WHEN Liz Saunders-Walker started a succulent business two years ago, she quickly saw the growth in the market of gifting plants instead of flowers.
Ms Saunders-Walker co-founded the online runaway business success The Prickle Shed with her Cooks Hill neighbour Juelene Douglas.
With that venture “on holidays” indefinitely as co-founder Ms Douglas focuses on her interior design business Inside 78, Ms Saunders has started a new online business, Plant Life Newcastle, which stocks house plants including cactii and succulents.
“I still love plants and I still think there is a huge avenue for potted plants and gifts,” says Ms Saunders-Walker. “The Prickle Shed was super successful and I love meeting customers and building relationships with new people and seeing their happy face when they see their plants.”
Raised in leafy Dudley, Ms Saunders-Walker’s love for greenery began early when her mum Kerry, co-founder of Arnold’s Swim Centre at The Junction, would take her regularly to buy plants at nurseries. Her mum’s father was also a landscaper.
Running a small business is also in the family: her father, Bruce, ran Newcastle record business Antique Sounds and his father founded Newcastle's famous Tyrell's Record Land.
Plant Life Newcastle pots are exclusively stocked at Willows Home Traders on Darby Street, Newcastle.
“I have potted gifts, boxed and ready to go,” says Ms Saunders-Walker.
A firm believer in the more green the better, she is also a plant stylist, advising property owners how to green their homes for short-term rentals or for sale.
“In every home style magazine, there are glossy homes with beautiful plants - greenery makes everything feel warm and homely,” she says.
Ms Saunders-Walker says plants are a great gift for all, from babies to adults.
“They last longer than flowers and have sentimental memories attached,” she says of her sustainable stock.
“Everyone is more conscious now of the environment, it’s not plastic crap, it’s got longevity and is a gift of a lifetime.”