Plants for Friends is a plant delivery business, delivering much loved greenery to over 150 suburbs around Perth, Western Australia. From bathroom plants to cactus, fruit trees to succulents and even my ultimate favourite the very low maintenance plants, there is just something for everyone.
You're going to be inspired so keep reading and send me a DM to let me know what you think of this incredible business.
How did you get into the plant business?
I worked for many great bosses at incredible businesses over the years including a beautiful bookstore, a Fairtrade shop, a chocolate shop in the UK and a stunning Perth florist shop (for 10+ years). I started Plants for Friends as a Facebook business in 2017, then started up an Instagram page and quickly transitioned to the website stage.
It was a time of MASSIVE inspiration as the idea had hit me hard after I delivered my friend a birthday plant on my day off. I thought, ok - THIS SHOULD BE A BUSINESS!! I wrote my business plan on my phone in her driveway and forwarded it to about 20 friends and family. They all had faith in me straight away which was amazing (and very kind) considering I'd always been an employee - never a business owner.
I could barely keep up with the plans I had and spent every spare moment brainstorming and trying to make my first sales!
I originally even wanted to do eco-friendly bike deliveries but realised the plants might not enjoy getting knocked around on the back of a bike. I had such an immense natural drive for my business idea as I'd ALWAYS gifted plants for every occasion since I was little, and I still think they make the coolest gift. I knew a lot about plant care from personal experience and researching plant care tips and tricks became a large part of the biz.
When I began, I was still breastfeeding my 5 month old and had 2 part time jobs. Interesting times (all Mums in the biz will relate), but having limited time to spend on the business helped make it really clear to me where my true calling was. I was more than happy to write content/pot plants/write cards/develop new ideas/play around with business ideas after midnight and then wake up at 5AM to continue! Just obsessed really.
Do you grow your own plants to sell, or are they sourced as is?
We couldn't keep up with the demand to grow our own and we always tell our customers we are not a nursery as such. We buy some of our most popular (locally grown) indoor jungle plants in bulk and some of our flowering (roses, lavender etc) and fruiting plants we buy to order so they look absolutely perfect on the day of delivery.
For those who've used our service before, you know we have a pretty decent plant menu, so there's quite a lot of stock purchasing from different nurseries going on! We'd never send out plants that look sad or damaged so we are really careful with hand-picking our stock and looking after it once we have it.
I imagine you having this amazing garden or loungeroom at home!
Well our indoor garden is changing on the regular - there are definitely plants in every room of the house! The outdoor garden is something we have less time to fuss in, but I'm happy to say we can easily pick a decent salad from our garden every night these days. Yay!
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is wanting to start their own business?
I have so much advice that I'm ALWAYS happy to share with people who ask - but to be honest, I more enjoy LISTENING to people develop their ideas in their own way rather than telling them "the lessons I've learnt" or advice from my own personal experience. I do have perhaps an unpopular opinion though Janice! It's so common for entrepreneurs to be told they MUST RESEARCH THE COMPETITION, but I've not had any benefit from looking at what others are doing in my field. I think it is much better to keep focusing on honing in on your own original and unique aspirations and brainstorming your own ideas. I'd say avoid comparing or trying to research how others are doing things. I feel it can actually serve to crush your imagination/creative flow/confidence/unique offerings! So I'd say have fun with your ideas, don't be afraid to do things differently and also keep track of your finances to ensure you are covering ALL costs. I use XERO and my book keeper to keep me enlightened on all things regarding our biz finances.
What is your most favourite plant at the moment?
I love our trailing indoor Pictus plants (so pretty with loads of length and easiest plant ever) and I also love my own ageing crazy-haired Medusa succulent (an outdoor plant with a wild hair-do).
QCC Favourite - If you were a plant or flower, what would you be? And why?
Fun question! I'd be a seedling, eagerly looking for the light, soaking up the nutrients, developing strong roots, taking in my surroundings, looking out for my fellow seedlings, dancing with the breeze, waiting for the bees and butterflies and getting excited to grow more! Haha gosh cute imagery there!
OH EM GEE! If I didn't love her before, I am utterly obsessed now! Need to liven up your home or looking for a gift for someone, check out the Plants for Friends website and Instagram page for some inspo. You won't be disappointed! Not only the most gorgeous plants, but they also come in adorable pots, delivered right to your door. What more could you ask for!