Elsa Jarrett: Pivoting, Persisting & Prevailing!

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Elsa Jarrett: Pivoting, Persisting & Prevailing!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

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Tolstoy once wrote: “Women are the pivot on which everything turns!”. Proving Tolstoy not only right but also demonstrating that the notion applies to all facets of life is plant entrepreneur Elsa Jarrett.

With an innate sense of the “art of the pandemic pivot”, Elsa's Plants & Supplies is a prime example of an innovative and savvy SME COVID-19 Resilient Business Model. The fledgling enterprise was born out of the audacity of Elsa's entrepreneurial spirit, gusto, faith and resilience as she manoeuvred the contagion-driven crisis of circumstantial change.

Blooming in crisis

For the Unlikely Gardener, the most remarkable aspect of today's feature is that it couldn't have been written six months ago. Internationally, the wave of COVID-19 brought with it a tide of devastation for the tourism industry. In tourism-reliant Jamaica, we have suffered no less than anywhere else leaving many industry-reliant individuals in survival mode.

At the March 2020 closure of Sangster International Airport, despite having been made redundant from her 20-year career as a lead customer service agent, Elsa's passion led her to greener pastures. “I like foliage. I don't really like blooms per se. I like big plants. I used to go out and purchase plants. Even if I already had the plant, I'd still purchase. So, a friend of mine said, 'Why don't you start selling what you have? You have so many!'” She recounts,“I asked my son to make a page on Instagram. I got one order and from then that was that… I started deliveries in Kingston in August 2020 and since then, I have been delivering in Kingston every single week.”

As we've all heard many times before, there is no need for further motivation when one truly loves what one is doing. A marriage of her two loves, Elsa's initial success is a union between her plant passion and her customer services prowess. The entrepreneur confides, “I have a knack for seeing people happy and satisfied. It has driven me to provide the best services to my customers when selling my plants.”

Despite her immense gratitude in the fact that she was eventually recalled to her customer service job, Elsa's passion, personal growth and business projections have given new meaning to the advice about blooming where one is planted.

Creation through propagation

To make a sales profession out of planting, many would argue that it takes a little bit more than effort. You either have it or you don't. The key to Elsa's growth has been in the creation of her stock by propagation. For those of us who may not have the “it”, are unlikely or uncertain, all we need is the will to try.

Elsa advises that we can try propagating ourselves at home with our friends and our plant faves especially if there isn't much bandwidth in the budget for new buys. You cut a piece of the plant, put it in soil or water (depending on the plant), root and grow it. Fun, fun, fun!

“Propagation is a form of creation for me. It's basically giving life to a new plant. From the moment you put a cutting or leaf in soil or water and know that the end result will be a new plant, words cannot explain how that makes me feel. Watching the plant and nurturing it to life. Wow! That's the best feeling ever,” she says.

With good words of advice, Elsa describes the process: “Some plants take longer than others but it's the love, attention and care for me. I even talk to them and encourage them. When that plant comes to maturity you feel like you have accomplished the world. Sending that plant out to a customer and seeing the look on their faces, the joy it brings… that's the greatest accomplishment ever!”

Trending 2021

It's no secret that the pandemic has heralded a new dawn for the plant purveyor. This vegetative rebirth has made both gifting and acquisition even more en vogue due to the nearly forgotten therapeutic benefits of nurturing plant life.

So, for the insider scoop, as the Unlikely Gardener is a likely believer that one must never “listen to the noise of the market but always watch the sale”, Elsa was kind enough to share her in-demand trending plants for Q1 of '21:

1. Monstera deliciosa

2. Fiddle Leaf Fig

3. Rubber Plant

4. Philodendron 'Hope'

5. Fan Palm

6. Variegated AlocasiaOdoro (“Elephant Ears”)

7. Monstera adansonii (“Swiss Cheese”)

8. Alocasia 'Polly'

9. Peperomia scandens

10. Monstera pinnatipartita

As we hunt for new horizons and push forward in 2021, like Elsa, let us all aspire to master the art of the pivot by bringing our passions fully to fruition and find fresh fulfilment in all of the positive possibilities which reach out for our embrace!

Of course, if you are inspired or desire to purchase a new plant, please check out Elsa the Plant Lady of Elsa's Plants & Supplies at: Tel: 876-407-9359, Instagram: @elsa_plant_lady. Email: elsajarrett@yahoo.com


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