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Power to the Plant and People

Plant&People

3. Good Health and Well-Being 10. Reduced Inequalities 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Plant&People was developed by a Black mother and daughter plant-loving duo, who aspire to share their passion for plant life and support their hometown community of West Philadelphia by providing wellness and self-care tools. With SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) in mind, Plant&People believes that the addition of plants into one's lifestyle, combined with the nurturing of plants, can offer alternatives to the management of stress and mental illness; both of which have long-lasting impacts on the community they serve. SDGs 10 and 11 (Reduced Inequalities and Sustainable Cities and Communities) also drive the mission of Plant&People, whose owners note the absence of plant nurseries and wellness spots in Black communities. Co-Owners Cherron and Amma strive to answer the question "why do we always have to leave our communities to heal?"

Authors

Brian Gallery

Brian Gallery

Amanda Fanning

Amanda Fanning

Reilly Donovan

Reilly Donovan

Ava Haley

Ava Haley

Kerry Faust

Kerry Faust

School

Saint Joseph's University

Saint Joseph's University

Professor

David Steingard

David Steingard

Innovation

Plant&People is a plant shop that sells various kinds of plants, wellness products, services, and gifts located at 1431 N 52nd St A1 in Philadelphia, PA. The company is owned and operated by black mother-daughter duo Cherron and Amma. The space includes a lovely storefront where most of the business operations are carried out with an adjacent courtyard for outdoor plants. A couple of innovative features of the shop include a wall completely made of recycled bottles as well as a rain barrel that collects all of the water used in the upkeep of the plants. The goal of the Plant&People is twofold. One part of their mission is to serve underserved populations through plants and wellness. Plant&People prides themselves on the desire to bring knowledge of plants to communities that would otherwise not have the opportunity. The other aspect of their mission is focused on mental health. Cherron and Amma want to bring the nurturing power of plants to those who are struggling with mental health issues and bring them an outlet.

The three SDGs that Plant&People aid in moving toward include SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, and SDG 13: Climate Action.

For SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Plant&People have implemented multiple measures into its business model that work toward the goal of Responsible Consumption and Production that outrank comparable market alternatives. Some of these include the use of less toxic janitorial products, preventing waste from reaching landfills, incinerators, and the ocean, and providing solutions for sustainable materials, production, and delivery processes. For SDG 13: Climate Action, Plant&People relies heavily on the planet to produce the raw materials necessary for the majority of their products, as they are a plant shop. They have implemented various environmentally-friendly practices such as recycling, a rainwater collection system, and the utilization of environmentally friendly packaging for the majority of their products. For SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, Plant&People is a black women-owned business, with the intent of increasing accessibility of resources in the main minority community, it is no surprise that SDG 10 is one of the highest-scoring goals. Some of the business model practices that Plant&People have established that assist in the reaching of this goal include providing economic empowerment for the poor, providing beneficial and quality services specifically designed for low-income individuals, and enabling other organizations to better serve the poor and marginalized.

Power to the Plant and People

Inspiration

Cherron explained to us that she acquired the current Plant&People storefront to utilize it as a showroom for her marketing company, Green Dandelion. Things changed, however, when reality changed and the COVID-19 pandemic turned life as we knew it upside down. During those first few months of the pandemic, Cherron recognized that the only thing that brought her and her daughter Amma joy amidst the harrowing and stress-inducing nature of the time was the nurturing of the many plants that they had throughout their home. The time they spent together taking care of their plants was one of the only things they looked forward to each day and figured that they couldn’t be the only ones striving to find joy in such difficult times. Cherron ultimately decided to pivot her original showroom concept into one that, through her family’s passion, would benefit their local community. Additionally, the duo recognized the lack of plant nurseries and wellness outlets in black communities, which, based on their personal experiences, was something they thought might be a great asset to their community in such a tumultuous time. With great confidence in their background of plant-based lifestyles and alternative medicinal methodologies, Cherron and Amma opened Plant&People to provide a space where community members could not only buy plants and other plant-based products but also where folks can learn more about the process of caring for plants and other aspects of plant-centric lifestyles through various workshops and other events, all to cultivate an outlet for those struggling with mental health to come and find alternative methods of coping and management.

Overall impact

The impact that Plant&People has made on their customers, local communities and the world cannot be overstated. They work for the underserved, they work for the lost, and they work for the environment. By bringing affordable solutions to those combating mental illness and trauma in overlooked communities, they bring about societal change for the good. In the urban environment that surrounds the storefront, Plant&People brings an oasis of vibrant plants, eco-friendly products, and positive attitudes. Cherron and Amma have equipped their customers with educational workshops and resources so that their customers can feel capable of nurturing their plants and themselves. It is no surprise that Plant&People produces repeat customers, who also bring their loved ones for the magical experience.

In preparation for Plant&People’s long and successful future, the only need is for a bigger space to fit all of their interested customers. If Plant&People’s stakeholder impact continues to grow in parallel with the plants they nurture, they will need to expand their enterprise. With only a year in operation, Plant&People’s impact can be seen in the homes around them, can be heard in the positive remarks made by customers, and can be felt by the increase of hope in their community.

Business benefit

Plant&People has been very innovative by way of expanding offerings within their community as well as in their operations. The business has a focus on investing in the sustainability of their store, whether it be with sustainable lighting, upcycled additions to the building, or their conscious collection of rainwater. These have all added to strengthening the values behind the business. These thoughtful investments serve as a major point of differentiation for Plant&People and add to the authenticity of their operations. Initiatives such as these have helped Plant&People achieve a score of 80.5 points on their B Impact Assessment offered by the B Lab. This, too, is a point of differentiation and speaks to Plant&People’s devotion to being a responsible business. Having such a high score is admirable and can offer tremendous value by way of consumer recognition as well as a broader network of connections. By way of investing in responsible practices, Plant&People has solidified itself as a conscious company in an amazingly short period of time.

Social and environmental benefit

The COVID-19 pandemic made the reality of stress, trauma, and mental illness profoundly apparent to the current owners of Plant&People, and their solution was plant care. Acknowledging the lack of nurseries and wellness spots in black communities, the mother-daughter duo decided it was best to set up shop in their neighborhood. With their background in plant-based lifestyles and medicinal methodologies, Cherron and Amma developed a desire to spread knowledge of their passion and lifestyle to their local community. From the inception of Plant&People to the present day, the company has stayed committed to its desire through the creation of a sustainable focused space where all community members feel welcome and at home. This welcoming and sustainable atmosphere is cultivated through the use of sustainable materials in the building's design and architecture, as well as the friendly personalities of Cherron and her daughter. Our team’s experience visiting the Plant&People storefront in collaboration with Cherron’s testimony of the community’s satisfaction and overall benefit has surely confirmed the company's ability to deliver on its social impact. As a company whose product line comes primarily from fruits of the Earth, Plant&People does not take the idea of environmental sustainability lightly. The aforementioned use of sustainable materials in the building design is only one of many aspects utilized to contribute to environmental impact. Additional eco-friendly practices, such as recycling, implementation of a stormwater collection system to be used for the hydration of plants, production and use of environmentally friendly packaging, as well as the use of low-energy lighting, also contribute to the company’s overall environmental impact.

Interview

Cherron Perry-Thomas, Co-Owner

Photo of interviewee

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Plant&People

Plant&People

Philadelphia, PA, US

Business Website: https://plantandpeople.com/

Year Founded: 2020

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

A retailer with goods and services intended to support the restorative needs of our community with plants. Plant&People is a Black women-owned boutique offering house plants, supplies, plant wellness products, services, and gifts.

-Plant&People Website