Jeff Kushner’s DC company Plants Alive !, provided designer plants for presidential inaugurations and for dressing rooms for famous singers, but when the coronavirus hit he was in dire straits.
The coronavirus pandemic ended events last year, leaving an event-based plant production business in Silver Spring, Md.
Jeff Kushner’s company Plants Alive! has provided designer plants for presidential inaugurations and for locker rooms for singers like Elton John and Paul McCartney when they came to the DC area over the years, but when the coronavirus hit and events were called off , he was in a difficult situation.
“I fired everyone,” Kushner said.
He didn’t know what to do with the hundreds and hundreds of plants waiting to be delivered for hire at canceled events, including concerts, weddings, and hotel conventions.
Then they had an idea.
“We decided to ‘stick our toe in the retail part,’” Kushner said. “Someone said ‘hey, you know millennials like plants.'”
They started small last spring bringing plants to local cafes for pop-up events for a few weekends.
But not all the plants they had in the greenhouse could be easily transported, as they had many larger plants for hotels and event spaces.
So they opened their greenhouse and Plants Alive! started in retail where anyone can come and get one.
“It started out small in the greenhouse and then slowly grew,” Kushner said. “We were just in the right place at the right time.”
Kushner said it took off, with people no longer staying at home and wanting to rethink their spaces while quarantining themselves.
Now their business is primarily retail, and he said it was great fun meeting people.
He lives on the property with the greenhouse and says the switch to selling plants has been fun and rewarding, both personally and for the business.
“I love teaching people, I love talking about plants. And the people are receptive, energetic, and passionate. It was an incredible experience, ”said Kushner.
Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to start a conversation about this and other articles.
Get the latest news and daily headlines delivered to your inbox by signing up here.
© 2021 WTOP. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located in the European Economic Area.