Spotlight: Emily Romig

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Emily Romig, Cactus Crate
My story: In college, you could pretty much guarantee that I had at least a dozen cacti and succulents lined up along my windowsill, lovingly planted in teacups that I got from Goodwill. As the years went on, I ran out of space for cacti, but noticed that I always got compliments on my collection. Instead of continuing to expand my own collection, I started thinking. In this current climate of subscription box services and southwestern aesthetic enthusiasm, I got the idea to send plants (and other themed accessories) right to cactus lovers! A huge challenge has been figuring out how to actually ship live plants with the least mess (and stress to the plant) possible. However, I’ve learned a lot simply from observing the practices of online garden wholesalers. Remember the shredded paper you get in your Easter basket? That stuff is perfect for keeping prickly little plants tidy and comfortable! My biggest strength is that I’m a really fabulous bargain-hunter, which really comes in handy when you’re just starting out with only a couple subscribers that you want to give the most bang for their buck.
3 Tips for inspiring entrepreneurs:
 1. Go for it. Really. Take the plunge. Whatever that means to you, do it.
2. It’s okay to start out slow. That’s what I’m doing right now. It gives you the opportunity to work out a lot of bugs, take a lot of humbling advice, and intimately get to know your targeted customer base.
3. Your customer is smarter than you think. There’s a sweet spot right in between the right amount of engagement via social media, and just badgering them way too hard.
4. Your friends, family, and partner are all really great sounding boards for ideas. Make use of it.

What inspires you to do what you do?  The incredibly popular kawaii culture and aesthetic, my late grandmother’s love for plants, and the fact that cacti are just so darn cute. (And hard to kill.) I’m just very passionate about plants, and I want to share that passion with my customers!

What problem do you solve for your customers? I think a huge roadblock for a lot of my customers is that they don’t know how to choose or care for a cactus. They don’t know where to go to find one, and they certainly don’t know what to do with it. I make it fun and easy by including a curated, healthy plant as well as a care sheet along with the other cactus-themed accessories. I help them realize that it’s not hard at all to start your own little apartment garden.
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