Chicago, Allergies, Rick Rack discussed on Extension 720 with Justin Kaufmann

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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 just people just want something safe and comfortable, And it's also helpful that people really can't Well, I mean, it's not helpful, but people really can't go outside that much right now or maybe shouldn't be. So I think they're also trying to bring the outside in that makes anything. Yeah, it does. Now. I mean, a sound like the idiot. I am here and admit that I have no idea what a succulent is. What does that mean? So succulent describe it so succulent. They're just like a general family of plants. They've kind of evolved over time, too. Hold and retain water, so they're coming, usually for more arid climate. There are some succulent that are in more tropical environment. Like I have one, for instance, called Rick Rack cactus that empathetic grope, meaning that it grows on trees. It is considered a succulent because they hold a bunch of water in the leaves. So you just have these like plants that are like growing and typically arid climates in like in order to survive, they've evolved to hold water in their leaves. Um, a lot of health plans and tropicals, on the other hand, are doing the exact office and they pull that from their environment, so in having conversations with people about care for these things with the House plan I really like, you know, Chicago, like people need to run the air conditioner. People need to run the heater. Those things have an impact on humidity levels, So I always have to suggest people get a humidifier or like mist with Stillwater. As like Chicago. Tap water also isn't the best thing to be watering plants with sometime Probably not great for humans to be drinking either. So Oh, no, it's it's interesting. There are a lot of things that we need to accommodate and change being in a metropolitan area in order to like, bring the completely foreign plants safely into our homes. Okay, So are you selling any ferns? Not at the moment, so Does the fern have a bad reputation is somebody ask you for a friend? You say get out of my shop. I don't self burns. No, I love ferns. And there are some firms that are easier to care for. I mean, they requires such a high level of humidity that it's really difficult. I almost perhaps unsafe to maintain. I like humans. Relations have below above a certain percentage of humidity in their home, and they can't without getting sick. But like I have allergies, and I'm actually allergic to fern and I feel really dumb for because people request them all the time. And I have to tell him like, Hey, I'm actually allergic to them because they release spores. So when you keep them wet, they're releasing a ton of spores and I couldn't figure it out. Initially, I was like having really severe allergies. And that I feel like it's actually the burns. Just think so, you know, when Black Club wrote this story about you, Ah, week or so ago, they said, And there's a picture in this story. Black love Chicago dot org's You have about 500 plants in your apartment at the time. Oh, I think it's probably more than that at the moment. Yeah, I think that because I get multiple, the Bloc club already cool. I'm getting Multiple deliveries and pick ups each week now, so I mean, each time I'm bringing in close to 200 plants, So I mean, I'm possibly going through anywhere from like 1000 like 1500 plants a week. So it's constantly rotating and constantly evolving. I mean, I have shelved upon shelves of plants and then the larger ones that I'm getting. I mean, you can't even walk through this place right now. It's obscene. Like I have, like multiple, like 4 ft by 5. FT plans have, like 20 to 30 of them, So just imagine him lined up all the wall and literally a line of tropical plants. It's kind of ridiculous. So now you mentioned that you're not growing everything you're buying and reselling. So are you scouring the Internet? How all day like, How are you finding interesting things that you think people will pay more than what I'm buying for this So there are a few distributors in the city. Well, there's one distributor in the city and under a few and some of the outer lying areas. Um, I have to go out and get them so I mean, it's actually kind of a crazy, competitive thing right now. Because there are so many people doing this, so not only do you have the shop in the city that are established, you have people who are just trying to survive and they have an interest in plants and they see people like myself and others on instagram. You were kind of turning a hobby into a profession of sorts, and so they're trying it out. So there's only so many plants coming in, and we're all competing for the same. Products, So I try to get there like immediately and created good relationships with the distributors work like they know specific things that I'm after and over time I've learned to Figure out what it is that my customers are looking for, And also there's a bit of like things that I find interesting. And I seek out specifically, so I really try to like cornered the market of like Big, succulent and big cat eye. And I mean in a certain point, I had like 25 to 30 like 4 ft. Tall Cap Tai in here, which is just obscene because it's really difficult to find those in general. But I'm holding like a couple grand worth of large tact. I and here Uh oh. Yeah, I've been looking at plants for a while. I worked in succulent nursery for years, so and I mean, I see thousands upon thousands of plants each week, so at a certain point, it's like I know what catches my eye what you need, but I don't get anything too crazy because there's some pretty rare things and I leave those other places like Plant shop Chicago and the plants here. I think they're better for those things. But I'm good in my little world that I've created. Well, it's interesting you mentioned there's a lot of competition like I would have thought. No, there's no competition. You've found something that nobody was thinking about. But if there's so much competition, like what struck for you, was it did you do some sort of social media that other people don't do? How did you strike a nerve that you're getting articles written about you and you're taking off like this? Absolutely. I'll say it's because I'm shameless. I I have no shame and like limits about self promotion on But like I said, I've been doing this for a while, and I've been selling plants in Chicago. No, I mean any of the events in markets that I was going to. I was also holding like private sales, so I would promote those on neighborhood groups in Chicago. So like in Logan Square in Wicker Park and humble part, Avondale, I would be on the Facebook groups. Advertising these things that I was doing, and I think that's actually how block clubs Chicago found out about me was I posted a picture myself with Capt. Dye and the response with.

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