Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachael Cohen.
Rachael, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
About four years ago, when my littles were three and one, I found myself suffering from intense 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 worrying 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, and botanical styling throughout the San Diego area. These days, I create botanical art, which can be found for sale both online and through numerous local boutiques and art galleries. I help homes and businesses bring more of Nature’s beauty and benefit into all their places and spaces through my Botanical Styling Services. I also teach others how to care for and create with plants through my workshops and my writings. Within this last year, I have also added author to my many roles, as my first book of succulent crafts – Infinite Succulent: Miniature Living Art to Keep or Share – was just released this past February 2019 (published by The Countryman Press). My dream is to continue to write many books pertaining to the beneficial relationship we all can have with Nature.
My background is in Sociology and Environmental Education, with a focus in 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. I am passionate about the intersection of humanity and Nature – and it is my personal mission to reconnect us to the infinite power of Nature, and ultimately ourselves. These days, I fulfill this mission by inspiring others through my writings and through my botanical art, decor, and atmosphere. I also 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 sustainable status 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 www.infinitesucculent.com/
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 incredibly blessed by the many amazing opportunities that have come my way. I have had to learn how to stay focused, how to promote and market myself, how to keep books, how to navigate the now-saturated world of social media, how to continue innovating and how to be my own loud and proud cheerleader!
Also, let’s talk a little about validation – I am someone who has always thrived off of external validation, which at times has been a huge emotional roadblock for me. As a full-time “momtrepeneur” there is very little validation for the extremely hard work and long hours that I put in on the daily. This was a huge challenge for me, especially within my second year in operation, when I felt really intimidated by the constant pressures of running your own business and creating something from scratch. Yet, I have to say that as difficult as it has been, it has also been a huge blessing since I am now learning how to truly validate myself! I am no longer looking for my worth in everyone else’s opinions, finally realizing that my worth, just like everyone’s, is completely non-negotiable! I now understand that I have the power to choose my thoughts and my emotions, no matter what the external circumstance might be. And that is hugely empowering. I can thank both the plants and this journey as an entrepreneur for teaching me that lesson.
My advice for women just starting on this journey is that your mindset truly matters! Take the time you need to strengthen and uplift your truest sense of self and purpose. Know what matters to you and what you find important and be authentic in yourself – for the uniqueness of you is truly the only thing that sets you apart from others. I believe we are all here for a reason and we all have gifts to share with the world, and the challenge can often be ascertaining what your personal gifts and desires truly are. Not what your parents want for you, or a partner or your friends, but what you know you want to share with the world from deep inside yourself.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Infinite Succulent – what should we know?
With Infinite Succulent, I reconnect people with the infinite power of Nature through planted art, botanical styling, educational & creative workshops, and presentations, and through my writings as well. I create living art as gifts, assist people with styling their spaces with plants, teach about caring for plants and creating their own living art and write about how nature, and working with plants specifically, can inspire us to live our best lives!
I am also a certified Crystal Energy Worker and often incorporate crystals into my art and styling services. In fact, my best selling items are my Succulent Crystals – where I plant succulents into crystals and ship them as gifts all over the country. My understanding of energy healing, the chakra system and how crystals work with our energetic vibrations, sets me apart from other botanical stylists and succulent artists in the area. I am able to suggest specific crystals for my clients based on some of the issues they are dealing with or the energies they are looking to increase. I am fascinated by the health & wellness benefits attainable through the inclusion of plants and elements of Nature into our personal spaces. I truly believe that Botanical Styling is about more than making a space look better, but FEEL better too.
I am also an experienced educator and presenter, so I believe my engaging style and my ability to teach others in fun and creative ways sets me apart from others. Since my background is in Environmental Education, sustainability is a huge value of which I am very proud. I do everything I can within my business to give back to the planet and to people. I reuse disposable cutlery items from take out food as tools for my planting workshops, return all plastic nursery pots to the wholesale nurseries to be replanted time and time again, never use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, harvest rainwater (which my plants LOVE), compost and infuse all my workshops with conservation messages. I also donate a proceed of sales every month to numerous Non-profits organizations and charities around the world.
I am proud of my deep sense of connection to all life on this Earth. My background in Ecology has taught me that we are all part of an intricately connected web of life and that our daily actions always impact more than just ourselves. Recently I have returned to a deep sense of Spirituality as well, which I feel most often when I am immersed in Nature and creativity. I hope this deep sense of love and connection, along with my attention to details and professionalism, comes through in all that I put out into the world.
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
I find the QuickBooks App super helpful for tracking finances and mileage. I mainly use Instagram and Facebook for exposure and promotion. I really like using MailChimp for my Newsletters and to keep up with my subscribers.
In terms of Podcasts, I have a ton I’ve been really into including:
Andy J Pizza – The Creative Pep Talk
Sahara Rose – Higher Self Podcast
Jenna Kutcher – Goal Digger Podcast
Cathy Heller – Don’t Keep your Day Job Podcast
Maria Faviolla – Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast
I have been on a huge book kick for about a year now and here are some of my absolute favorite authors and books:
Eckhart Tolle = “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth”
Anything by Brene Brown
Elizabeth Gilbert – “Big Magic”
Julia Cameron – “The Artist’s Way”
Deepak Chopra – “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”
These are books that I often read or listen to more than once, whenever I feel the need to uplift myself and connect back in.
- Website: www.infinitesucculent.com
- Phone: 7607864088
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @infinitesucculent
- Facebook: /infinitesucculent
- Other: Pinterest – Infinite Succulent
Gregory Cohen (personal photo), Corey Villicana Photography (all other photos)