When we hear about passion projects like this one, we get really excited - there’s nothing better than hearing about those who have turned something they love into a new venture and are inspiring others to love it too. That’s exactly what Marketplace seller Purple Bloom Seeds have done, by turning their passion for the wellbeing benefits of gardening, into a fully-fledged business.
We spoke with Paul from Purple Bloom Seeds to kick off our new “Meet the Seller” series and find out more about how this family-run social enterprise started, and how they’re now helping others to feel the same benefits that they’ve found through growing.
Meet Purple Bloom Seeds
Paul and Sarah from Purple Bloom Seeds are committed to making ‘growing your own’ more accessible, no matter how little space you have, so that everyone can enjoy the mental health benefits of gardening.
This family-run business is made up of Paul, Sarah and their two children, ‘Chief of Herbs’ (2½) and ‘Professor of all Things Edible’ (7 Months), and love spending time growing things together. The accessibility of gardening to families and children is something that is close to their hearts and influences a lot of the work that they do.
Before Paul and Sarah became ‘Purple Bloom Seeds’ back in 2018, they enjoyed growing on their windowsill and at the allotment, where they socialised and took part in seed swaps. Over time, as they tried out different herbs and flowers, they began to add little notes to their seeds with tips and instructions for growing. Sarah hand-stamps and arranges their gardening gifts to order, and they are all (kids included!) involved in growing and testing the seeds.
It’s no surprise Purple Bloom Seeds have been a huge hit on Candide Marketplace since joining, with their beautifully packaged ‘Grow Your Own’ kits, along with a variety of more practical seeds for the garden.
Paul enjoys selling on the Marketplace, thanks to Candide’s ‘very warm and knowledgeable gardening community’. The customer base that comes with selling on Candide is a real benefit for them, and selling on the Marketplace has meant they are ‘more in touch with the type of products gardeners are interested in’. Their ‘Grow Your Own Mindfulness’ Herbal Tea Kit has been a particular hit with the Candide community!
The Mindfulness of Growing
The belief at Purple Bloom Seeds is that growing your own food can ‘uplift the soul’ and be ‘transformative’. Since adolescence, Paul has struggled with anxiety and bouts of depression. In the early 90’s, he said, ‘mental health wasn’t really something anyone spoke about’ and it felt like something to be ashamed of. In the summer of 2016, after reaching ‘an emotional brick wall,’ Sarah gradually encouraged Paul to immerse himself in gardening. As he focused on digging, and growing their food on a larger scale, his mental health became less of a frustration to be ignored and more something to be embraced.
‘To get better, I had to get doing things’ Paul said, ‘and to get doing things meant I was growing herbs, flowers, veg and plants - things that needed attention and nurturing on a day to day basis.’ From this experience, growing from seed became something that was very important to Paul and Sarah, and continues to be the focal point of their business.
What’s coming up next?
The Purple Bloom Seeds team have been busy expanding on their ‘Grow Your Own Mindfulness’ range, which they are particularly proud of. ‘There’s something really uplifting about having a windowsill full of herbs all year round’, Paul told us, ‘or a small space of edible flowers that are ready to be used in soups, stews and herbal teas!’. You can buy their current ‘Grow Your Own’ kits here, and keep an eye out on the Marketplace for what’s to come!
In the meantime, they are also busy coordinating their yearly charity seeds donation. They are hoping to donate some of their seeds and kits to garden therapy organisations, to further their ethos of growing for mental health.
With World Mental Health Day just around the corner (10th October) why not spend some time in the garden, sow some seeds and watch them grow; you may be surprised at how relaxing and rewarding it feels. If you’re lucky (and patient), you’ll even get an edible treat at the end of it!