I'd be interested in hearing from indoor plant lovers who are thinking of taking their love of indoor gardening to a professional level.
ajc - maybe you can be a little less cryptic and let us know what you're looking for.
Not sure if this was what you were looking at, since as Jamie pointed out, your post was a bit vague.
I did interior plantscaping for awhile. The plant part itself wasn't bad, except for the occasional mealybug infestation, ugh. If it were just plants it would be a great job, but the plants are probably the least of the work.
Customers fall into two categories, commercial (think professional offices, etc) and residential (think VERY high end homes, the type with indoor swimming pools, elevators, and full time staff).
The commercial customers are easy to deal with, but when their purchasing dept get a quote from another company for less money they'll drop you without even giving you a chance to meet the new rate. Even worse, some of the new companies don't show up every week to care for the plants, but instead use self watering pots and only show up once a month to add more water and cut off four weeks of dead or dying leaves at once, so for a weekly service there is no way you'd be able to match their bid. Plants in offices tend to be easy, but plants in public areas (entrances, next to elevators, waiting areas, etc) tend to be used as trash cans, so you are constantly picking out half eaten candy, used chewing gum, paper clips, etc, from the plants. It is frustrating, especially when you see a trash can less than five feet away.
Residential customers tend to be VERY picky, as this is obviously a luxury service. I had one customer freaking out about how "humiliating" it was that one of her plants had yellow leaves when she had guests over. Seriously, of the 10 plants in her music room, one plant had two yellow leaves. One time a customer who did not have full time staff went on vacation for two weeks. Obviously we could not get into the home to care for the plants. She freaked out when she returned to ficus leaves falling onto her dining room floor. The tree was not dead, just a little stressed from missing two weeks of watering (ficus trees tend to be prima donnas). The homes with staff are easier to deal with because when the residents go away they tend to still have at least have one person available to let people in, so those homes don't miss service.
Is that lovers of indoor plants or plant lovers who stay indoors?
Yes, I was a little vague because I wasn't sure what direction I want to go. Let me begin by saying we get old too soon, and smart too late. I'll try to explain...
Chapter one... Last September I had a guest from Boston at the B&B who was relocating to our area. He was was a floral designer, and he previously owned his own florist.
Chapter two... Meanwhile, for several years some first time guests at the B&B would tell me as they approached the Inn, coming up Elmwood Avenue from Irvington, they almost turned away because of their concern about the neighborhood.
Chapter three... Three of the four stores on the corners of Elmwood, Boyden, and Orchard were vacant; and the fourth one, True Salvage Cafe, hadn't opened in over a year and a half. There had been a few false business starts, including selling drugs; and to add insult to injury the building looked pretty bad.
Chapter four... I've lived here over seventy years, it's a very visible business location, surrounded by hundreds new apartments, a large active neighborhood association, and I saw an opportunity to revitalize neighborhood. So I offered the florist and another friend a sweat equity partnership, signed a three year lease, and opened a florist, a Antique and Art, store, and proposed opening a Concierge Style Convenience store.
Chapter five... I didn't properly vet the florist, he turned out to be a bad apple, and split five days before Christmas leaving me holding the bag. Last year I couldn't even spell florest, this year I is one... ;-) Anyway, I licked my wounds for a month or so, found a local floral designer, and have begun to build the business the hard way, by trial and error. I've now made the decision to abandon the Convenience Concierge store idea, (there are already enough near by) in favor of expanding the florist to include gifts, gift baskets, and house plants.
Chapter six...Last week at my granddaughters wedding in Ogden, Utah, and after visiting several local consignment stores, my thoughts are now to add Antiques, Consignment, and renting space to some local Crafters and Artists interested in displaying and selling their work, working part time, and giving classes at the three stores now known as The Maplewood Emporium, located at the new business district, recently visited by our NJ Governor for lunch at The True Salvage Cafe , and being called by many as, The Elmwood Arts District.
Thank you for asking Jamie... I like what I learned from Spontaneous, and Unicorn33, your answer is a little bit of both. I guess I'm just fishing around for MOLERS with an entrepreneurial spirit, interested in taking financial risks in the hope of making a profit...
ok, I'm a bit more perplexed - you want someone who enjoys indoors plants to take on part of a business that you're figuring out by trial and error? How much lighting does the space have to accommodate indoor plants? What financial risks are you talking about? Would you expect the person to person the plants wholesale and figure out how to market the business and take part in a 3 year lease?
Or for the crafts idea - any idea of how much you would rent space out - and how much room would each crafter get?
Maybe you should share some pics of the space you're looking to fill and who knows maybe someone on here will have an idea or two.
OK, I'm a bit more perplexed - you want someone who enjoys indoors plants to take on part of a business that you're figuring out by trial and error? Jamie, I would like to hear from anyone interested in starting a business out of their passion for working with indoor plants. In the 1970's I opened two plant stores, (PLANT GALLEY I , and PLANT GALLEY Il) One was located in Maplewood, and the other in Irvington... both were on Springfield Avenue; and I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, I had to sell them as my repo business was expanding too fast and there was no time left in the day to run them. BTW, learning by trial and error is a never ending process, especially for new businesses...
How much lighting does the space have to accommodate indoor plants? Plenty... There is 30' of large, full size, south facing windows, florescent ceiling lights, track lighting on the side walls, in other words, more than enough of light.
What financial risks are you talking about? The business model I'm promoting is more part time, then full time. For this reason the financial commitment would depend in large measure on the kind of business, and how much the person wants to invest. Regardless, success doesn't normally come without some level of risk.
Would you expect the person to purchase the plants wholesale, figure out how to market the business, and take part in a 3 year lease? The first part of your question depends on what percentage of the profit the person wants to earn. The marketing would be mostly covered by the Maplewood Emporium, and each member is also allowed to advertise if interested. There is no lease envolved, or time requirements required to rent space.
As for the crafts idea - any idea of how much you would rent space out - and how much room would each Crafter get? If approved as a Crafter Member, the amount of rent and space is negotiable. I should also add that members are invited to participate in the weekly work schedule, the monthly business planning sessions, and they have a vote in bringing in new members.
Maybe you should share some pictures of the space. I will if I can figure out how to do it. However, I suggest seeing is believing, and once people see the space they will see the business potential. SOMA is blessed with so much talent, and people engaged in some form of the arts. And IMHO, they all need a place to teach, display, and promote their talents seven days a week. I want the Maplewood Emporium to be such a place...
Who knows, maybe someone on here will have an idea or two. Thank you Jamie, I've been following MOL for a very long time, and this is the main reason why I posted my questions here...
Jamie, as a follow up to my last post, you may remember, about 16 years ago, Art G and I opened up "Here's 2 the Arts" on Baker Street in Maplewood Village.
I know you remember because we were open seven nights a week, and that's where you got your first big break in show business as a headliner in our Open Mic nights. I bring this up because back then, as now, there has always been a demand for people to express their talent in one form or another. The Maplewood Emporium will also hopefully provide the community the same opportunity to express their talents seven days a week there as well...
Art - thanks for the rundown - I'm sure your info will be helpful to anyone interested!
Thank you Jamie. I've already had two people call me. It's a good, inexpensive opportunity for anyone interested in going into business. Because there's so many other business possibilities besides house plants, do you think this post would get better exposure in a different category? Maybe the Virtual Cafe?
ajc said:Thank you Jamie. I've already had two people call me. It's a good, inexpensive opportunity for anyone interested in going into business. Because there's so many other business possibilities besides house plants, do you think this post would get better exposure in a different category? Maybe the Virtual Cafe?
ajc said:Chapter six...Last week at my granddaughters wedding in Ogden, Utah, and after visiting several local consignment stores, I saw a few pics! How gorgeous she is!
Thanks Boomie, it was an amazing wedding, especially having our whole family there. It seems like only yesterday it was Kathie's wedding, now it won't be long before I may be a great grandfather?
That's incredible Art! God bless you all.
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