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8 min 1 sec

Plant Lover’s Tiny Terrariums Take Root on Instagram

When one man’s love for terrarium building blooms, he uses his marketing skills to make $10,000 and become a “plant influencer.”
Plants Product Reselling Social Media

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What It's About

A terrarium building project takes root and grows!

Business Model
Social Media
Skills Required
Sourcing & Social Media Marketing
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

As a marketer, Jesse was able to use techniques he was already familiar with to get his name out there. One tactic that worked especially well was contacting aggregator accounts, which are accounts that curate content that isn’t their own. They need content to survive, so they’re always looking for new things to post, and it gives your account exposure.

Fun Fact

Every time Jesse makes a sale, he celebrates with his daughter, Grace. They start dreaming up ideas for the order, then go to the plant nursery to get some supplies. Grace always gets her own flowers!

Notes from Chris

Episode 858

When Jesse Goldfarb first started dating Lauren, the woman who would later become his wife, he also became interested in plants. Hanging out at her place, he noticed that she had two bonsai. Looking further, he saw that although they were beautiful, they also seemed a little unhealthy. After some research, he learned that all they needed was a trimming and an annual potting. He excitedly got to work and revived them both.

While he was glad they were back to health, he missed taking care of them. He felt this way for years, and finally, Lauren bought him a gardening magazine that changed everything.

As he was flipping through it, he noticed a section on container gardens and small terrariums. They were tiny enough that they would be cheap to make and only take a few hours to assemble. He could be creative and work with plants, but wouldn’t have to commit to a huge project. It was perfect.

Jesse rushed to the store to pick up some supplies and immediately got to work. He made one the first day, two the next, then went back to the store to stock up for making 10 more.

When his co-worker saw one that he’d planted on his desk, she asked if Jesse would make her one too. He said sure, that will be $40. Of that, $20 was spent on supplies, and the other half was profit.

Suddenly, Jesse’s plants became an office trend! As more and more people ordered them, he increased the price. He doubled it every order for the first three orders, but no one complained, because as time went on, the terrariums were becoming more complex and Jesse was getting better at making them.

Around this time, Jesse began an Instagram account where he posted pictures of bonsai for fun and had accumulated 4,000 followers. Jesse had a feeling that if he made an Instagram account for his terrariums, there would be just as a big of an audience—and a bigger audience meant more sales.

So, in November of 2016, he officially created his account called TeenyTinyTerra.

By doing this, Jesse soon racked up thousands and thousands of followers, all the way up to 30,000 at the time we worked on this episode. His sales increased and another money-making opportunity presented itself: sponsorships. For a price, Jesse would incorporate his terrarium designs with products from a particular company.

Today, only 15% of his profits actually come from selling terrariums. Another 20% is from the sponsored posts. But the biggest source of his profits actually comes from something entirely different. After his success on social media, Jesse found himself craving in-person interaction with his audience. He saw that other artists were doing workshops, and realized that he could start his own for terrarium building. By charging $150 per person, at 50-150 person workshops, he could make a lot of cash quickly. Now, this accounts for 65% of his profits annually.

By building up his audience on his Instagram account, Jesse was able to get his money-making ideas to the niche that would most likely be interested in them. As his hustle grew and he had more ideas, he already had a huge pool of people that could be his potential customers.

Last year, he made $10,000 from TeenyTinyTerra and has already made $7,000 the first four months of 2019. We can’t wait to see how Jesse continues to grow in the future.



MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • TeenyTinyTerra: Learn more about this growing side hustle over on Jesse's website, and while you're at it, check out his Instagram page!
  • WordPress: Jesse used WordPress to set up his website for Teeny Tiny Terra, and here you can learn how to install your own WordPress site in 5 minutes

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"If no one is doing what you plan on doing, then jump in! Fail fast, fail cheap. And if something is not working and takes lots of time, then drop it and try something else."
—Jesse Goldfarb #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau