Bloom: Art for plants one pot at a time
House plants have gained a boost in popularity since the onset of the pandemic. While dozens of online nurseries emerged to cater to this rising demand, finding plants with suitable pots which seamlessly blend into pre-existing room decor remained an issue for plant lovers.
Noticing this, Mayesha Mahbub realised she could bring her passion for art and gardening together to tackle a longstanding problem for plant enthusiasts by materialising Bloom, an online plant shop which offers customised and hand painted terracotta-pots. Three of Mayesha's childhood friends, Faria Noor, Sumaiya Hannan and Tanjuma Shoaiba soon joined her venture.
"I love arts and crafts, I love painting. What I am also passionate about is gardening. I have tended to a balcony garden since I was a teenager. I realised I could easily mesh my passions together to tackle a niche," recalled Mayesha.
Mayesha believes in the importance of promoting local products and artisans, which led to her choosing terracotta as the sole material for Bloom's pots. Additionally, terracotta is the healthiest alternative for planter material due to its porous nature which allows the free flow of air and water through pot walls, preventing root rot and plant disease.
While operating a business online during the pandemic is challenging for most entrepreneurs, some adversities are unique to online nurseries. It can be challenging to keep plants unharmed, unscraped and rigid if delivery is left to third parties. In order to keep leaves from getting limp and the branches intact, Bloom established its own delivery system to ensure that plants are treated with utmost care until they reach the doorsteps of their new home.
Bloom offers a wide range of patterns for its terracotta pots. Customers can choose from pre-existing patterns, be it geometric, polka dots, stripes, or marble in any shade imaginable. They can even customise the design themselves or show photos from websites such as Pinterest as reference. Marble and polka dot designs are especially well-liked by the client base.
Although Bloom sells a variety of succulents, cacti and foliage plants, low maintenance plants usually sell out the quickest. "Philodendrons, snake plants, pothos, and spider plants are resilient and do not require as much direct light. This makes them easier to care for and popular among most customers," remarked Mayesha.
When asked about future plans for Bloom, Mayesha listed a few besides going brick and mortar.
"We really want to expand to more exotic plants. We also hope to increase the involvement of local artisans too. As of now, local artisans make all our terracotta pots. But there are many skilled painters in the rural regions of Bangladesh who people know little about. We want to get them involved in the painting process as well. They deserve all the recognition they can get," voiced Mayesha.