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Green Thumbs Boutique brings gardens to your balcony

Monica Elizabeth Genevieve Robinson
1st Mar 2015
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What a wonderful way to spend one's days and earn a living in the warm cocoon of nature with life springing all about you -- a new leaf, fresh flowers, and the lovely fragrance of the earth -- and like Mother Nature, always nurturing, creating and growing.

Minette and Ranjit of Green Thumbs Boutique probably need no introduction to those who are in the serious business of plants and nature.

They are actually in the business of growing and seeing things grow in the beautiful world of plants. Minette and her husband are avid lovers of plants and nature. They used to spend hours on weekends working in the garden, creating bonsais and planting new flower beds. A natural thought occurred to them soon enough to make the art of gifting more meaningful to people, especially in these materialistic times.

They started gifting their families, friends and associates with plants for many occasions, including birthdays and anniversaries. A beautiful and meaningful gift idea that they came up with was ‘balcony makeovers’, as a gift. They did a couple of these. And as was bound to happen, word spread quickly and they soon had prospective customers calling them up to get ‘natural’ gifting ideas.

With a view to making their services available to the public at large and in a cost-effective manner, they set up GreenThumbs Boutique, where quality is top priority along with good value for money.

Despite a busy schedule, Minette and her husband are planning to target the market to include children. They are planning to teach children in the age group of about five years and above, the basics about plants. For a more mature group, they plan to teach the basics of planting, especially to those who would love to have a small garden in their balconies or inside their homes.

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The story behind the Green Thumbs Boutique

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Says Minette, “We were always interested in gardening.” The hobby graduated into the GreenThumbs Boutique in the year 2011. “My leaving a corporate job to do something as relaxing as working with plants everyday, has been one of the best decisions we have ever made,” she adds. Ranjit still works in the corporate sector.

Minette's primary job is looking after their beautiful plants and creating gardens. “Ranjit actually started off with creating a few fruit tree bonsais from which we started getting fruit! This gave us a boost to start with vegetables. The basic vegetables like tomatoes, chillies, cabbage, carrots and also herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano and mint have all grown beautifully in our patch and are consumed by our family and friends.”

Style of working

Green Thumbs Boutique currently functions online through the social media. Minette and Ranjit use Facebook as the primary source of advertising and customer engagement. They update their page with their products and people can choose what they like and either call and order the product or message them through Facebook itself. They also participate in a bunch of local fairs and garden/kitchen markets.

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Products are home delivered with Rs. 500 being the minimum order price. If people are looking for specific plants and these are not found on their page, Minette and Ranjit source the plants through their suppliers and contacts from around India.

Their ‘balcony baskets’ with a well-designed drainage system is the eye-catcher on many balconies. Says Minette, “When customers send us pictures of their gardens in full bloom, healthy and green a full year after we have set it up, it is sheer happiness. We recently had a customer who called and told us that the terrarium he had bought from us is growing strong and beautiful, two years after it was purchased from us. This was a definite joyful and ‘wow’ moment for us.”

According to Minette, “With plants we learn every day. Nature is the best teacher in every way. We have had errors in the past and though we were so upset about it then, we have come to learn the right way that plants want to be treated and they are repaying us back in so many ways.”

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The future

Minette and Ranjit see a future where they are “always ready to steer the wheel” and are not thinking in terms of handing Green Thumbs Boutique to other hands in any great hurry!

Minette's favourite quote is from Robert Brault: ‘Why try to explain miracles to your kids, when you can teach them to plant a garden.’ Another one by Janet Philips goes like this: ‘There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments!’

What else?

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Green Thumbs Boutique offers various services like setting up home gardens, vegetable gardens in balconies, herb gardens, terrace gardens and even helps a lot of people with enquiries regarding plant maintenance and growth. If a plant is not in good health, they offer to keep the plant with them until it is back to its full glory something like a ‘plant hospital’!

www.facebook.com/GreenThumbsBoutique

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