Small Business Startup Offers Peace in Troubled Times

Kim Carlson, owner of Pea Pod & Juniper.
Kim Carlson, owner of Pea Pod & Juniper.

Lakewood’s new Pea Pod & Juniper is more than a new florist shop in the heart of the village.

According to owner, Kim Carlson, “There is a feeling and a healing that just comes naturally from being in a flower shop, from being around flowers.” Then she adds while welcoming new customers, “I want this to be the place where people can go and enjoy and maybe get away from some of the news, the hectic pace of everyday life, and spend some time to enjoy the moment.”

And Pea Pod & Juniper is also more than flowers. The bright and sunny, artistically arranged 1,700 square foot shop, just off the sidewalk at 141 Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood, also treats customers to original artwork while browsing for fine chocolates, high-end gifts, leisure clothing, and much more.

Startup Savvy

While some people advise extreme caution in starting up as a new small business owner in difficult times, Kim disagrees. First, she is a veteran of many successful years in the retail convenience business. She knows how to run a store. She also knows the floral business after many years or experience and study on the creative side of florist shops.

Kim’s adds a winning attitude to her advantage. “I love all of it, the people, the flowers, everything. And I have a passion for it.”

So, her advice to someone planning a new start-up is, “Start it! Just start it. Know what you are doing. Know what the challenges are going to be to the best of your knowledge, then do it. There’s always going to be something that can get in your way, so you can either make excuses or you can just do it. I opened November 16 because it was just time to!”

Concerning finances, she adds, “Live within your means so that you, not your finances, are in charge of where you are going. Run your circumstances, don’t let your circumstances run you.”

But the reality is that a sole owner may have to do the parts of the business that aren’t quite as enjoyable as the others. You make all the decisions but the buck stops with you for problems, too.

As a result, Kim adds, “It’s not necessarily everybody’s cup of tea. But you’ll know if you have the passion and the drive. Be willing to go home only when the work is done. No clock can tell you that. Only your heart can.”

Business and Creativity

“Being a small business owner in Lakewood is more than I could have hoped for,” Kim said with obvious enthusiasm for the local business community. “It is enlightening, encouraging, and every day is different.”
The business environment has been encouraging. People seem to be happy that Lakewood has a new florist shop.

A flower is unlike ordinary retail. “It is a slower paced business,” Kim said. “I’m free to watch something grow that is my very own, and flowers make a perfect setting. I can be here for people during their happy times, their sadder times, their more peaceful times, and their busier times.

The Personal Side

Kim Carlson loves meeting people in her new shop and sharing life experiences. She is also a community crusader in the battle against substance abuse, having lost her son, Alex, to an opioid overdose four years ago.
“Life experiences have allowed me to be helpful to others,” Kim added. She is a certified Recovery Coach and completed a year of formal study in order to qualify as a certified practitioner in Emotional Freedom Therapy. She speaks freely about her own experience of sobriety for more than a decade.

Stop In!

Pea Pod & Juniper is open Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To know more, call 716-526-0181, visit, or email