Kat Reynolds, who lives in the Cheshire village of Lymm, has always been a fan of plants.
But during lockdown, which was a period of uncertainty for many, she built up her houseplant collection and found they genuinely made a real difference to her stress levels.
That’s what gave her the idea to start a new business, setting up a little houseplant store to help bring a bit of tranquillity into everyone’s lives.
“My work was still ongoing but the workload had reduced dramatically,” she says about the months spent in lockdown.
“I spent a bit of time doing some work on the house and wanted to get some plants. I spent ages looking for a few different plants I was after, but they were all out of stock – which made me think that there might be a market for it.”
Kat set up the new venture with her husband and their daughter, and the name – Three Little Leaves – reflects the family working together.
“It’s very much a family business – my husband Paul is co-owner and we’ve also involved our daughter, Gabi,” says Kat.
“She’s been to an artisan market with us, which she loved – and she got to play real-life shop, so she was really excited by it all!”
In terms of plants, Three Little Leaves have a big selection for local delivery which they hope suits all budgets.
“We’ve got small cacti and succulents starting at £5, up to large tropical plants such as Calathea Orbifolia and Birds of Paradise, at £65,” says Kat.
“We do everything in-house, all the photography, design and website content is done by me.
“We handwrite our care guides and we do all the deliveries – we deliver within a 25 mile radius of Lymm, free delivery on orders over £20, under £20 delivery is £3.50.”
Kat says they initially thought about starting regionally and then expanding to deliver nationally, but have decided that doing that would go against what they set out to do.
“We want to be a personable, local business and if we go national, then we lose that identity,” she explains.
As well as plants, the trio also collaborate with other local makers and artists to stock plant pots, art and more, and are looking to feature more independent local businesses in future.
“Paul and I have been looking to work together for a while, and so we spent a few months researching suppliers and costs – and I also really wanted to work with independent artists and local suppliers,” she says.
“We worked with Manchester illustrator Alex Francis, she designed a bespoke illustration for us, and Grace Cooper, also based in Manchester – we’re stocking her t-shirts and cups and are about to take our first set of plant pots from her.
“We also worked with a couple of other independents to supply us with illustrations and pots. Ideally we want to work with lots of local independents and be a platform to showcase their work.”
They’re also hoping to work with other local businesses, if they’re looking for plants for their workspace – whether it’s a large order of just a couple of plants for their desktops.
And for those of us nervous about our ability to look after plants properly, Three Little Leaves is planning to offer some support.
“I’m hoping to build up the blog section of the website to offer in-depth info on how to care for plants,” says Kat.
“We’ve spoken to so many people who say they love plants but keep killing them. We want people to buy a plant and for it to be around for a long time!”
Three Little Leaves offers houseplants and local crafts delivered within a 25 mile radius of Lymm, free delivery on orders over £20, under £20 delivery is £3.50.