In 2020 when the world was in lockdown, and all offices, clubs and pubs closed their doors, one Hunter Valley businessman, Andrew Ferguson, planted the seed for a unique opportunity.
Tropical Plant Rentals (Hunter Valley) owner-operator Andrew, suddenly found himself with the flora, he had to maintain, locked away in buildings.
Selling his ex-rental plants on Facebook Marketplace, the father-of-two noticed a growing trend in the revival of indoor greenery.
And, when COVID-19 hit and everyone was forced inside with more time to re-style their homes, he detected an even greater demand of people buying his plants.
Amidst lockdown in 2020, Rachel Prest creator of Raid My Wardrobe, found herself with an event business on pause for months. The mother-of-two with a background in teaching, event management, and fashion styling pivoted and re-created herself accepting the challenge to bring Andrew’s retail plant dream to fruition out of his garage online and beyond and so together they created Love My Plants.
After a number of synchronic events that led from one thing to another, his dream became a reality.
Initially, an online store that found its retail home in East Maitland’s historic Smith’s Flour Mill, a warehouse ‘plant heaven’ space full of mature tropical indoor plants, hangers and pots and a community space for creative nature-based workshops hosted by various local artists.
And, when COVID-19 hit again in 2021, Andrew and Rachel expanded the business again with free home delivery, home styling consultations and a pop-up store in Green Hills Shopping Centre that has now closed.
Both lovers of the outdoors, with a passion for nature and indoor plants Andrew and Rachel, have a combined 20 year experience in the indoor plant industry. They love sharing their knowledge with their customers and helping them create a tropical paradise in their home or business.
Andrew loves that indoor plants bring a bit of nature inside to an unnatural environment. Where people’s energies are altered and their moods lightened. His favourite indoor plant of all time? - a Happy Plant, ‘I love the look and sound of it. It has a dead looking stem that life just springs out of with its bright leaves’.
Before she met Andrew, Rachel owned all but four indoor plants, a peace lily, a couple of devil’s ivy and a very sick Xanadu. Now her home is full of over 40 plants thanks to Andrew imparting his years of plant knowledge experience and her confidence in using self-watering pots. Rachel’s favourite plant – a monstera ‘It commands centre of attention in any room and its leaves are each so individually similar but yet unique all at the same time.’