In real time, via live streaming, a succulent personal shopper shows clients what's new, interesting, seasonal and in limited supply. As you direct her from your device, your shopper fills a tray with your selections. She then purchases, packs and ships them, or arranges delivery if you're in the area.
At present, I'm aware of two succulent personal shoppers. It's likely there will be more...maybe you yourself?
Why Succulent Personal Shoppers?
This innovative service solves a dilemma for customers and growers alike. Succulent personal shoppers show eager buyers what's available, and nurseries needn't say "no" to distant (sometimes insistent) collectors.
Due to high demand, succulent specialty nurseries are scrambling to keep up. Many don't have the staff or resources to package and ship plants, respond to customer inquiries, or keep online inventories up to date.
Note: Mountain Crest Gardens, the largest supplier of mail-order succulents, does everything right. MCG's impressive, ever-expanding inventory is fast catching up with Southern California's. I'm a proud affiliate. Check it out!
Update: Is Plant Fostering for you?
I sent this to my "Celebrating the Joy of Succulents" newsletter subscribers. In case you missed it...
Oasis, the Succulent Mecca
Complicating the supply-demand situation is the simple fact that it can take years for highly desirable varieties to grow large enough for sale.
Cool succulents, new and old, tend to show up at Oasis Water Efficient Gardens in Escondido north of San Diego. Oasis is owned by Altman Plants, a mega-grower that supplies Lowe's and Home Depot.
True, Altman sells retail online, but at present the selection can't compare with what you might find on a leisurely stroll through Oasis.
Molly and I agreed that the art pots CCC sells (by Don Hunt and others) would likely interest clients of succulent personal shoppers---certainly as long as the traditional source, Cactus & Succulent Society Shows, aren't happening.
A Client's Perspective
Succulent enthusiast Jeanne Meadow uses Tari's service occasionally, and also recommends her online sales. "They're really something to watch," Jeanne says. "Thousands of people tune in. Tari shows a plant and gives it a number, and the first person to type that number gets it."
When Jeanne stopped by Tari's house the other day, she was amazed. "Seventy-six orders in big boxes!"
Personal shoppers may be a luxury, but they do make it possible to cherry-pick desirable rarities. Moreover, if you're looking for a certain succulent, it's a good bet Teri or Jessica knows if and where it's available.
Want to be a succulent personal shopper?
In addition to business and multitasking skills, you'll need:
- Excellent knowledge of succulents
- A resourceful, can-do attitude
- Lots of time and energy
- Space for processing orders and storing plants
- An online presence and followers
- Organizational and marketing know-how
- Ability to safely package and ship fragile plants.
Do you know of others who provide this service? Or ways collectors might obtain plants from specialty nurseries that don't ship? Share your thoughts in the Comments!
Related Info on this site
Find out what to do if the succulents you want aren’t available near you. See others’ favorite succulent sources, mail-order and walk-in, and share yours in the comments below. Please tell us your city or region, what you’ve purchased, and anything else that might be helpful.
In San Diego and Beyond… Nurseries, public gardens and destinations in North America’s “epicenter of all things succulent” Planning your visit You might easily spend a week or more touring San Diego’s terrific succulent nurseries and destinations. Each has a distinct character, so as you winnow your selection, do read the descriptions and see the videos.…