Small Business Profile: Cait Khosla, Founder of Botany Box - New York
Hi Cait! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Cait! I've been in NYC (East Village) for about 2 years, I'm originally a transplant from Virginia, but when I moved here, I noticed a real void in greenery and really wanted to do something about it.
What is your background (i.e. education, previous jobs, experiences that led you to create)?
My background is in marketing and social media - I worked in Healthcare in Virginia and was responsible for all marketing strategy, I loved it. In NYC, I work at this amazing company called Jetblack (where I get to be extra creative). I'd say my background in marketing helped me create a vision for Botany Box.
What led you to start Botany Box? How did it grow from an Instagram page to a product based business?
I started our IG page solely to promote other people's really cool accounts and plants. I had NO idea there was a whole #plantmama community here, and no idea people would be interested in a succulent gift box! I think the more people began asking me "What do you sell?" The more I kept saying: "What SHOULD I sell?"
What steps did you take to start the business as it has just launched?
I asked around at local plant shops to see if they wanted to be our exclusive succulent provider, after a lot of emails, tons of companies/shops said no. One company said YES. They're our business partner today which makes us a 4 person team!
How does Botany Box work?
Super simple! People ask this question all the time, it's not a subscription box (which I think is a pretty hard business model any ways) it's just one gift box, that you can order at any time on our website. It comes complete with 4 succulents, a water dropper and care instructions.
When you came up with the idea for your succulent boxes, what were the next steps you took to execute your idea and ultimately start a business?
I first needed to find someone who knew how to build a website - besides finding the plants, I needed a simple website/design guy. That website guy is actually my Co-Founder & business partner and overall brand developer. Without him I'd definitely still be at square one.
At The Glossary, we believe in women working together and helping one another. Why do you think it is important for women to support each other? How have women supported you?
It's CRUCIAL for women to support women, my first CEO panel was a big group of women. I can’t even believe I was asked. I was so scared - I wasn't like them; successful with a huge backing & tons of sales. But I've never felt more support in my entire life through this business endeavor. We as women, are all coming from the same direction. It's important to lift and encourage, whether you're running a business or literally just having a shitty day.
What women bring you inspiration?
Literally - my mother. Who's my inspiration for everything.
What have you learned from creating your own business that you think can apply to any creative endeavor?
I think truly the best lesson I've learned is trial and error. Not giving up. It sounds so cliche but there are SO many moments in creating a business where you're like: "ok, screw this, I'm keeping my day job". That's the exact moment I think I learned that what I was doing was important & we had to keep going and keep trying.
Do you have any resources that have been helpful to you that we should know of?
Hmm..I think everyone should create a website via Squarespace (yes, I'm advertising for free). It made our whole process so seamless and so easy. Also I’m on Trendship, which is an insanely cool platform for business owners & Influencers.
What are you trying to learn right now or what is something that you are wanting to learn?
Retarget Marketing. Now that we've launched, we're in the process of being like - "Ok, how do we get these customers back to us" or those that didn't follow through with purchase: "Ok, how do we get them to BUY a box". Marketing but x10000.
What are some of your favorite places in New York?
Oh I could go on all day. I love Gallow Green, it's an all plant rooftop bar on the west side. I also love every speakeasy in this city, they're my favorite getaway spots on the weekends (loud noises make me nervous). I love Dear Irving, Please Don't Tell, Little Branch, Blind Barber.