The British Garden Club: Growing a Small Business Online During the Pandemic

If there’s any universal truth left in the world, it’s that Covid changed everything. For Emily Wright, she went from the world of economics and finance from one form of a green thumb to one in the literal sense – she started a business for people who own houseplants. And through the ups and downs of a global pandemic, the British Garden Club was born.

If you travel around London, the city is old, and there isn’t much room, so if someone’s got a garden, it’s small. And even more so, if there’s a desire for a bit of greenery around the house, it’s where it can fit. 

“We were all stuck indoors, and a lot of people started to buy plants. At first, it was a project, and it took off immediately. I ordered a thousand flexible pouches, and before I knew it, they were gone,” Emily told us.

The British Garden Club’s mission

The British Garden Club’s mission is simple: they sell small pouches of sustainably sourced compost meant for people who don’t want to lug those massive bags from the big box stores up their stairs. 

Sustainable sourcing

“I saw all this compost from food recycling centers just sitting there, so I asked if we could take it off their hands and they said yes. Now, we’re making compost-based re-potting mixes from coconuts and other natural sources,” Emily said. 

She continued, “More and more people are looking for cheap hobbies. Everything is so expensive. Plants are good for mental health. It’s a nice addition to the home. This whole company started out by solving a problem for the people like me who are used to living in a flat. Gardens aren’t realistic for most people. London is low on space. The UK was about these huge garden centers, but now, we’re seeing a lot more things online and they want them on a smaller scale.”

And that was Emily’s game-changer moment:” I was shocked at how little people knew about plants,” she exclaimed. 

A small-scale solution

“And I couldn’t believe how little of the plant world was online. We wanted to be accessible online first, and because we’re tech-savvy, it’s worked. Garden centers struggled because they weren’t online. Covid changed how a lot of people live their lives. Even though we sell potting mixes in small pouches, we tapped into that evolution.”

ePac’s role in British Garden Club’s success

When asked about ePac and the British Garden Club’s working relationship, Wright was jubilant, “ePac has been incredible. My business wouldn’t be here without them. When I started doing this, I had little to no experience. I remember doing these first designs; they were so basic.”

Her sales team, Oliver Monk, Sam Compton and Charlie Wakelin, helped with how to order enough bags, what to anticipate, and smart advice on how things looked. 

“All these things matter. I’m a one-woman business. One of the other things I like is that I do a lot of white-label goods, and people come to me with designs, and because ePac is digital, we can accommodate small batch orders and can catch mistakes when they arise.”

The value of small-batch orders

“What would happen if we ordered a hundred thousand bags? The ability to order small batches of new products is invaluable for developing a product line” Wright continued, growing more excited about how her company is doing in this new e-commerce-driven ecosystem. 

The power of packaging

“So many small businesses are benefiting from this new market emerging post-Covid. People’s sense of business has changed. People have social media. We’re not relying on paper anymore. ePac has a mindset that facilitates that – the packaging is the game changer – it’s just a pile of compost, but the beautiful packaging makes everything look amazing and gives us a product range.”

 Who can argue with that kind of story? We certainly can’t. Check out the British Garden Club and grab a bag of soil. We love our relationship and can’t wait to see what we create next together.