First of all, what is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March around the world to spotlight and pay tribute to women's work regarding social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.
At Candide, we jump at the opportunity to shout about UK-based, independent plant nurseries and businesses, any day of the week!
Today, we wanted to highlight some of our favourite women-owned businesses in the horticulture industry.
1. Tynings Climbers
Tynings Climbers is owned by Royal Horticultural Society gold medal winners Jane Lindsay and Toni O'Connor. Jane and Toni’s plant nursery is home to four National Collections, containing many varieties of passionflower, Mandevilla and Bougainvillea, to name a few! Currently, Tynings Climbers holds the UK’s most extensive collection of climbing plant varieties.
Tynings Climbers nursery is one of the latest additions to join Candide. Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Potato Vine are just some of the plants you can buy from Tynings for home delivery! So if you wish to spruce up a garden fence or wall, Tynings Climbers is the place to shop.
2. The Archway Planter
London-based, The Archway Planter should have everything you’re looking for when it comes to houseplants and other botanical goods. When shopping from The Archway Planter, you'll find a good selection of houseplants, from easy-care snake plants and Pilea spp. to the more unusual varieties, like Calathea Roseopicta Angela.
"I've always had a keen interest in funky foliage, but my passion really grew once I realised plants were the cure to my busy lifestyle. Like most people throughout lockdown, I started spending more time involved in nature, and everything since has just evolved!" said Tiffany when we asked her what first made her want to start her plant business.
"Being independent, there's no set manual on how to start your business, but I've found it handy researching and setting tasks to keep things moving. Results may not happen overnight but have patience and trust in what you do." Tiffany advises.
When asking Tiffany if she wanted to shout about any other female-owned businesses, she told us about Plantsit. "a plant care service run by Emily and Kate - it's exciting to see how their business is growing!"
3. Sarora Knots
Sarora Knots is an independent business selling eco-friendly, handmade plant hangers, pots and trays, by founder Sara. “I started Sarora Knots to help people discover unique styling accessories so they can take indoor greenery to the next level. Starting a business centred around plants was a very natural step for me, as I have a background in floristry.” Sara has collaborated with companies such as White Stuff and wework and has been featured by both Bustle and BBC Good Food. It’s clear to us that designing and creating unique styling accessories is second nature to her!"
When we asked what advice she’d give to other women looking to start their own business in the industry, she said, “Start small and give yourself time to find your style. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be successful straight away. Network with other people in the plant and horticultural space, and support other small businesses you genuinely love.”
One of Sara's favourite independent businesses she's loving right now is “Prick LDN - London’s first cactus boutique."
"It’s really encouraging to see a woman-owned and black-owned business in horticulture, as that’s rare to see. As well as being an admirable businesswoman, Gynelle is super-supportive to others in the industry. She was one of the first people to support my business, and she bought two of my handmade plant hangers for her home when I first launched.”
4. Prick LDN
When it comes to rare and unusual plants, you have our full attention - which is why we are in awe of Gynelle and her business, Prick LDN. Gynelle has dedicated much of her time and energy to her cacti and succulents boutique, based near Hackney, East London. We wish we could visit to see (and purchase) some of the extravagant plants that she sells, but that will have to wait until later this spring.
Gynelle was first inspired to start her business following a trip to Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh ten years ago. From here, her plant obsession continued growing. Still, she was particularly drawn to the “geometric forms” of cacti and succulents and “their ability to outlast her relationships!”. She wanted to start her own business after struggling to find places that sold rare species.
If you’re looking to decorate your city apartment or home with wonderful and interesting desert plants, it’s definitely worth stopping off at Prick LDN if you’re passing by.
The website states, “Every plant deserves an equally great pot” - which is a motto we live by at Candide, too! To learn more about Gynelle and her business, visit Prick LDN. Here, you can shop some of her fantastic speciality cacti and exotic plants, stylish plant-pots and literature!
5. Rebel Plants
Rebel Plants is a London-based business specialising in houseplants and sells a range of beautiful pots, vases, and dried flowers. If you’re new to the world of houseplants, then we’d recommend Rebel Plants as one of the best places you could shop! Some of the houseplants up for grabs include prayer-plants, string-of-hearts and Philodendron. All great additions to a newly flourished urban jungle.
6. Harriets Plants
Harriet’s plant journey begun at the Eden Project in Cornwall while studying plant science. Originally from Staffordshire, where her family brought her up, Harriet quickly returned to set up her houseplant business, setting up her greenhouse in Lichfield. “I grew up playing in dirt and climbing trees but never fancied it as a career choice as a teen. That had a lot to do with horticulture not being a celebrated or an acknowledged industry to pursue,” said Harriet.
“It all changed when I met a married couple in Tasmania, where I lived at the time. They dedicated their lives to growing Peonies and veg for their cafe. From there on out, I was hooked.”
When we asked Harriet if she had any advice for women wanting to start their own plant business, she admitted, it’s not easy. “Be prepared to work hard. Business is hard work, time-consuming, and failures happen. I've had my fair share of those, but it's those failures and doubts that make your business great.”
She also advised that when trying to make it in such an industry, "just be true to yourself" and “hone in on your skill. Your skill is your passion; think about how you can also make it other people's passions, too." She adds, "I didn't know I could grow for retail shops, but now I do, and that’s such a great feeling, knowing that I am doing what I love every single day and ensuring that minimal harm is done to the environment in doing so.”
Other women-led businesses that Harriet finds amazing right now are Bloom gardening magazine @bloomthemagazine, Ellon at @smallplants.shop, @onefieldfarm and @greenrabbitflowers.
Find out more about Harriet and her business here.
7. Mind the cork
Mindthecork design and create houseplant accessories, all made from sustainably-sourced, recyclable cork. The business is run by “founder, designer and green-fingered cork aficionada”, Jenny Espirito Santo. Not only are her designs eco-friendly, but they’re also unique, contemporary and modern, a win-win in our eyes!
We think a cork plant pot should be the latest addition to your windowsill or plant shelf. As quoted from Jenny’s website, we’d agree with the definition: “A botanical celebration, mind the cork planters are inspired by the desire to bring nature in and pay homage to minimalist, understated beauty”.
Find out more about Jenny's business Mind the cork and shop products here.