Hi, everyone. Tammy here. I can't believe it's been 10 months since Cody & I started IvyMay out of our two bedroom, second story Pacific Beach apartment. Our place was PACKED to the brim with plants, soil everywhere - our neighbors thought we were literally insane. Thank goodness our landlord was a good friend of ours. Had it been anyone else, we probably would've been in so much trouble!
If you've followed our story from the beginning, you'll know that we started free delivery of houseplants in San Diego County to uplift spirits during the COVID pandemic. Houseplants brought life into homes during the lockdown and also gave hope by being able to master their care and watching them grow. I can't tell you how much purpose this gave us and the happiness we felt by watching our community grow through something as simple as houseplant delivery.
Obtaining supply was hard for us from the get-go, as demand for plants soared during the pandemic but growers nationwide halted growing for 1.5 months then resumed at limited capacity. Being new, our suppliers had priority clients that got the little supply they did receive (and rightfully so!). We were hopeful that supply would increase one day and that we'd have the luxury of buying all the plants we wanted for our selection. In the meantime, Cody spent 5 days a week driving to 8-9 different suppliers to get whatever inventory they had left over that hadn't already been claimed. At one point, we were going up to downtown LA weekly to bring back a van full of plants.
Many small plant businesses are struggling because of this supply challenge, lining up and waiting hours for a shipment to arrive, only leaving with a handful of plants at a time. This was only getting worse and our suppliers told us this would last about another 12-18 months. Physical fights started to break out as supply continued to diminish. This was hard for us to witness day after day, week after week. As a team, we arrived at the toughest decision - to leave live plants behind. This especially hit hard for me. I have a huge emotional connection to how IvyMay started, what we offered our local community and what we stood for. However, I realize now that every business will be forced to pivot to stay alive. This isn't our first pivot and it certainly won't be our last.
So what does this mean for us? We collaborated with other small businesses & started an amazing line of products for plants. We will keep our website for direct-to-consumer sales, and we will be working quickly in the background to produce and distribute our products through multiple channels. Our content team will still be bringing you plant tips, new products and behind-the-scenes of our small business on our blog, TikTok and Instagram.
I have full faith in our team, filled with passion and enthusiasm for where we go next, that we will continue onward and upwards in our unknown journey. There will more sweat, blood and tears shed but it sure does make life exciting!
Thank you SO much for your support of IvyMay the last 10 months. The people we've met through our business alone makes this more than worth it. From our customers, to our mentors to our new business connections. Though we are no longer carrying live plants, we are excited to learn a new business model that none of us have experienced before. But, that's what running and growing a small business is all about and we're here for it - Full steam ahead. Cheers to the future!