Exotic Planterium

Exotic Planterium

Card & Comic Collectorama

<b>Owner: </b>

Dennis E. Webb

<b>Short Bio: </b>

Born in D.C. . Lived in Alexandria since age of 7. Went to

grade school locally at St. Rita School; High School at George Washington High School. earned a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture at Virginia Tech. Grew plants in my parent's garden since boyhood. Worked at Alexandria Floral Company greenhouses and garden plots during summer vacations from school.

<b>Why this business? </b>

I love plants, and grew up enjoying comic book

adventures, and the fun of collecting cards, and I like being able to share these joys with others.

The way the business started was that, after returning from college, my Mom gave me a small section of her "Odds & Ends Antiques Shop" when it was on Mt. Vernon Avenue years ago. I started taking in used books, magazines, and comics. I added a shelf of novelty items, and grew some house plants in her front window. I moved up the street a few blocks about a year later for more space.

<b>Why work for self? </b>

I like being able to express myself in what I do,

while being independent.

<b>What have you learned from being in business? </b>

It is better to help others in the ways you can, rather than just trying to make money ( such as helping customers find what they will like). It warms my heart when adults come here and say they are glad to see me still here, because they used to come here when they were little, though they had later moved away, and that this was their favorite store. I must have been doing some things right.

<b>Share an anecdote: </b>

Several people have come in expressing surprise about

a store selling both plants and comic books. I have explained that all these things can be collectibles, if you enjoy having them around. You can grow many interesting types of plants, such as various types of cacti, insect- eating Venus Flytraps, and many others, each a unique part of the plant kingdom. You can keep an album of interesting cards of movies, TV stars, sports teams, etc. And of course you can keep your own library of the many adventures of

comic book heroes. You can even hang the comics on the wall, highlighting their artwork. All make great collections for people with different interests, and without having to cost a fortune to enjoy the hobby.

<b>Advantages or not of operating business in Alexandria: </b>

It is a joy to meet others who enjoy some of the same things I do. I am in an area with good access to a large number of people, many who should enjoy things I make available here.

<b>Description of services and products: </b>

The store provides an assortment of container plants for indoors (and outdoors in above-freezing temperatures), also provides soil mixes, and a transplanting service; also provides a very large selection of comic books from way back to recent times at very good prices; also an assortment of trading cards: sports, entertainment, and historical; and there are toys, and novelties, and posters, entertainer photos, books of various subjects: mysteries, westerns, sci-fi, classic books, history, biographies, etc.