Enhancing Living Spaces With Happy, Healthy Plants
Helloplants is an online plant shop established by Ashleigh Paluka, offering quality plants, pots, supplies, and plant accessories. The ShopHERE powered by Google Program helped Ashleigh kick start her business by providing her the assistance and resources she needed to build her online space.
Caring for plants had inspired a renewal of creativity for Ashleigh, and brought about a new vision for shaping the space around her. Helloplants was born out of Ashleigh’s love for houseplants and the idea to help others bring more green into their daily lives. Through her business, she continually creates and builds on her artful plant world to share her passion with other plant lovers and people seeking to brighten up any space.
“One of the most daunting things for entrepreneurs can be getting started with eCommerce, especially utilizing platforms, because no one gives you a handbook with all the resources available”
Ashleigh started the company in the Fall of 2021, and since that time her business has been able to drive significant growth in its customer base and on social media. Helloplants’s goal is to make plants easy and fun by delivering happy and healthy plants to its customers’ doors. Some exciting new ventures for Helloplants this year will be participating in markets, launching new products, and working with some talented creators.
When Ashleigh formalized the idea of Helloplants, she wanted to start by having an eCommerce shop with no brick and mortar, as much of the business world is trending towards the online space with consumers increasingly shopping online. She was working full-time when she began working on her business. ShopHERE provided the support she needed to get the store launched with such a busy schedule, as well as crucial resources to optimize her efforts.
“ShopHERE is a great program for any new or experienced business owner who wants to enter the digital space. They truly offer you support and listen to what your brand means.”
Since launching Helloplants, the response from the community and other Toronto businesses has been outstanding. Ashleigh sees her business’s biggest opportunity in finding ways to keep up with the need for high-paced digital work. One of the most valuable benefits of getting her business online has been the ability to easily connect with and reach new customers in creative ways.
The ShopHERE program facilitated the store-building process and gave Ashleigh the guidance she needed to launch her website quickly. In building her online store, the attention to detail her eCommerce Coordinator demonstrated helped make sure her brand was well represented. Throughout the website building and training process, her Coordinator was patient, knowledgeable, and always ready to help.
“My Coordinator was nothing short of amazing. I never felt like he was giving me a cookie-cutter option. He stayed close to my brand and offered suggestions for how I can represent myself and Helloplants.”
Ashleigh’s Coordinator was very considerate when answering questions in the early stages of the process and provided guidance on how to get started and the first steps needed to develop an effective online store. They also devoted significant time to highlighting useful tools and resources, as well as asking the right questions so she could find useful information to add to her sites such as a detailed about section, strong product photography, and creative product descriptions.
The Coordinator spent a lot of time getting to know Helloplants’s aesthetic and customized the Shopify store to Ashleigh’s taste and vision for the company. They helped to organize Ashleigh’s ideas and assisted her with staying on track by following up and answering every question she had. Her Coordinator went through the program, explained the tools available to her, and set the business up for long-term success after the program by sharing marketing resources such as best practices and tips for writing content, social media marketing, and search engine optimization.
“Our experience with the program was great! It helped to enable me to start my business and equip me with the digital tools I need as an entrepreneur.”
Over the past year, Ashleigh’s experience as a business owner has been eventful and filled with hard work. With something new to learn every day, she is always trying different ideas, setting fresh targets, and making use of new tools.
Her advice for other small businesses, especially business owners who might see digital marketing and navigating eCommerce as intimidating, is to utilize the ShopHERE program. It has enabled her to develop a professional online presence and it gave her the tools to feel confident in what she’s building.
“The ShopHERE program is great! It enables businesses to quickly get along and provides them the tools they need to operate their sites and marketing campaigns.”
Click here to view the Helloplants online store and shop their wide selection of handpicked quality plants. If you’re interested in building an eCommerce website or developing a professional online presence, you can view more information and sign up for the ShopHERE Powered by Google program here.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.