Local veteran opens plant shop to promote wellness in the community

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By Mikala McCurry

Montgomery, AL- Divine Vines and Decor is a newly developed veteran woman-owned business in the Montgomery area. Divine Vines and Decor is a plant shop that also specializes in vintage decor and vintage rentals for special occasions. Mrs. Aretha Dix, owner of Divine Vines and Decor, is originally from South Carolina. During her youth, her father’s family grew plants, and they had community gardens in the neighborhood she lived in. “It was the way everybody ate. It was how we could all be self-sufficient and ensure that there was always something to eat.”

Dix attended Faulkner University in Montgomery for her undergraduate and graduate degrees while on active duty. She also received certifications from Florida A & M University. In December of 2016, Dix retired from the military as a Hospital Administrator. While on active duty, Dix fell ill, which resulted in her having to take several medications. Eventually, the medications became too much for her to keep up with, and she began the journey of trying to heal herself. She began with gardening at home, which led to making her own skin products and eating what she grew.

As she became more conscious of what she ate, she started a more sustainable lifestyle for herself and her family. “The last 4 years have truly been a journey to promote wellness because I found a cure.” Through her research, knowledge, and education, Dix became a commissioner for the Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission in the State of Alabama.

Aretha Dix

On her mission to promote wellness at home and in the community, Dix performed educational sessions in schools, in nursing homes, and around the community to promote the importance of utilizing nature for healing and wellness. “If your food isn’t right and your vibe isn’t right, your body isn’t going to be right,” Dix said. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, her gardening became a major asset for her family to ensure that they were able to eat and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

For Dix, plants have always been healing. “Plants help to increase one’s energy and productivity, one’s creativity, alleviate stress and fatigue and other illnesses,” Dix said. “Plants also help to clean indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and by producing oxygen.” She figured out ways to incorporate plants inside and outside of her home and made gardening a hobby for the whole family, which includes her husband and three daughters, ages 21, 16, and 11. Although she originally started gardening just for her family, people began asking for meal prep recipes and encouraged her to create social media pages to showcase her gardening. After praying about it, she realized there was a greater need for her talents and knowledge, which birthed Divine Vines and Decor in late 2020.

For Montgomery, Dix wants to continue to educate people on plants and enjoying home. “I want to make sure that we can grow [plants] as a community.” Dix is trying to teach the community how to reduce the carbon footprint and create a marketplace for healthy living at home. “My ultimate goal is a healthy community. I believe in preventative medicine, and there’s so many things in nature that we have access to.”

Dix also employs the youth at her shop. “Not only do I want them to get a skill, but they are able to learn sustainability,” Dix said. “Teenagers are influencers, big time, so I want to teach them communication skills and how to give back to their community.”

Divine Vines and Decor is located in the Downtown Cloverdale District in Montgomery at 1043 Woodley Road, Montgomery, AL 36106. Hours of operation are 10AM-2PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11AM to 4PM on Thursdays and Fridays, and 9AM to 2PM on Saturdays. Orders can be placed online for items in the online shop or items found on their social media. These items are available for in-store or curbside pickup. Delivery is also currently available to Montgomery residents for free with orders over $75.00 before taxes.

For more information, visit Arethadix.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram at Divine Vines and Decor.

All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2021.

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