Learn more about Katherine, her business Fernseed and why/how she opened such a successful small business. Now no go fill your house with beautiful indoor plants – after all, you can only clean the kitchen so many times during this pandemic!
What products and/or services do you offer? How long have you been in business?
We’re a plant shop based in Proctor and we opened our doors in April of 2019, so just about a year now! We sell indoor plants and handmade pottery, plus classic indoor gardening basics like terra cotta pots, potting mix, fertilizers, grow lights, and potting tools. We also offer a free potting service, so our staff will pot any plant you buy in the shop into the pot you choose for it. We always say: plants make great gifts! So we’re a one-stop shop for picking up a potted plant that you can bring as a housewarming gift, shower present, etc.
How do we find you online?
We have an online shop at thefernseed.com
We also have a very active Instagram presence, with Instagram Live tutorials, etc. at @thefernseed.
Why did you start your business? What is lesser known about your business that you wish more people knew? What else do you want people to know?
People tend to remark, “Oh, you must really love houseplants!” when they talk to me about starting this business. But people who know me well know this is the latest in a series of business ideas I’ve had and launched. I’ve always been a strong advocate for, and supporter of independent retail, and this is my first storefront business. I love it. But I also love to push back on people who tend to want to pigeonhole independent business owners, especially women, in this way — as if we start businesses based on our hobbies and passions, and not out of a desire to make money out of a good idea that we feel uniquely equipped to execute. I mean, I *do* have over 100 houseplants. And our business is set to gross close to a half a million dollars in revenue in our first year out of a tiny storefront on Proctor even in the face of shutting down because of COVID-19… so we must be doing something right. One of the most lesser known facts about Fernseed is that we sell lots of handmade ceramics, plus plant hangers, plant stands, and other indoor gardening innovations that are handmade, designed and manufactured by small maker businesses – most of them owned by women. Since opening, we’ve probably spent $100,000 buying inventory from other small businesses. Many of them are also local to the Pacific Northwest and Tacoma specifically.