The Trickett family have long been associated with style, every which way and green. Sara is now curating these glorious live wares at Saint Verde Botanicals at 15 Station Road.
YN: How did your business start?
Sara: Our family have been plant-obsessed for decades. Sharon, my mother, has been collecting rare and unusual succulents for over 30 years. She has been propagating and growing them in several greenhouses on her farm in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, which is a little out of the way for most. We needed an accessible shop where people could view a curated selection of plants.
YN: Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Sara: My husband has had a studio in the Station Drive Precinct for about 18 months. Over that time we’ve seen how the neighbourhood has developed into an amazing confluence of people, shops, restaurants, markets and offices. It really is the most exciting neighbourhood in Durban.
YN: How did you find your premises?
Sara: A chance encounter with Charles Kerr from Con Amore started the discussion, and after seeing the space with its awesome natural light and the potential of it, we jumped at the opportunity.
YN: Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
Sara: The draw of the neighbourhood is really broad and strong, which results in excellent foot traffic. The mix of businesses around us also brings in customers who appreciate the plants we sell. We aren’t your typical nursery.
YN: Who are your neighbours?
Sara: Con Amore is our big neighbour, but within the immediate surrounds there is also Mo Noodles express and Fortunes. Recently my dear friends (in the fashion industry), Terrance Bray and John Bleach, opened a retail and workshop space right next door. Just up the road is The Plant, home of the Morning Trade Market. S43 and Distillery 031, Jane Sews and Saviour Brands are here too.
YN: What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Sara: Pretty good, for the time being.
YN: What is your shop footprint?
Sara: One-hundred to 200 people per week in our shop, a large number of those are on Sundays, with The Morning Trade market – the precinct hums with activity. First Thursdays is also taking off here and that brings a big spike in numbers.
YN: Do you have any expansion plans?
Sara: We are expanding our offering of plants and pots, but for the time being we are happy to occupy our neat little nook in the precinct.
YN: Do you operate online as well?
Sara: Probably not with the plants – living organisms are tricky like that. Perhaps some of our other “non-living” items will find their way onto the internet, but for now we are enjoying the interaction of people and their appreciation of our space. We love posting to Instagram as a way of keeping people from far away inspired, as well as letting our locals know what is new in stock. Follow us: @saintverdebotanicals.
YN: What’s your most popular item?
Sara: The stuff that’s not for sale.
See for yourself:
083 262 7008
Words: Anne Schauffer