What do you make? How did you get into it?
We create dish gardens, container gardens, and terrariums. It actually started with a fascination for terrariums, and after attending a workshop on terrarium making, I was hooked! I figured, if my plants could survive inside glass jars, all the more if I could create mini landscapes in different containers, so I started planting in almost every container I could find at home. The more unique the container, the more challenging it was to see how I could re-purpose it into a container garden, and each time I actually turned it into one, it was a personal triumph.
Are you a full-time crafter?
If not, what is your day job? I wish! Right now I also dabble in marketing and writing.
What motivates you in pursuing this business?
Every creation is new and unique, and so it’s enlightening to see how each of the arrangements mean different things to different people. It’s the joy of knowing that we make people happy, we find new uses for old things, and we make spaces pretty, even if it’s just through a little dish garden.
What are some of the challenges of maintaining a craft business?
In our case – space! We can’t stop creating and we’re running out of storage! That and the fact that our crafts are actually living things, so it gets tricky once in a while making sure they’re all okay.
What’s a new skill–craft or business–that you’d like to learn?
As if my hands are not busy enough, I’d really like to get into watercolor, pottery, and calligraphy. It would be interesting to see how I could marry all of the skills to come up with new creations.
What’s your most recent craft business milestone?
Maker’s Market! Since SmartyPlants is fairly new, every customer is a milestone! And being able to join fairs such as this is a big step for us because it means more exposure.
What is your favorite lesson in your experience of your business?
Interacting with your customers – talking to them, learning more about them. They’re more than just people who buy from you. Eventually, they could be suppliers, ambassadors, and maybe even friends. So this whole endeavor has really taught me to build relationships.
What craft business advice can you share with other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Really take the time to hone your skill and promote your business. Don’t expect a social media post or two will do the business for you. You really have to get yourselves out there, and that means getting out of your shell. Be brave to do the things you normally wouldn’t do!
Um, if you were a craft tool, what would you be? And why?
Probably a paintbrush. Paintbrushes have to be strong enough to withstand pressure, yet at the same time, delicate enough to do the details. Just like a paintbrush, I know I have to get dipped and dunked and dirtied, but the outcome at the end is worth it.
What can we expect to see from you guys at the upcoming Maker’s Market?
We’re experimenting with ways to personalize each SmartyPlants arrangement, and hopefully we achieve that at the next Maker’s Market.
Where else can we find your work?
Currently, all our arrangements are made-to-order. For ideas, past creations can be viewed on our social media accounts: https://www.facebook.com/smartyplantsph and https://instagram.com/smartyplantsph/.