Today’s article is about Frondezvous, a small houseplant boutique specializing in 3D printed pots and plants that require easy to intermediate levels of care. According to owner Lex, this shop represents where the digital world and the natural world intersect.
Lex started Frondezvous after learning from her personal experiences growing plants for the past few years. According to Lex, “I knew I wanted to start a plant boutique after talking to several of my friends and learning about their trepidations in finding the right plants for their home. So many people immediately say, ‘Nope, I’ll kill that!’ But having and caring for plants around my house has really improved my happiness and well-being, so I wanted to share that joy. A friend of mine made a 3D printed pot for me as a novelty and the fully formed idea took off from there.”
By blending the unique designs of the 3D printed pots with the natural beauty of the plants, Frondezvous stands apart. “Anyone who knows me personally knows I’m obsessed with plants. To quote The Sill, one of my favorite online plant boutiques, ‘Plants make people happy.’ There’s nothing more exciting than swapping plants with a friend and having them send you pictures of every new leaf and growth spurt. I think plants are a joy that’s accessible to everyone with the right education and it would be the ultimate fulfillment for me to spread that joy.“
Though this is currently a mostly independent venture, Lex hopes to make Frondezvous more collaborative in the future. “I believe small, local businesses are what make any community thrive, and I’m lucky to be situated near a number of them, including the businesses and bars of the Milk District, SODO, and so on. Frondezvous is still a seedling but as we grow, I hope to collaborate with lots of local makers, artists, and businesses.” Lex has already started branching out into collaborating with other businesses to continue to produce unique products and has big plans for the future. “Currently I’m collecting used candle holders from The Thirsty Topher to repurpose as potting vessels. I’d like to start a recycling program with local coffee shops and restaurants to collect coffee grounds and food scraps for composting.”
Lex credits her business in helping her grow personally as well. “I’m becoming really proficient in ‘tinkering’ and technical work to make sure my prints are coming out right. I’m also learning so much about 3D design and building which are things I wanted to learn independently anyway, so it’s doubly exciting that I get to learn about them for my business.”
No business is immune from challenges. Sometimes those challenges can be personal. “I’ve had plenty of challenges, many of them stemming from self-doubt. Many of the big makers’ markets around Orlando frequently feature big names in the local plant community, so it was definitely intimidating to arrive at my first market in direct competition with them. I’ve also had a learning curve with design software since it was initially way far outside of my comfort zone. The great thing about working with plants and 3D prints is that you can see when you’re doing well and when you’re not. When my prints and my plants are pretty and healthy, I know I’m going in the right direction, and I gain a little more confidence to take the right next steps.”
Lex has many goals for how her business can grow and impact the community. “I’m doing what I can to spread happiness and plant education in my community! Although COVID-19 has slowed the process, I’m hoping to join the UFAS Master Gardener Volunteer program to improve my knowledge and help native Florida wildlife to thrive in the area. I also hope in the future to shed more of a light on recycling programs for businesses when I start up my composting program.” Lex also hopes to have a website completed by June so that she can reach a larger audience and help grow the local plant community.
When asked if there was any tips she had for people looking to start their own business Lex responded with the following advice: “Find a mentor.” As she put it, “When I set out to start Frondezvous, I was mostly flying blind and have had to restructure as I learned. Finding someone who has already been through the hard parts – or at least someone who can guide you in developing your skills and confidence – can make the process so much smoother.”
Thank you so much Lex for sharing your story with us!
Follow Lex through her social media accounts for updates about her nursery and behind the scenes looks at new designs. There you can also see where she will be selling her plants and pots if you would like one for yourself.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about ordering something from the boutique.
Thank you readers for supporting me and small businesses in your community!
Have an amazing day and keep growing!
All pictures are graciously sent by Lex Burton and Frondezvous and are not my own.