Leaf Envy is an e-commerce platform facilitating plant parenthood. The startup was founded in October 2019 by Beth Chapman and is headquartered in London. A digital-first, direct-to-consumer plant brand, Leaf Envy wants to help people create, build and grow their indoor jungle and become plant lovers and collectors. The startup sells both single plants and pots, as well as subscriptions for more serial plant collectors. We virtually caught up with its sole founder, Beth Chapman, who spoke to us from Leaf Envy’s garden in London.
How Did You End Up Starting Leaf Envy?
The idea for the business was born when I moved to LA with my old job. I had just sold everything I had and decided I didn’t want to buy any meaningless things anymore. So when I arrived in my empty apartment I thought I wanted to incorporate nature into my home and that was going to be my sole and biggest investment.
I had no idea about plants at that point. When I started researching plants for my home, I realised how difficult it was to find a brand that would help me on the journey from “pant-parent newbie” to “plant-parent addict”, as we like to call them. So I found the nearest place that was selling plants, 5 miles outside of LA, I dropped $300 for a bunch of beautiful plants and ended up killing them all two months later. And with that initial failure, my passion for plants began. I decided that I was going to move back to my hometown, London, and start Leaf Envy, with the mission to try and help people who, like me, want to become plant-parent pros.
How Does Leaf Envy Work?
We’re all about personalisation: you can take a quiz on our website, and from there you’ll get plants recommended to you. When you get the plants delivered to your door, they will come with super-simplified care instructions for you to look at. And the service doesn’t stop when you receive your plant… We’re on-demand 24/7 to answer customers’ questions about plants and plant-parenting. It’s nice to share the knowledge that I’ve gained over the years with other people who, like me, want to incorporate nature into their homes.
Your Business Has Grown Exponentially After COVID Struck In The UK…
COVID meant that our business scaled a lot more quickly than it might have typically done, with our revenue tripling this past March. Ours was an unusual success story in a time of otherwise sad news for businesses and entrepreneurship. The reason for that is that people are looking to connect with nature and find a hobby that is good for their mental and physical wellbeing, but also good for the environment.
Why Are More People Interested In Plant Parenting?
I think we live in a tech-first world, but there’s a rise in people wanting to have experiences, rather than just own products and commodities. People also want to be able to disconnect from social media and tech. When you start growing your own collection of plants it becomes addictive. It’s that sense that you’re looking after something and helping them live and survive. I think the younger generations are generally all about health and wellbeing, and they tend to focus on what makes them truly happy.
Collecting plants helps them connect with nature, appreciate sustainability and improve our environment. That is why most of our customers are within the 25-38 age group. They mainly get into plant parenting because they’re home all the time and they want to make their environment beautiful with nature rather than objects. They think it’s good for the environment, for their mental wellbeing and for their health. It’s been estimated that 1 in 4 people in the UK have mental health illnesses, and plants are scientifically proven to help reduce stress and anxiety. If we can bring plant parenting into people’s lives and enhance their mental wellbeing, then we’re all in!