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Meet Tammy Nguyen of IvyMay & Co.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammy Nguyen.

Hi Tammy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
IvyMay & Co. started out as a live houseplant business, offering free local delivery to San Diego County to make homes feel alive without actually having to leave your house during the COVID pandemic lockdown. Plants brought us so much joy as a hobby and gave us hope by watching them grow. We wanted to share that with our local community.

Today, we’ve pivoted and are a houseplant product manufacturer, offering care products and accessories for houseplants. We also offer plant design services & style select spaces in the Southern California region such as retail spaces, restaurants and commercial offices.

Alright, 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?
Absolutely not. I couldn’t thank my two business partners, Cody & Thaimae, enough for sticking through the tough times & I definitely don’t do this alone. This road probably could not be any more bumpy, even if we wanted it to be – So many lessons learned! Plant supply was always an issue from the beginning where we couldn’t get any plants from wholesalers – they had clients of 30+ years that always had first priority (and rightfully so). My partners and I got creative and started visiting backyard nurseries we found on Facebook Marketplace and asked if we could wholesale from them instead. However, the supply didn’t get better as we were anticipating – it actually got worse. In February of this year, we decided to abandon selling live plants completely.

We looked at where our business model could realize more profitability and scale and how we could achieve it. Perishable items were now off the table, due to high maintenance cost, product loss and time spent on customer service. We decided to pick one product to scale and had to essentially start over with research and development, causing us to put this side of the business “on hold” for about 6 months to figure out the impact we wanted to make and obtain the proper licenses from California to continue forward. During this time, we turned our efforts to finding businesses and events in Southern California that needed a space lift and we would be their plant consultants, sourcing and styling partner.

For our personal lives, Cody and I have packed up and moved 4 times in 10 months, doing what we had to in order to keep our business moving forward while figuring out our personal living situation and where we should be in order to keep it affordable and stress-free.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about IvyMay & Co.?
IvyMay’s mission is to offer sustainable indoor plant products by utilizing renewable and eco-friendly resources. We aim to give more than we take: more value to our customers, more knowledge to our followers, and more resources to the next generation. We’ve spent many months learning about the plant industry, the plant community and where the gaps are for people like us – Millennials living in urban spaces who value caring for our planet. All of our products are created in partnership with experts in their respected industries to offer the best product possible in terms of functionality, sustainability, and design for a new generation of plant parents.

Our newest product is IvyMay REDWOODS Houseplant & Aroid Potting Mix. A great alternative to coco coir & peat moss mixes, our redwood is a product of sustainable forest management, meaning that the trees harvested were planted to keep up with the demand of forest products. This allows for the preservation of established forests, protecting their health and ecosystems. Every bag purchased plants a tree to help conserve the beautiful redwood forest through non-profit organization, One Tree Planted.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved art, creativity, and had a huge appreciation for aesthetics and other living things such as animals & plants. I’ve always been a big fan of personality tests to help understand my strengths and weaknesses within a larger picture, which will hopefully benefit my working relationships and partnerships. I guess I’m what they call an “idealist” – I like to imagine an ideal world and strive for nothing less than that. Sometimes, it’s really annoying and I can be a perfectionist. Luckily, joining the world of entrepreneurship has taught me that moving quickly is more important than perfection. We all make mistakes, but it’s better to hit the gas pedal than wait too long.

Pricing:

  • IvyMay Redwoods – Single pack $14.99
  • IvyMay Wooden Houseplant Trellises – $14.99 – $32.00
  • IvyMay Houseplant Pebble Toppers – $18.00

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Leo Cabal Photography, Elizabeth Tran Photography

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