by Mirianna la Grasta
Growth, adventure and connection are the three words that best describe Thai-born, London-based, wellness entrepreneur Kay Suppamas.
Kay, who lives and breathes plants and all-things nature, is the founder and original host of Leafage, a self-funded startup that helps busy and stressed people connect to nature and improve their wellbeing through terrarium workshops. Due to lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, Leafage is now providing virtual workshops to both corporate and private clients across the UK, and is about to launch its online offerings to international clients too.
A young businesswoman, Kay came up with the Leafage concept after losing her father to a heart attack in 2016. The event, not only made her discover her life purpose, but it also taught her that plants can heal, inspire and connect people.
She Talked Us Through The Story Of Leafage…
I started Leafage as a side business in November 2017. I first saw terrariums at a weekend market in Bangkok, while visiting my family. I had never seen anything like it before, so I thought: “Wow, this is really cool, I’m bringing that back to London.” So, when I came back to London, I started doing some research. I didn’t even know they were called “terrariums”. I just googled “miniature things in a glass container” and started learning about how to make them. When I told my first mentor about launching a business that organised terrarium workshops, she suggested I launch it in just one month. So I did.
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How Did You Grow From There?
I used some of my savings from my full-time job as a digital designer to launch a pilot terrarium class for my friends. Since then, Leafage has grown organically, through word of mouth. Things really kicked off when we organised our first team-building activity for Facebook. It was such a learning curve! In April 2019, I made the leap and left my job in the design industry to commit to Leafage full-time. I was definitely not ready, but after three years it was the right time!
How Does Leafage Improve People’s Wellbeing?
The workshops Leafage offers are interactive, creative and engaging. We teach our guests how to create their own miniature garden, perfect for everyone living in a concise space with no green around them. We also encourage social connectedness and personal growth. I want to combine wellness and nature, as well as inspire our customers to go after their dreams and live to their full potential.
Your Concept, Especially On Social Media, Seems To Go Beyond Simply Offering Workshops…
Yes, we’re trying to build a community. At present, we do a monthly newsletter and a blog post for our community, and we share wellbeing tips, challenges, reading suggestions and inspirational quotes on our social media feeds. I want Leafage to be not just a place where people come and learn terrarium-making skills. I want to it be a place where people realise their full potential, live with passion and purpose, and connect with like-minded people along the way. I personally love being with passionate and driven people. So I want to create that sort of community for our customers and guests too.
What Would You Say Makes Leafage A Successful Business?
I personally feel more drawn to support a brand with a story or a brand that aligns with my values. Sharing Leafage’s back story and the reasons why we started Leafage makes us more relatable and human. We all go through hardship in life. However, we can learn from our pain and create something beautiful and meaningful to the world.