PRINCE Charles whispers sweet nothings to his plants, but Linda Vydra and Josh O’Meara have DJs banging out tunes at their pop-up plant sales.
The Melbourne couple are using social media and event-style marketing to attract a younger customer to the world of gardening.
They’e held successful pop-up events in warehouses across Australia and today (Saturday May 4) they’re bringing their “Jungle Collective” indoor plant sale to Fremantle.
Ms Vydra says there will be funky tunes, designer pots, an on-site horticulturist and a huge range of indoor plants.
“For as long as Josh and I could remember we have always loved plants,” she says.
“ Our love and passion for indoor plants inspired us to start building a community of plant lovers.
“Our main goal is to continue making plant shopping a fun and a memorable experience.”
Gyuri Hwang, 21, went to a previous Jungle Collective event after seeing it advertised on Facebook.
“The loud music made the atmosphere much more enjoyable, but the plants were more expensive compared to local nurseries,” she said.
“I purchased a few plants because I felt like I had to get something out of it travelling all the way to Fremantle.
“The fact that it’s a ‘pop-up’ attracts people and gives the impression that this is the only chance you have to shop.”
Benara Nurseries sales manager Carole Fudge says pop-up events like Jungle Collective introduce gardening to a new generation, and don’t wrest customers away from traditional retailers.
“The pop-up warehouse is only there for a short period of time and they generate huge interest in plants, creating a sense of excitement around the shopping experience,” she said.
Ms Fudge has been in the gardening industry for many years and says she loves to see young people getting into plants.
“We cannot stay the same – we have to be open to change.”
John Mossop, manager at Waldecks Melville, said they have made forays into social media.
“As one generation fades out of gardening you need to create a new generation, and a new interest there to drive the horticulture business,” he said.
Local Kingsley Frearson, 24, says he still prefers to buy plants from local nurseries like Waldecks.
He said he went to the Jungle Collective two years ago and wasn’t impressed by the stock available.
“I noticed a lot of the smaller independent retailers started having sales particularly on those days, and in their marketing specifically said there was no club music, just comfortable shopping.”
Mr Frearson is a member of local Facebook group Perth Houseplant Club, which has more than 10,000 members.
“There might be other pop-up plant events, judging by how popular the Facebook page has been, but I think it will be a reasonable trend because all these people need somewhere regular to shop.”
Jungle Collective’s “Rumble in the Jungle” is on today (May 4) from 8am at the B Shed in Victoria Quay, Fremantle.
by AMY EWERS