Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachael Cohen.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Rachael. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
About three years ago, when my littles were three and one, I found myself suffering from a bad bout of anxiety, depression and insomnia. I began to “play with my plants,” during my children’s afternoon naps, as a form of meditation and therapy. While I was creating succulent art pieces, like terrariums and arrangements, my mind was finally quiet and I was fully focused only on what I was creating – no longer plagued by worried thoughts.
Slowly but surely, my little plant art hobby began to grow organically, as neighbors and friends asked me to create pieces for their homes and as gifts for others. Within a short year, I had developed my passion into a full-time business, providing plant art workshops and parties, as well as custom art services, throughout the San Diego area.
My background is in Environmental Education, with a focus on marine conservation. I possess a Masters from Scripps Institute of Oceanography and have had the honor of working at such esteemed institutions as the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park and Monterey Bay Aquarium.
My mission then and now is to engage and connect others with the natural world. These days I fulfill this mission by inspiring others to feel connected to nature through botanical art, decor and atmosphere, and infuse all my workshops and events with a message of sustainability and conservation. One of the reasons I so adore succulents is due to their sustainability as drought-tolerant plants, as well as their ability to survive harsh conditions and even neglect. Every day, these adorable little plants teach me lessons on conservation, resilience, healing and joy (to learn more please see my blog at InfiniteSucculent.com).
These days I am busy teaching and presenting at plant and craft shows, like the Pinners Conference; creating and maintaining botanical art for homes and businesses; starting an online plant lover store (launching later summer 2018) and working on my first book of succulent crafts.
Three years ago, I had no clue where this hobby and meditation would take me. How could I know that my passion for plants would lead to features on the news, in local papers and magazines, and an actual book deal?! Succulents and plants have taught me so much about life, love and living my best life. I hope I can share my passion for plants with anyone looking to connect more with nature in all their places and spaces!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, the road has not always been smooth, although I do feel blessed by many of the amazing opportunities that have come my way. As someone pursuing an artistic profession, I am often asked to provide my services at no cost and in exchange for endorsements and promotional opportunities. At times, this type of exposure is great for growing my business and reach, especially when I was first starting out. I had to learn (and am continuing to learn) to be cautious, and choose my donated time and projects wisely – otherwise I find that I am actually minimizing the value of my craft, skill and time.
I am also continuing to learn how to remain focused regardless of leads that go nowhere and hours of time working on proposals and bids that might not be accepted. So my advice is to stay strong in your resolve to create something unique and authentic because there will be many days where you find yourself questioning everything!
Also, let’s talk a little about validation – I am someone who thrives off of external validation (my own challenge to face). As a full-time “momtrepenaur” there is very little validation for the extremely hard work and long hours that I put in on the daily. So I am often finding myself needing to be my own cheerleader, manager and therapist (and some days I am better at these roles than others)!
As an artist, I have found myself, and your might also find yourself, struggling with others ripping off your art, lessons and at times even photos. It hurts and will make you feel so many feels, but remember that an imitation is a form of flattery and you must be doing something right if others want to emulate it. Also, remember that there is nothing really new under the sun – what makes what you do unique is the personality and life that YOU bring to it – and no one can ever imitate the magical unique unicorn that is YOU!
What should we know about Infinite Succulent? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I connect others to nature by providing botanical inspired art, atmosphere and educational opportunities. I am currently expanding my services to include “plantscaping” or interior design using plants as focal features and for health benefits. I will be featured as a Stylist in the October issue of San Diego Home Garden Lifestyle Magazine, in which I will be sharing how to style and change up your front porch decor game. My backyard studio and suburban garden will also be shared in the September issue of the same magazine.
I create custom succulent and plant art for events, gifts and decor, as well as private and public plant art workshops and parties. I will also soon be launching an online store on my website which will feature some of my art AND botanical inspired art and accessories by many other local makers. This store is set to launch late this summer (August 2018) and I cannot wait to share some of what I have curated for all the “Planty People” out there!
Additionally, I will soon be an author, as I am currently working on my first book of succulent crafts, which will be published by Countryman Press, to launch early Spring 2019.
I think what sets me apart is my attention to detail, my creative mind, and my experience as an engaging public presenter and environmental educator.
Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Stay courageous in your resolve to believe in yourself and what you can accomplish.
- Custom art pieces range in price from $25 – $350+
- Plant styling services start at $65 for initial visit and consultation
- Private planting parties – average cost per person = $40-$50
- Website: InfiniteSucculent.com
- Phone: 760-786-4088
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @infinitesucculent
- Facebook: /InfiniteSucculent
Marie Monforte Photography, Meghan Nicole Photography