April is National Gardening Month, so we figured there was no better time to launch our new, monthly Gardener Spotlite. Did you know that we have hundreds of Plant Nite gardeners across the United States? These are the people you see when you attend a Plant Nite event. They’re there to guide you through the process and make sure you have a great nite out! So let’s get to know some of them a little bit better, shall we?
Meet Jennifer LeMaster. Jennifer is a Plant Nite gardener in Dallas, Texas. She’s pretty fantastic.
She hosts tons of events each year. Sometimes they can get a little silly. Okay, a lot of the time.
We got the opportunity to ask Jennifer a bit about her life as a Plant Nite gardener. Here’s what she had to say.
What drew you to Plant Nite?
I honestly first saw Plant Nite on Groupon and thought it looked like fun. Originally, I was trying to find a way to sucker my poor boyfriend into going with me. Then I started looking through the website and saw that they were looking for Creative Entrepreneurs (PLN note: Creative Entrepreneurs own their own Plant Nite business. Some of them also host events—like Jennifer. Others hire a team to host events).
I figured I would just inquire about more information and next thing I knew I was starting my journey.
The biggest attraction I had to Plant Nite was the fact that I could own my own business and that the concept was so new and creative that I couldn’t see it being any less than a success in the market I live in. Plus, I am a people person and LOVE to put together events. I swore I missed my calling in life of being an event planner and so this gave me the opportunity to do just that.
Why do you think people like Plant Nite?
I think people love Plant Nite because it’s such a new and creative idea! A lot of the customers who attend my events are always looking for something new and fun to do. I think that a lot of people today want an experience over just going to a bar or restaurant and sitting around. They are looking to dive into their creative sides and Plant Nite offers just that.
It allows customers to be creative and express themselves with a little help from us. I always tell my customers: “this is your planter and your chance to express yourself—go wild!” I think the ability for them to do just that is what keeps them coming back for more. Especially with how popular succulents are right now, I think people who are wanting to find something fun to do are just drawn to the whole concept of Plant Nite.
What’s your favorite part about hosting an event?
My favorite part about hosting Plant Nite is seeing everyone’s designs at the end! I love how no two planters are the same and how creative people get. There are some who try to perfectly replicate the design featured, and others who go off on a whole different road to create something that is personal to them.
I’ve met so many different types of people in this process and I always have at least one “rowdy” group that keeps me laughing throughout the night. I love making that connection with customers. It doesn’t feel like it’s a job at all, it feels like I’m out partying with friends.
What’s the funniest/weirdest/best thing that’s ever happened at an event?
Ha ha! Oh wow, there are so many!
I try to keep the events very lively. My boyfriend is always helping me with events (he’s in sales so he’s has that natural way of getting people to laugh and buy into what they are doing). He and I feed off of each other in presenting the Plant Nite process, and like I said, I always have that one “rowdy” crowd.
I think my strangest happening was at the brewery event I did. I had a group of ladies that were just fun-loving and really out there to enjoy themselves. We were doing the Chalkboard Planter that night and I told them to go ahead and put their own message on their chalkboard before we got started, something that expressed who they were.
Well, let’s just say these ladies had a very naughty side that I was NOT at all expecting and some of the messages on their planters were very “R” rated. So when it came time to take pictures, I kept having to angle myself around their dirty messages so that I could at least keep things “PG” in the photos. Needless to say, they were very excited to have pictures done in my little photo station afterward and trying to not feature the messages on photos that were going on Facebook….well that was a challenge! 😳
What’s your favorite succulent?
My favorite succulent are the miniature Donkey Tail Burritos. Those are always my favorite to get when I receive a shipment.
How did you get into gardening?
Ha ha! The truth is, I was never good at gardening. Up until about last summer, I had a serious black thumb. Any plant that came within a close radius to me would instantly die.
Then last summer, I decided that as a family we were going to start a vegetable garden in the backyard in my final attempt to prove to myself that I could keep something alive.
Well, much to my shock, we ended up with a very bountiful garden and it really started becoming a passion for me. I found myself out there tending to the garden daily and loving that we were able to eat natural, healthy foods that we grew ourselves. So when the opportunity for Plant Nite came, I thought YES! I can do this! And sure enough, my black thumb finally turned green.
The secret is making sure that they are in a good environment and not ordering them too early before an event. I turned my garage into a greenhouse. I bought shelves and lighting to keep them in a safe and thriving environment. I check on them daily and check the soil to make sure it’s not dry.
I’ve learned that repotting them as soon as possible after shipping is best for them. So I try to order succulents so that they’ll arrive within a couple days of an event, that way they are nice and fresh and will thrive as soon as they are repotted into the planters. Also—don’t overwater them!
What’s your favorite Plant Nite container?
I actually have two favorites! One is the wooden barrel planter because I am a whiskey girl and I love the wooden barrel look. I actually designed my first terrarium in a wooden barrel that we’re using at our distillery event.
My other favorite is the small wooden drawer planter. I think it’s adorable and one of my favorites to work with. It also seems to be a big hit with my customers.
What keeps you creative?
Everything keeps me creative! Or at least I like to think so.
I like to be able to design things and put together different ideas to create something unique that customers will love. I love to take random ideas and mix them together to come up with something new and fresh that has a touch of the old. I also have fun putting together little extras that go in a planter like wooden signs that customers can write their own messages on. To me, it’s all about what can I do that’s different that my customers will love.
What’s your favorite music to play at Plant Nite events?
Classic Rock! I always get comments on my choices of Journey, Lynard Skynard, and Led Zepplin. Although I do try to mix it up for the crowd and throw some upbeat songs in the mix. But ultimately classic rock seems to work really well.
See what Jennifer is up to next, follow Plant Nite Dallas on Facebook, visit PlantNite.com to see what events are coming up in your area, or find out how YOU can become a Plant Nite Creative Entrepreneur in your area!