Katherine Birt


Business:  Hello Botanical

What? Same day Melbourne gift delivery service offering indoor plants and a thoughtfully curated selection of add-on botanical gifts.

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How did the idea for your business first come about? We love the concept of sustainable ethical gifting, and we are obsessed with indoor plants! Recognising the resurgence of that 70s indoor plant vibe, we wanted to create an easy platform for Melbournites to send a gift that grows, no matter what the occasion.

When did you have a ‘f*ck-it moment’ and decide you were going to go all-in and start your business? Yep it was an idea that was in the back of my mind for some time, then it felt like an impulsive move to just go, hey let's do this! It was late last year (2017) and I'd spent the year mostly looking after my beautiful first born (Henri) and working a couple of days a week at my professional job. I felt I needed to get that right side of the brain working with a creative outlet! Everything then fell into place really smoothly.

What were some major challenges you had when starting your business? And how did you overcome them? Initially it took a while to get over some hurdles with couriers. As we're delivering perishable items, this rules out a lot of the courier services. We needed a direct door to door service. We've since found this and we couldn't be happier with them! Working from home with a toddler is of course a challenge, but luckily my husband and I are work very well as a team so one of us tends to take Henri out in the morning while the other gets the orders ready for pick-up.

What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment?
 We were featured on The Urban List, Broadsheet and Time Out super early in the piece. So that was super exciting! We've also had some famous Melbourne gift recipients which has been pretty exciting - but we better not name names.

Starting a business can be gruelling - what keeps you motivated, and keeps you going? The fact that we have new stock constantly is super exciting. We stock a range of small and large indoor plants online which are available until sold out. So we get super excited whenever we get a fresh drop of new plants! We also love Instagram and the creative expression that this platform allows, so we always get a thrill out of our growing list of followers. We absolutely love when gift recipient's share a photo of their gift that grows on Instagram! Seeing how happy plant gifts make people is very motivating and rewarding.

How do you create a work-life balance? As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I work great together as a team. He also runs his own business (a food truck catering company), so we are both very flexible in our hours. I like to keep left and right brain active, I feel that this is a very positive and meaningful way of life. My other role (as a psychologist, randomly enough) is rather demanding and emotionally draining, so I feel running my plant business gives me the balance I needed. And of course making room for date nights and catch ups with friends is a necessity. Luckily we have very helpful mothers to assist with the little one.

Words of Wisdom / Personal Quote
 Hopefully not too cliche, but take a risk, follow your instincts and interests/passion and turn it into something you can integrate into your life without it taking over.