do that for them, that’s great.”
— Contact reporter Cassandra Lybrink at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Instagram @BizHolland.