Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything and I know I should have updated my page sooner but I’ve been busy offline and outdoors. And I’m loving it. Somehow in the past 6 months, I found myself surrounded by plants, mainly succulents, and decided I should grow and sell them, along with other plants that do well in my care. Brilliant, right? (Right?)
It’s not surprising if you know my background—for several years as a child, I’d spend weekends, summers, and holidays on my grandparents’ farm off Skalak Road in Bellville, Texas. I loved helping my grandpa in the garden with harvesting and weeding, shucking corn and shelling peas on the porch swing…those were truly the best days of my life and it shaped me into who I am now. Then I got into computers and web design and all kinds of screen-based stuff, leaving little time to play in the dirt. I still made the most of the garden-space and window sills around me, keeping them filled with herbs, flowers, and succulents, of course. But after thirteen years of computer-based work, something in me started to revolt at the idea of building another website or writing/fixing code, even if I could work on it outdoors from my laptop. If I had to send another newsletter that week, I felt I would scream and/or cry.
So I slowly began unhooking myself from different duties and gladly allowed others to pick them up and take over. Then one morning last winter I woke up with a sprout of an idea. I was staring at a tray of propagating leaves and thought, “I should grow these and sell them. I think people would like that. I might make enough money to buy more plants. That would be pretty great!” Then I thought, “I need a name for this fantasy business,” and spent some time turning over different names until one made me laugh at myself, but I wasn’t sure it would be ‘professional’ enough, so I posted it on Facebook to see what others thought. The support and feedback was so positive, it gave me the confidence to start an Instagram account to make it even ‘realer.’ And it really took off! So that’s how Sucs for You! was born. The exclamation point is essential to the name I think, because otherwise it’s just rude (wink).
Before I knew it, I had a lot of followers and people were leaving me questions about succulents and comments of encouragement, telling me how I’ve inspired them and helped them better understand the hows and whys of succulent care. They ask me why their plants are dying, what kind of plant did they just buy, why won’t their leaves propagate…all kinds of questions that I have had too. I mainly only follow succulent and plant centric accounts on my @sucsforyou account and I’ve learned some really valuable facts and techniques from them. So while I do spend a good amount of ‘screen time’ on my phone apps or computer for social media and research, and I did have build another site for my new endeavor (sucsforyou.com), it’s not nearly as painful and I’m not stuck at a desk for hours on end. And I always, always, have dirt under my nails—I’ve used a nailbrush more in the past few months than I have in my 36 years combined.
I’ve even been asked to give a talk at an improv event as a succulent ‘expert’ though I’m not qualified to accept that title just yet. I’m getting closer each day. I’m letting other plants besides succulents in my gang since we’re in Houston and succulents are probably the hardest thing to keep happy in our humid heat (they are arid/desert natives, after all). Tropicals, flowers, herbs, produce, ferns…everyone is welcome! Succulents just have a special place in my heart because of their uncanny ability to keep going no matter what. Break a leaf off, it can grow a whole new plant. Break a stem off, it can grow roots and keep going. Forget to water it for a month, it will wait patiently under most circumstances. Water it too much causing root-rot, chop the bad part off, let the cut end dry, put it back in the dirt, and it puts out new roots and keeps going. Chop off its head and the stalk will grow babies.
On top of all of that, their beauty can be mesmerizing. Golden ratios are revealed in their growth patterns, especially the rosettes. Some species have a metallic appearance, some are super soft and fuzzy, some change colors depending on the amount of light they receive, and they come in every imaginable color. And just when you thought it was pretty much perfect, it sends up a stalk and blooms crazy beautiful flowers!
There’s just something about succulents. Someone posted a comment on one of my photos that they never knew how much they loved succulents. It’s like that for a lot of folks. They’re not sure why they could look at them all day, or why their typically frugal habits mysteriously doesn’t apply to succulents (which includes cacti). They just make them happy and that is a good enough reason for me to keep doing what I do and helping others along the way. In fact, I doubt myself every time I lose a plant or stop to wonder what the heck I’m doing, but without fail, someone has left a comment telling me that I’m helping them so I keep going. I found a trail I’m happy on and I’m set on following where it leads, though I’m really not sure what the end destination may be. And whether or not you’re a succulent fan, happy trails to you!