I'm pleased to welcome Lisa Eldred Steinkopf to Michigander Monday!
Debbie: Lisa, please tell us a little about yourself.
Lisa: I'm Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, The Houseplant Guru. I have always loved plants and nature. I grew up in central Michigan, in a rural area. Our nearest neighbors were my grandparents approximately 1/2 mile away and they were farmers. My three older brothers and I spent a lot of time playing in their barn, climbing the hay bales to the ceiling and playing with the barn cats. We gathered eggs from the hen house and rode our bikes back home. We grew up surrounded by nature, climbed trees, explored and learned to love nature. My one brother has his degree in forestry. My grandma grew many houseplants, and especially had beautiful African violets. My mom also had plants and has a fern that was given to her by my great grandma in 1957 at her bridal shower. I also have a piece of that fern and have had it since 1985 when I was married. I went to Ferris State University (then it was a college), where I met my husband, John, in horticulture classes. We've been married 33 years this June and our oldest daughter is getting married on that day. We are so excited! We also have a younger daughter. My husband's family owns Steinkopf Nursery in Farmington Hills and this is its 87th year in business. I worked there for 15 years and left 4 years ago.
Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your book, and other books on the horizon.
Lisa: I love social media and actually was asked on Twitter by an acquisition editor from Cool Springs Press if I wanted to write a book. I of course said yes, as I had always been a dream of mine to write a book. It took a year and a 1/2 from start to the release date to get the book done. My daughter, Chelsea took the pictures. Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants came out last fall.
I do have another book in the works and should be out next summer.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Lisa: I am going to be at Campbell's Greenhouse in North Branch on April 21st for a program. I am doing a terrarium workshop at Hidden Lakes Garden on April 29th. I will be presenting a program about terrariums at the Blue Water Garden Club in Port Huron on May 7th and I will be at Wedel's Greenhouse in Kalamazoo on May 19th.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?
Lisa: I love bookstores and whichever one I'm at is the one I love! But, I do love Barnes and Noble in Northville, my closest bookstore, and the one in Ann Arbor. I also love Literati and Nicola's bookstores in Ann Arbor, Schuler Books in Lansing, Horizon Books in Traverse City, King's Books in Detroit, and Black River Books in South Haven. I really can't say there isn't a bookstore I don't love. I also love my local libraries in Livonia, as they have been places my daughters and I have spent a lot of time. We LOVE books! I have so many in my house, my husband thinks the second floor of our home is going to fall in someday. I hope not!
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Lisa: I don't know that I have one favorite place in Michigan. Our family loves to spend time in and around Traverse City and have many memories from staying there in the summers on vacation. I also love going back to my mom's house near Blanchard, as that is where I grew up. John and I like to go for long drives on Sundays in the summer and we take the back roads and go through countless small towns. I love the rural parts of Michigan and anywhere I am with John is my favorite place.
Debbie: Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?
Lisa: I like to go to any festivals I can in Michigan. There are always antique markets, craft fairs and more going on. I used to go to Loafer's Glory in Blanchard in November for their holiday open house which included a live nativity with real animals and music. They closed a few years ago, but recently announced they will be reopening so I hope that event will be coming back this year.
Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?
Lisa: There are a lot of famous people that have hailed from Michigan, including Madonna, Eminem, Tom Selleck, Kid Rock, Steve Wonder, Kate Upton, Christie Brinkley, David Spade, Kristen Bell, Bob Seger, and Jeff Daniels. Tim Allen is also the voice of the Pure Michigan advertisements, which I love.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Lisa: Of course, if you ask somebody where they live in Michigan, the hand instantly goes up and they can point to where they live. We have an upper and lower peninsula connected by the beautiful Mackinaw Bridge, the 5th longest suspension bridge in the world. It opened in November of 1957. My parents were married in July of 1957 and had to take the ferry across the straits to the upper peninsula on their honeymoon. They saw the bridge, of course, but it wasn't open for traffic yet at that point. We are the home of Vernor's pop (not soda) and Little Caesars and Domino's pizza. We love fudge and are famous for it. We also love our cider mills and flock to them by the thousands in the fall to eat donuts, drink cider and pick apples. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore was named Good Morning America's most beautiful place in America. We have over 4,500 miles of fresh water coastline in Michigan. Michigan is a gorgeous state to live in!
Debbie: Agreed! Last question. Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders, others as Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a Michigander or a Michiganian?
Lisa: I am a Michigander and actually have never heard of Michiganians...
Debbie: Lisa, we’ll add you to the Michigander column! Thank you so much for joining us today for Michigander Monday.