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Planting Happiness

Giving Back with Happy Day Plants

Article by Millie D'Souza

Photography by Courtesy of Happy Day Plants

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

In 2020, when Bailey Birmingham tossed up her graduation cap, her family cheered for the start of her brand-new journey. However, for individuals with Down syndrome like Bailey, the post-grad job hunt proved challenging—significantly more so than Bailey’s peers. Bailey’s mother, Jessica, struggled with that journey until the day she stumbled upon Ramble on Pearl Street, a clothing store that hosted an apprentice program for adults with disabilities. It was on this momentous day that inspiration struck and Jessica came to realize the excessive need for local job opportunities for individuals just like her daughter. Thus the seed of Happy Day Plans sprouted. 

Jessica, a dedicated plant enthusiast, and the mind behind Happy Day Plants, had toyed with the idea of opening her own shop for years. Yet amidst the whirlwind of raising four children, the dream remained inked on the pages of her journal. But in 2021, following Bailey’s job hunt hurdles, Jessica sprang into action, hosting Happy Day Plants pop-ups around Boulder County, while testing the waters of the community’s plant scene. Soon after, fate smiled upon her when a storefront on Main Street in Downtown Longmont opened and Happy Day Plants found its forever home. 

Stepping into the shop is like entering a botanist's dream. From easy-care succulents to lush tropical foliage and a fully stocked potting station, Happy Day Plants caters to every plant aficionado, whether a novice or a seasoned pro. The team, brimming with knowledge and warmth, eagerly shares insider tips on finding your perfect plant and troubleshooting any hiccups your leafy pals may encounter.   

But Happy Day Plants isn’t just a haven for plants—it’s a nurturing ground for personal growth. At the shop, the staff are provided an opportunity to learn about caring for living things while also interacting with customers, which fosters valuable skills and relationships. Each year differences are made in the lives of Happy Day Plants’ employees, as Jessica recalls staff consistently stepping out of their comfort zones and learning things that they thought they might not ever be able to do. “I’ve watched each of them take ownership of Happy Day Plants and step into big responsibilities. From teaching a workshop for the very first time to counting cash back for customers,” Jessica says, and for her, “watching each grow and develop communal relationships of their own is the greatest reward of all.” 

In March, Happy Day Plants launched their Grow With Us Program, where businesses can partner with the team in three different ways: Nature’s Touch, Happy Haven and Botanical Bliss. With Nature’s Touch, businesses can purchase premium plants to spruce up their spaces. Happy Haven offers plant care services, ensuring fruition without the hassle. And with Botanical Bliss, businesses can sell Happy Day Plants' curated collections on their own. With seven Grow With Us Partners already on board, the program is already a roaring success!

Despite the inevitable challenges of small business ownership, Jessica remains steadfast in her mission. She recalls small bumps along the way as well as some pretty big setbacks, however, she’s learned that “during tough times it is so important to go back and think about why Happy Day Plants exists,” remembering “that the good that happens in our little shop will always be bigger than any challenge that comes along.” 

Interested in learning more about the Grow With Us program or wanting to attend an event? Check out to learn more! 

"I believe that we are not only providing learning for our employees, but also for customers who might have certain ideas or generalizations about people with disabilities. The learning goes both ways."