Using Pop-Ups to Perfect Daddy's Plants

We’ve wanted to document a pop-up from start to finish for a while now, but it’s proven tricky since prepping and setting up is an all-hands-on-deck effort. Luckily, we’ve done enough pop-ups now that we were finally able to capture (at least most of) the process on camera.

In our newest YouTube video we’re sharing how we get ready for a pop-up, load up the Daddywagon (we just made that up!), set up on location, and what we learn about growing the business after each event.

If you like the video, we’d love for you to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Plus, be sure that you’re singed up for our #plantfam newsletter to see where we’re popping up next and to get a sneak peek at the plants for sale.

Visiting Madre Cacti in Minneapolis

In the summer of 2018, Billy took a cross-continental road trip through Canada to the Pacific Ocean and back through the Northern United States while Pat stayed back in Buffalo to hold down the fort. Along the way, Billy visited countless locations that sparked inspiration for Daddy’s Plants. This post is about one of those places.

PAT: What was one of your highlights of your time in Minneapolis?

BILLY: Madre Cacti is a shop in Minneapolis with a focus on some of the heftiest, curious cactus varieties I’ve ever seen in one place… outside of the desert. It was incredible. This shop was one I was really excited to visit while driving through the many different provinces and states I visited, especially due to the location/climate. When I saw a cactus shop pop up in Minnesota, I knew that desert plants had found their way into a market colder than Buffalo. This place had “inspirational” written all over it.

P: So, what was your visit like?

B: While it was a transformative experience traveling for a month without the worries of an itinerary, this was one place I wish I had timed out better. I ended up in Minneapolis on one of the days that Madre Cacti was closed, which meant I had to be really creepy and ogle from outside. Thankfully it was a warm August day, the exterior of the shop was gorgeously on-brand and the windows revealed mostly everything you’d experience inside. And what was inside? Straight up dusty desert vibes and some of the largest, curated cacti for sale.

I should preface this by saying that I visited Madre Cacti right before they announced a bigger and even better space that is opening in the near future. If the original location says anything about the new one, it will definitely bring all of the desert vibes you could ask for in the middle of those chilly winter months. The exterior of this corner building was a stunning matte black, just plopped down in a cute residential area. The branding of Madre Cacti is infused in every inch of their aesthetic. It’s rustic, a bit edgy, it’s earthy and yet a bit tough. I guess it’s a lot like describing a cactus. The hardwood floors and walls seemed almost untouched with exposed lath, almost like peaking into a boarded up general store on the side of a highway in New Mexico. On the other hand, the tall and twisting cacti were all neatly potted in terra cotta, topped with an attractive layer of gravel and sand. It all worked together to create a true feel of the desert in the Midwest.

P: Bummer that it was closed when you arrived! Did you get to chat with anyone?

B: I spoke briefly with owner Erik Hamline on Instagram after the visit, but learned more about his interesting journey in an interview with Dschwen. I was drawn to his story, especially since he came from a similar design background as me and pivoted to follow a passion that utilized his past career experience. In the interview, he mentioned a “head-slap moment” in starting the business that I really related with. At some point, you have to look at all of the skills you’ve honed over your career(s) and make a move that is both risky and logical. And now look, he’s already expanding into a bigger space and moving forward with his retail concept.

P: What a great inspiration!

B: It’s the story and process that inspired me most. Did I mention that the owner documents parts of his cactus haul, while driving from Minneapolis to the desert and back? What a wonderful way to share your experience with local customers and plant aficionados across the globe! That really stuck out to me while enjoying my own time on the road driving cross country.

Perhaps being on the road provides the necessary time to assess how to run a small business. Shifting your past job experience to help build a unique retail brand can be daunting, but your abilities are already learned. Use those skills to elevate and structure what you’re doing, and also to give yourself confidence, because the rest is going to be learned through new experiences. Those new experiences are where you’re going to challenge yourself, but challenging yourself helps you learn what works for you. I know my time driving around to New York State nurseries has already got my brain churning. Perhaps I’ll make New Mexico the next stop!

Visit Madre Cacti.

Website: madrecacti.com

Instagram: instagram.com/madrecacti

Daddy's Plants in an Independent Health Commercial

It’s always fun to see yourself on the small screen! Daddy’s Plants recently collaborated with Addo Productions for a television commercial, providing plants like dracaena, ctenanthe, and others for a spot for Independent Health. Watch it now:

 
 

If you’re interested in renting plants and accessories for your next photo or video shoot, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Staying Nimble with Your Business

Welp, we've successfully made it through our first multi-day pop-up event last month at Public Espresso + Coffee, and we've started selling our products at a few retailers in Buffalo, NY as a trial run.

Big picture, things are moving along nicely, but we’ve also been keeping our eyes open for unexpected roadblocks and opportunities that present themselves.

In our newest YouTube video, we're sharing one of the most important lessons we've learned as we grow Daddy's Plants: Stay nimble!

Daddy's Plants Featured on "Becki and Chris" YouTube Channel

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Love plants but not sure of the best way to display them in your home? (hint: as long as the plants are happy, there’s not wrong way!) Our friends Becki and Chris created a very helpful how-to video to show you their tips for styling shelves with functional items, your favorite collectables, and of course a little greenery.

Watch their video to get some great ideas for beautifying your space, plus you’ll see a little cameo from Daddy’s Plants’s co-owners Billy and Pat about choosing plants that best fit your lifestyle.

If you’re not familiar with Becki and Chris, they create gorgeous video and photo content, and even helped us develop our photography style for Daddy’s Plants.

Follow Becki and Chris.

YouTube: youtube.com/beckiandchris

Instagram: instagram.com/beckiandchris

Visiting Plant Shop in Seattle, Washington

In the summer of 2018, Billy took a cross-continental road trip through Canada to the Pacific Ocean and back through the Northern United States while Pat stayed back in Buffalo to hold down the fort. Along the way, Billy visited countless locations that sparked inspiration for Daddy’s Plants. This post is about one of those places.

PAT: You spent some time in Seattle on your road trip. What did you discover?

BILLY: I was really carried away by Seattle and almost didn’t get to visit any houseplant shops! I stopped in a cute cat cafe (nekoseattle.com) to grab a coffee for the road as I headed east and ended up chatting with the owner about her experience starting a business. Honestly, some of the best advice came out of this random visit. She told me three things: Always accept help when it’s offered, people are more willing to collaborate than you think and when you feel the most in over your head, you’re doing something right with your new business. And of course, the great tip to visit a plant shop called Plant Shop just down the block! I wasn’t going to leave Seattle empty handed!

P: Ooh, so what was Plant Shop like?

B: Plant Shop has two locations, and I visited the one in Capitol Hill. It definitely had the most windows and the most plants! Seriously, floor to ceiling windows is the dream for any plant shop. It allows you to take control on the light needs by starting with all of the light and reducing it when needed. Plant Shop is set up like a duplex, which makes the plants completely immerse customers on both floors. I mean, every inch was covered in foliage and I can only imagine the air quality was fantastic.

The vibe was chill and lush; the staff members were busy doing their rounds recording soil moisture on every plant in their urban jungle. I’m really looking forward to being overly attentive to our in-stock greenery when we find our own place, plus their quantity of plants partly inspired our oasis pop-up setup.

P: Did you get to have conversations with anyone that worked there?

B: I chatted with some of their team about my cross-country drive and finding inspiration from the houseplant scene in all of the cities along the way. One topic we talked about was the balance of sourcing and/or propagating plants for a retail business, which is my own internal debate. I love to propagate, but you’d need to scale up and have more time and a greenhouse to do it successfully. I also really appreciate working with wholesalers, it’s a special relationship and allows you the ability to handpick what you’re stocking.

P: What inspired you the most about Plant Shop?

B: Location, location, location. Plant Shop’s floor-to-ceiling windows wrap around a corner facing west and north. This allows for the spectrum of lighting options without directly baking the plants in a south-facing window, and avoiding the restrictions on a north-facing or east-facing window. Want to have a jungle in your shop? You need to consider where your light in coming from in your retail location.

Visit Plant Shop.

Website: plantshopseattle.com

Facebook: facebook.com/plantshopseattle

Instagram: instagram.com/plantshopseattle

Visiting Bloom Room Botanical Gallery

In the summer of 2018, Billy took a cross-continental road trip through Canada to the Pacific Ocean and back through the Northern United States while Pat stayed back in Buffalo to hold down the fort. Along the way, Billy visited countless locations that sparked inspiration for Daddy’s Plants. This post is about one of those places.

PAT: OK, Billy, give me the scoop on Bloom Room.

BILLY: Bloom Room Botanical Gallery is a plant and flower shop in the EastVan neighborhood of Vancouver, BC.

P: How did you hear about it?

B: I was staying in Mount Pleasant while visiting Vancouver and Victoria and it was just around the corner, a perfect walk. Multiple friends that live nearby mentioned it when I asked about local houseplant shops.

P: Did anything stick out to you as you first approached the shop?

B: It has curb appeal for sure. The branding and ombre color story was extremely inviting from the outside and completely different, yet equally attractive, on the inside. It truly felt more like a gallery, which is why I’m sure it’s called a “Botanical Gallery.” Everything was meant to be looked at.

P: Ooh, that sounds really interesting!

B: Totally. While the walls were a clean white (I’m sure to reflect as much light as possible throughout the space), the floor brought a burst of “Deep Ocean” blue that perfectly framed a richly textured oriental rug. Antique tables displayed plant varieties in the center of the space that made me believe everything belonged in my own home. Mixed in were flowers, floral arrangements and dish gardens on display. You could witness their list of services just by making your way around the room.

P: Were you able to meet any of the owners or staff?

B: I chatted with Brandon while I was visiting (you can spot him on the Bloom Room Instagram) and watched as the owner was busy creating floral arrangements behind the counter. Since Vancouver and Buffalo both sit near an international border, we chatted a bit about the process of sourcing plants locally and internationally. Buffalo is such a short drive from Toronto, which is a mecca for houseplants. And where there are houseplant lovers, there are normally great varieties to be found!

P: Did you pickup any inspiration from the visit?

B: I was absolutely struck by the curb appeal of this store and the overall feel of Bloom Room. The shop really has a strong presence inside and out, something that feels personal and inspiring. I remember commenting upon checkout how I loved their glass display of air plants, to which they replied, “If you’re opening a shop, make sure you secure the air plants! Don’t just put them in a basket, people will just walk out with them.” Important plant shop lesson! People really love air plants, apparently.

Plan your visit to Bloom Room.

Facebook: facebook.com/BloomRoomVancouver
Instagram: instagram.com/bloomroomvancouver

A Visit to Plant in Calgary, Alberta

In the summer of 2018, Billy took a cross-continental road trip through Canada to the Pacific Ocean and back through the Northern United States while Pat stayed back in Buffalo to hold down the fort. Along the way, Billy visited countless locations that sparked inspiration for Daddy’s Plants. This post is about one of those places.

PAT: So, Billy, how did you originally hear about Plant?

BILLY: Plant was one of the first shops I discovered with the simple Google search for “plant shops in Calgary.” They popped up in the Inglewood neighborhood of the city, and I decided to pay them a visit.

P: What was your first impression when you walked up to Plant?

B: Having a front lawn created a special entrance into a house plant shop. They had huge garage doors at the front and rear that made it easy to take advantage of the warm summer months and open up the space. People were mobbing the place when I arrived and that energy was really invigorating. People love plants!

P: And what was it like inside?

The feel inside was industrial with cozy, wood accents to warm up the large space. There were two sides to the shop that allow you to explore not only different plant varieties but also the endless accessories available to bring home with your new plants. Since I was in another country and couldn’t bring plants over the border to the U.S., it made me happy to pick up the book Botanicum and some plant charms as mementos. It was definitely the most creative setup of accessories I saw on the trip.

P: Did you get to chat with anyone when you were there?

B: Plant’s owners were the first I chatted with over Instagram before stopping in and they invited me to ask them any questions about owning and running a houseplant shop. I was there on their day off, so I just interacted with the extremely sweet staff. They explained that Plant had expanded within the past few years when they found their dream location, but still own the original space, which is their stationery shop called Recess.

P: What feature or element of Plant did you find most inspiring?

B: I loved their staff-run potting station and the dedicated area for workshops. Their space was so energized and the plant accessories were items I had never seen before and absolutely loved.

P: So, if you were to give Plant a superlative, what would it be?

B: “Most Accessorized”

Plan your visit to Plant.

Website: plantshop.ca
Instagram: instagram.com/plantshopyyc
Facebook: facebook.com/plantshopyyc
Twitter: twitter.com/Plantshopyyc