See how a social experiment to help people with their plants turned into a blossoming business and growing online community.
Lucrecer Braxton likes growing things. As a marketing manager and creative director by day, she understands how to grow a concept, brand and community around it. Braxton is also a proud plant parent, which led her to start SoulSista Plants a year ago and it’s grown into much more than she ever imagined.
“SoulSista Plants started as a social experiment. I wanted to see if I could grow a community from zero to where it is now based on something I love, which is plants,” says Braxton. “Now, SoulSista
Braxton has been running SoulSista Plants for a year now. The inspiration behind starting the business came from a desire to connect with other women. “I wanted to connect with more Black women and found myself quickly embraced by the plant community within a few months of starting my Instagram account for SoulSista Plants,” she says. “I was inspired to share my love of plants and also connect with people who also had a similar passion.”
The name, SoulSista Plants, came from music she listened to. “I was listening to a playlist and I heard a song by Bilal, Soul Sista,” Braxton says. “I have always loved that song and I didn’t want to overthink the name.”
Braxton’s love for plants started in her home. “I grew up in a home that always had some kind of houseplants. My father also had outdoor gardens and my grandparents did, too,” she says. “I’ve continued to have plants in my home and my collection continues to grow.”
SoulSista Plants provides a variety of services. “I offer plant consultations, as well as styling and plant care for new and seasoned plant parents,” she says. “I do video and written consultations and follow up for my clients. I also host plant classes and conversations.”
The business defines success by not having any dead plants. “Seriously, success is getting up and still loving what I’m doing. It is fans, clients and my community sharing their plant success stories with me because they know I care,” Braxton says. “Success is seeing someone who thinks they have a black thumb, keeping a plant alive and thriving.”
The ultimate goal for SoulSista Plants is a brick-and-mortar store. “Ultimately, I have a vision for a plant shop, but not your typical shop. I also see SoulSista Plants creating opportunities and access to plants for marginalized communities. Since the pandemic hit, the price of plants has skyrocketed and the plant industry has been whitewashed,” she says. “One of my goals is for Black youth to see themselves in me. I want them to see they can find and have success in a non-traditional job and passion. Anything is possible.”
Braxton says running the business by herself is what makes her business so unique. “I am it and it is me. I freely share and engage with my community and I make sure everyone feels like they belong,” she says. “I make it possible by bonding over plants and everything grows from there.”
SouSista Plants is important for the community because it provides education. “Plants and plant knowledge should not only belong to those who can afford it. What I do is important because I have found a way to bring people who would not normally connect with each other together through their love of plants,” Braxton says. “I take the time to teach and educate people about the plants they own or educate people about the plants they own or are interested in. I also do it with humor and make everyone feel like they belong and they matter.”
Her advice for not killing plants is: “Don’t overwater your plants. Invest in a water meter to help with that. Also, mist your plants daily. Most of the plants in your home are tropical and you can create better conditions for them simply by giving them what they need,” Braxton says. “Finally, low-light plants