An online houseplant business that was launched less than a year ago has been so successful that its founders are set to open a physical shop on one of Plymouth’s most popular shopping streets.
Becca Langsford and Nieve Perry, who live in St Judes and Peverell, have been friends and “house plant enthusiasts” for several years and decided to take the plunge and set up their own business Nook Houseplants during the first lockdown last year.
At the time, Becca said she and Nieve had “always dreamed” of running their own business and wanted to combine this with their love of houseplants, partially grown from the understanding that having plants in the home can have a huge positive impact on an individual, particularly on their physical and mental health.
After launching the business online, Nook Houseplants launched the first of its ‘pop up’ shops in an independent cafe in Plymouth City Centre last July and continued to add plants, pots and handy tips to its website over the following months.
Since then, Nook Houseplants has gone from strength to strength and has become a household name across the city. So much so, that Becca and Nieve have been able to expand their business into a shop on the Barbican, in Plymouth’s retro retail arcade, The House That Jack Built.
The pair are looking forward to welcoming customers through the doors from Wednesday, April 14.
“We’ll be bringing a fresh and interesting collection of houseplants to the shop, with new additions weekly – so there will always be something to lust after!” Becca said.
“Alongside an extended range of care accessories, books and, of course, our handmade stoneware pots.”
“We can’t wait to become part of the vibrant independent community on The Barbican; we really enjoy collaborating with other businesses and are excited to get settled into our new home.”
Becca and Nieve love the ethos of The House That Jack Built, especially as it “offers the opportunity of affordable shop space and an eclectic mix of makers,” while encouraging people to shop locally and support small, independent businesses.
Explaining how the shop came about, Becca said: “We set up the business last June, and we started sort of propagating our own plants, and thought maybe people would like to buy some cuttings. They sold out really quickly and it’s just sort of gone on from there really.
“We’ve got so many ideas, we’re really lucky that we’re working with the Real Ideas organisation, and we’re being supported through their Start Something campaign which has given us a year’s worth of business mentoring, basically.
“We’re going to keep the website as it is, we’ll be opening the shop, and we love the idea of doing workshops and houseplant clinics in time – where we’ll be able to give tips and advice.
“We’ll also be offering consultations to local businesses, and home consultations as well, because we get a lot of people contacting us to say ‘this is the space we’ve got what would you recommend?'”
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Becca and Nieve hope to connect with fellow houseplant enthusiasts in Plymouth and create a “hub” where like-minded people can meet and chat all things houseplant-related.
“There’s just such a great online community of people who are really passionate about houseplants,” Becca said. “We’re really keen to kind of build that community in Plymouth, and having the shop as a hub where we can meet customers face-to-face and chat to them, creating this community of people, we’re really looking forward to that.
“It’s really important to us that it’s a whole service, it’s not going to be just a shop where you can come and buy a plant.”
Becca and Nieve say they feel “so lucky” to have had the support of a range of independent businesses in Plymouth, many of which invited them to set up pop-up plant shops in their venues.
“Over the last few months we’ve enjoyed long-standing pop-up shops at Prime Cafe, Cakewhole, The Game Larder, Yoke Salon, Vessel Beer Shop and Cawfee.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all these owners and staff who have supported us as a new business, we are so grateful,” Becca and Nieve said.
Nook Houseplants opens in The House That Jack Built, in Southside Street on the Barbican, on April 14.
The business’ website offers local doorstep deliveries in Plymouth and the surrounding areas, or items can be sent by post to any address in the UK.
Why are houseplants so popular?
With more people working from home than ever before, houseplants have become an increasingly popular addition to a home-study, living room, dining room and bedroom and can help ground people and help them feel more relaxed.
“Houseplants can help people’s health as they purify airborne toxins and make fresher, cleaner air,” Becca told PlymouthLive previously.
“Houseplants also really help people’s mental health: there’s an aspect of taking care of something, while also focusing on your surroundings.”
Nook Houseplants’ name comes from the idea that “you’ve always got a little space, a little nook where you can fit a houseplant”.