How one businesswoman has grown her business from the roots, up!
By Danni Graham
Tucked away in a corner of the Boneyard, Canton, lies a little plant nursery that at first glance, is easy to miss, but so rewarding to find.
Set in a small shipping container, filled to the brim with hundreds of different types of plants, from succulents to hanging baskets, it’s difficult to see anything beyond the greenery and is such a welcome site to brighten up the Boneyard.
Starting up in 2018, Rhona, owner, and creator of Blasus, found her beginnings after being offered a corner of the little craft shop, Twin Made in Cardiff. Selling hand-made terrariums, artwork and home-grown plants, Rhona brought her own sign every week to try and start her own customer base, navigating Instagram and other social media platforms before she had even come up with Blasus’ name.
It was by sheer luck that by August 2018 she was able to obtain one of the boneyard’s famous shipping containers after another business moved to the city centre.
‘I opened Blasus and filled it with every plant that was in my house, along with all my furniture. My boyfriend thought that maybe I was getting over my hoarding fascination, when all I did was have space for more plants!’
Over the pandemic, being an outdoor vendor meant that Rhona was able to expand her business, being given the time to propagate and develop her plant-rearing skills further. Also, as a lot of businesses closed, a large area of the Boneyard could stay open, due to their outdoor nature. This meant the increase of her customer base, and both the business and the wildlife thrived on the attention.
It’s easy to see, as you walk through the hundreds of different plants and see Rhona with a smile on her face, how much of a passion she has for both business and her gardens. When you enter Blasus, it is never to simply by a plant, but also to be immersed in the experience. From each hand-made ceramic to the glass terrariums, there’s something for every skill level. However, Rhona stresses “you need to come to me informed, for the best outcome”
Rhona offers a plethora of free advice to her buyers, after twenty years of striving to learn it would be easy to think that there was nothing further, she could learn. When asked how she obtained so much knowledge, she jokes “I’ve spent years and years killing plants in order to learn how not to!” She goes on to explain how she found her roots in plant-care, “My mother always had plants in our house growing up. My sister and I would pretend these were little worlds of their own, always imagining what it would be like to be a little person living in the leaves and the soil. It fascinated me, and as I grew up I found living with house plants to be so beautiful and rewarding. The love and care that goes in to creating life is fascinating.”
With nearly twelve thousand followers on Instagram and Facebook, Blasus is far from the small shop from 3 years ago, creating new and exciting workshops, care tutorials and even hosting the Green life market, promoting “plant life, wellbeing and lifestyle”, the little emporium really embodies the heart, soul and effort that Rhona puts into it.
Not only has Rhona thrived within her own business, she has somehow found time to create “Green Life” the market promoting wellbeing, plants and lifestyle. Situated in the heart of Canton; The Boneyard, Rhona stresses that Green Life’s main aim is a “feel good” factor, very much in line with her own business. Compiling small business across and around Cardiff, the most recent market on the 7th May was a fantastic way to kick off a beautiful Summer.
Rhona’s bubbly attitude and willingness to take part in any and every market-activity gives an energy that is entirely contagious. From palm reading to a DJ to get everyone in the Summer mood, there’s no other market that mixes the botanical and the brilliant quite like this one.
Canton’s self professed “well-being fair”, Green Life will be hosted every month, with traders selling everything from fantastic food to beautiful hand-made jewelery. There really is no leaving this market without a smile on your face, whatever the weather.
The future holds so much for Rhona, asking what she sees for Blasus in time she replies with a smile on her face “World domination!” with a larger-than-life personality and a brilliant sense of humour, it’s easy to see that the gardens, aren’t the only thing bringing in the customers. “It’s always been my dream to eventually own a botanical garden, a public space where everyone can come and be educated and to enjoy the outdoors.” She continues to discuss her dreams to build familiarity, labelling plants from around the world and giving the public easy access to stock that you wouldn’t see elsewhere.
In everything that Rhona does, it is clear to see her passion for people and plants shine through above all else. Rhona spends as much time promoting and supporting others’ work as she does her own, with a beaming smile and a heart of gold, it’s truly no wonder that these plants thrive under her care.
Rhona one day hopes that her love of art, herbal medicine and all things botanical can be brought together. “Plants have so much magic in this world, they are really everything, I want everyone to have access to that, that’s the dream.”
Please follow https://www.instagram.com/green_life_events/ and https://www.instagram.com/blasus_succulent_emporium/ for all things botanical in Canton.
The next Green Life event takes place Saturday 4th June, should you wish to trade at the market; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.