The Story Behind Los Angeles Plant Club
I was never a plant person. Let's just say that right off the bat. Seems ironic I would later become the founder of LA Plant Club. But like many things in life, some opportunities fall into your lap for a reason and then you start rolling with the punches. It started in 2017 after a brief birthday trip to Vancouver where I stumbled into a kokedama atelier. There were strewn houseplants separated from their pots on tables, kokedamas suspended in the air as if the laws of gravity didn’t apply to plants. The smell of dirt and moss wafting in the air replenished my nose and the sound of, I think it was a jazz quartet in a distant speaker, made me feel like I had walked onto an old time Hollywood movie set. It was all too enticing and inviting. I was unequivocally and very quickly enamored with the entirety of my surroundings, my heart beating faster from this than the double espresso I had just consumed. It was a full sensory experience. And thats when I was hit with the plant love bug, with the uniqueness of these flying orbs of green moss covering live plant matter turned into novelty art. So, after a few prying questions directed to the store owner, I decided I wanted to bring this plant art back to Los Angeles.
At the time I was working as a manager at a lovely and now defunct cafe in Mid Wilshire and I asked the cafe owner if I could sell kokedamas out of the cafe. He was for it, and thus the beginning of my plant career began. The store happened to be perfect real estate with its bright indirect light and tall ceilings, so I went to town with my kokedama’d fiddle leaf fig and snake plants, and started hanging them around the store. Customers were just as enamored by the kokedamas as I was when I visited that little shop in Vancouver. I quickly started selling out, and in the meantime started feeling the healing properties of tending to plants as a byproduct. I didn’t know how intertwined I was with the frenetic energy of the city and daily doses of gridlock and coffee, until I took a step back and delved further into the patience needed to make these pieces of art. It was a deep dive not only into plants and plant care, but also into my own psyche.
As time passed, and with the recommendation of a customer who claimed to be a marketing guru, I started my backyard plant classes. This is really when Los Angeles Plant Club transitioned into what it is now. As any new small business and business owner starts out, you don’t think anyone will be interested in what you have to offer. I had no business plan or direction. But as any artist knows, you really don’t care since your brain and hands create regardless of your audience. Slowly but surely, the classes started to trickle in customers and I was doing 3-4 classes a week, as well as adding other classes to the mix to liven things up. Throughout the entirety of my now three years teaching classes, I began to fall in love with each character who came through, something I had never planned. We shared life stories, passions and exchanged tidbits on acquiring a sturdy green thumb. Sometimes classes were in mere silence and I was into that as much as the ones with the people who were overtly talkative. I ended up becoming good friends with many whom I still speak to today and thus the idea of turning my business into a club was formulated. To say these classes picked me up out of rough times would be an understatement. And to say that it didn’t offer that same feeling of healing to the students who learned under the green leaves of my backyard grapevines would be an understatement too. They say that hurt people hurt people, and conversely I believe that healed people heal. I was healing from alot at that time and felt like these classes with the mixture of a kickass playlist, and an Italian inspired backyard were the perfect ingredients to heal and inspire others as well. Most things for me at least start with an emotional pull and I am hooked. That might be how most art and repeated action continues to persist. I soaked myself into the job of asking questions and interviewing all my customers, and highlighting those stories on social media. I after all had a literature and journalism background so it was in my nature to probe and be curious. These natural occurrences were the tugs that eventually pulled itself into making the club.
So here we are, three years later. Classes are still happening in my Echo Park backyard and I hope they continue to transpire for many years to come. I also decided to implement art and apparel which play on day to day life in my hometown of Los Angeles. I grew up fascinated with fashion, design and marketing so decided to make the brand logo based off another well known LA company. I don’t know the future of LA Plant Club but I am not as directionless as I was when I first started. My ethos remains and always will revolve around my community and making sure people leave my classes with a unique experience tucked under their belt. Hope you join us!Much love,
LA Plant Club Founder