Marcus Kirby, June Stiller, Samuelson discussed on Extension 720 with Justin Kaufmann
No. June Stiller normally normally acoustic guitar, Right? Alright, well, Julie, you're great sport and We're only going to send you one hoody, though. Make a pro city. I don't know what you're doing. You welcome back in everybody. Radio 7, 20 wg and map mobile with you until five when we'll say good morning to orient Samuelson. You know, we've been talking a ton about the pandemic over the last six months. We're all sick of it. We're all tired of it were also living through it. There are some bright spots in things and a lot of times with this. It's about seizing the opportunity figuring out where the opportunities are and sometimes taking a leap of faith Exhibit A. Marcus Kirby had kind of what's described in Black Club Chicago's article about him as a side hustle the succulent city. He turned it into something much bigger than that. He joins us on the phone right now. Hey, Marcus, how are you? Hey doing well, How you doing? Good mark. The the succulent city was an online house plant business, it's explained as what is an online house plant business. Well, big brown thing that so you know, initially, basically, I started the whole thing back in 2015, and primarily, I was selling online at that point, so Move back into this has an unfamiliar with me. Over the years, I've gone to a few different generations with the whole thing. So last year, I was primarily doing markets and festivals. And I was expecting to continue doing that. But around like February or so I started seeing some articles and information about Corona virus coming from other countries. And kind of person who likes is generally a little bit anxious about medical related things, because I have add mom just like, OK, interesting. What's gonna happen with this? So I started seeing trickles of the effects of this, maybe in late marchers. So where the event that I was going to be participating in started canceling It was around that time that kind of a preemptive man. Alright. Suppose that I opted to begin selling things on mine. Like I said, I was mostly doing succulents cactus. I at that point But I've had houseplants and I've sold them. So I started attempting to sell house plants, and the response was really positive and overwhelming, actually, and each month it's just consistently grown. Tio, where currently I think this month. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm going to end up doing about 16 18,000 sales where it's 15 was kind of the max. In July. Um You know, it's like a very surreal thing. I expected at some point that it would sort of decline and that things would hit some sort of stabilizer number, But they just keep growing to the point where I'm now considering hiring an employee. So it's somebody who was working as a server. And working. You know, we're not making really that much to have now ended up getting my own business doing this and like ending up doing it full time, which is a huge change for me, and I really appreciate all the support everyone's given. It's just it blows my mind that this is actually happening. I'm sure so explain to me again Two years ago when you were doing this just sort of on the side, But you're basically growing houseplants and then telling people Hey, you need a house plant. You should buy this house plant from me. So to clarify, so I have. I was growing succulents cactus. I like I've always been growing those, um and I hybridized steps as well, who actually make my own like taking the Paul and and I'm like putting it on the other. The majority of these are purchased wholesale, So I'm essentially reselling need. Um, but also you have intentions of like. I mean, I propagate things, too, so you can take a plan and then you could take cuttings or make divisions from the roots. And you can propagate it that way, so they multiply. And that's one of the interesting things about plans. Like any plan. In general, they kind of grow at an exponential rate. So from a business perspective, I can't think of another product or item that Replicates itself exponentially. So I mean, I love plants. I mean, I've been doing that for a while. Like I said, So. To me. It just seems like the perfect item to be selling at the culmination, a lot of my ideology and interest in life. I'm happy of actively be doing something that I'm passionate about. But, yeah, I mean, I resell these and I grow them out, too. So I mean, I always have things growing and well, so I tend to keep a few to myself among them grow out, and then I'll do division and cutting them. What Not is fascinating to me because I have someone who said, Here's my idea. We're going to sell House plans. I would've said. What's the demand for house plants? Are people really buying houseplants? But people are really buying houseplants and succulents in these things, people there is that pandemic driven is because people are home and they want to breathe and feel the oxygen or have somebody to talk to or something to talk to, Or was this just an untapped market that nobody really realized? Was there. Um, So that's an interesting question. I mean, the demand for it has always been there. I think Instagram has had a huge impact and influence on that in the last few years. Especially, you know, like I'm 34. So I think a lot of millennials and other people my age kind of Being stuck in this weird state of around a time when they should be starting families, not really having the money to do it. People want to nurture things and people want to grow things. I think that's just like some sort of like human aspiration. Um, so instead of like having kids were like having plants and animals, Um, but, you know, Specifically in April and May. Even I think there's a lot of concern about what was going to happen with all this because I remember being articles about Holland and issues with like Throwing out millions of tulips because nobody was buying them. And even around Easter time nobody buying lilies. So these Indicators that the industry had based on We're not looking good, but around May everything just changed. I mean, the distributors that I go to have that conversation with them, and they're like, you know, we've been in the business for 25 plus years. We've never seen anything like this, and I knew that people were going to be home or I kind of expected of the lock down would be more intense than it actually was. And you know, I'm expecting we're gonna go back into it again, So I thought my field's going to go down but probably gonna go back up. But people are at home or I mean people have do meetings. They need things in the background. But they also need things to look at. And You know, there's just so much chaos going on right now. I mean, there's like social upheaval, and there's a lot of concern about economics and politics and what's going on with the election that I think people are trying to create some sort of like Curated safe space in their home and not like a safe space like a snowflake type thing. But just like you want to feel comfortable where you are like, if everything externally is not going great. This is one place You can create tranquility. I think that drives a lot of it is..