Q + A with Ashley Pyatt, Owner + Florist, Plants and Planet
Don’t have a green thumb? Looking for the perfect gift for your significant other, friend or family member? Or maybe you just want to treat yourself to a beautiful gift. Plants & Planet is the perfect stop for all of your horticulture needs!
We asked Ashley, a South Etobicoke business owner some questions on her thriving business and living in the area.
Q. Hi Ashley, tell us a little about yourself and how you got started?
A. I’ve been obsessed with plants for a long time and will happily talk about them to anyone who will listen. Like many of us in Mimico, I was coming into Aquarium & Flowers to purchase my own plants, many of which I was selling clippings of in my online Etsy shop to plant lovers across Canada. One day, in late 2019, I came into the store to buy some new plant babes and during conversation, the previous owner mentioned he would be retiring the following summer and closing the business. The thought of my local plant stop closing was not acceptable to me, and before my brain and mouth could consult one another, I offered to take over the business, which he outright refused. I continued asking him for months and weeks following the initial conversation, and he continued to say ‘no’. Every time he said no, I’d go home, save up more money, and come back a month later with a new offer. Just after Mother’s Day 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, he called me and let me know, much to my frightened delight, that I had one week to decide if I wanted to take over the location under my own business name. It was at the end of that week I decided to become a first-time business owner of my own little plant empire!
Q. How did you come up with the name Plants & Planet?
A. I have a good sized collection of plants at home, and I love to talk to and about them (in positive ways, of course). I also do my best to live an eco-friendly life as much as possible – reducing my garbage and recycling by using reusable items (bags, containers, etc), repairing what I can, and refusing what I don’t need. I noticed when I lived downtown, there was a lot more businesses which catered to the “eco” lifestyle, and I wanted to be able to bring it here to Mimico.
Q. We noticed you kept the original sign of the old business but have your own branding (which we love BTW) on the window. Was this done on purpose?
A. Haha, well, kind of, and thank you! As mentioned, I started my business with my own personal funding, which wasn’t enough for a whole new sign at the time of taking it on. I also look at the old sign as a kind of landmark in Mimico. The sign will be replaced by the store’s first birthday in June, with a fun little twist — stay tuned 😉
Q. What are the most popular items that you sell?
A. Succulents and cactus, snake plants, money trees, bouquets and decorative pots.
Q. Do you deliver in the GTA?
A. At this time, I mostly offer deliveries within 10 km of the store with the help of wonderful neighbours. Occasionally, when I plan to travel out of town, I will offer delivery to the location a few days ahead of time via social media.
Q. Do you have a team of people helping you?
A. I do, a village! Haha! I have huge help from friends and family, from watching the shop so I can run quick errands to creating big beautiful archways and structural items, and helping out during holidays and busy times. Mimico residents are also amazing, sometimes bringing me food, some words of advice or a good laugh. I’m so lucky to be supported by so many!
Q. Any big projects you are excited about and can share?
A. For the spring, I am planning a project where local artists who create items in relation to plants, flowers and eco-friendly alternatives may rent space to showcase and sell their talent! Additionally, I am currently updating my website.
Q. When you’re not creating what do you like to do?
A. I love cooking and eating new foods, hanging out with my cat Jeff, being active indoors and outdoors, and watching horror and comedies.
Q. You reside in Mimico, how long have you lived here and what do you love about it?
A. I have been in Mimico for just over 4 years and I love the small town feel it has, but it’s still so connected to downtown. The community is also ultra supportive of small businesses — and each other! — which makes me feel so welcome and fuzzy!
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! Stop by and say Hi to Ashley and order custom bouquets, succulents, trees and so much more! You can visit her store (currently curb side pickup only) at 2372 Lake Shore Blvd. West, Etobicoke.