Words: Zena le Roux | Images: Supplied
My Secret Garden uses only succulents in their arrangements. This means that it will stay alive as long as you look after it and will not wilt like other flowers. If you choose to buy the arrangements as gifts and the plants outgrow the arrangement, you can always plant the succulents out in your garden. Owner Shalane Goosen tells us more.
How did your business start?
The idea came up when one of my friends was having a hard time getting desert rose echeverias for her wedding in May. She came by one day to collect her laser-cut wedding products and saw all my desert roses in the garden. She took a chance and asked if I can help her out with 200 of the plants. I took 200 desert roses from my garden and after the wedding collected them and planted them back in the garden. That is when I saw a gap in the market for renting out succulent arrangements for weddings and events. And so, My Secret Garden officially opened its doors in May this year.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I work from home in Elarduspark, Pretoria East, hence the location, but I service the whole of Gauteng. I grew up in Elarduspark and lived in Pretoria East all my life. When it was time to put my sons in school, Laerskool Elarduspark was the only school I wanted to send them to. Elarduspark is my home, I love the area and the people. It is also a small community and a family.
How did you find your premises?
My partner is a building contractor and he builds many houses in Clearwater and Stone Village Estate. He also built our home in the estate where we currently live.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
I would not say that it is ideal, as there is just not enough space for my succulent addiction. These guys are just standing everywhere, but Pretoria East is easily accessible and centrally located.
Who are your neighbours?
My neighbour on the one side is a hair dresser and on the other side we have a florist.
What are the rental/sales prices like in this area?
Unfortunately, nothing is affordable these days – we have to make it work. But I would say it depends on what your income and standards are whether you find the area affordable or not.
What is your shop footprint?
Since the business only started in May this year, business is slow but growing steadily. I would say I get at least one wedding per month and I sell a lot of gift favours.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Yes, I would like to put up a tunnel soon for all the mother plants and the babies. I am also adding a new range of wall planters soon.
Do you operate online as well?
I only have a Facebook page (facebook.com/secretgardensa) for now. Once the business shows good growth I will put up a website.
What’s your most popular item/service?
The long rectangular arrangements are very popular, but my gift favours are the best sellers.
My Secret Garden
074 890 7378