[Glimpses into the lives and works of Myanmar’s independent creators of beautiful things.]
Though we are positively dripping with lush foliage here in southern Myanmar, it’s always nice to bring a little bit of the ‘wild’ into our homes. During these months of covid-19, it has been especially pleasant to entertain the idea of bringing some fresh, vibrant, air-cleansing life into our living spaces.
Probably because I grew up in Detroit, my first thought when deciding to get some plant pets into my home was to dress up like John Belushi on his nighttime bounce over to Dean Wormer’s office and just go nick some from the outrageous variety of flora in my residence’s courtyard. As I pondered this operation, gazing out from my kitchen window upon the well-manicured nightscape all about me, a less nefarious option came to mind: ask on Facebook. “Pyae Paye. Pyae Pyae! PYAE PYAE!!!,” came the resounding responses from the expat community. I was headed up to Plant City, baby!
As the reader may be beginning to realize from these pieces, I like to meet people. I am fascinated by anyone who has taken the reins of their life and is making a go of something, no matter how small the seed when starting out. I had to meet Pyae Pyae.
Pyae Pyae is a marvel of a dynamic young woman. When she delivered my first batch of plants, she and her assistants gently carried everything into my home and advised me on lighting, watering, and fertilizing schedules for each and every new member of my family. The plants were vivaciously healthy and cleanly, expertly potted. All the while, the smile and genuine friendliness of Pyae Pyae shone through. I had to know more. Here was a young lady who fully deserved the free social media marketing and article blitz myself and my tech-and-translation team of Zaw and Hana provide for independent small business runners whom we cross paths with as part of our own daily lives.
I sat down with Pyae Pyae to learn more about her and her small indie business, Plant City.
Me: Why did you decide to get into the plant business?
PP: I believe my business selling plants helps beautify the environment. If I could sell a few plants, I could make some money, but I can enjoy the peacefulness and beauty the plants provide when they remain in the shop!
Me: How has covid affected your business?
PP: To be quite honest, COVID has actually led to an increase in sales. I believe the increased revenue and interested customers is due to the want to have a few plants at home during this stay home period. Most online marketplaces could not provide plants of satisfactory quality, but after discovering plant city and ordering from us, customers have noticed and trusts us with the quality of the plants.
Me: What are your future plans and dreams for Plant City?
PP: We have been planning to form a team, with uniforms and everything, to provide landscaping and plant care services to hotels and residences.
Me: Where are you from? What’s your home town?
PP: I was born in Bago, Moe Nyo township. I graduated from the local High School and proceeded to obtain a B.Sc. in Physics at Pyay University. I arrived at Yangon in search of job opportunities and landed one at a park. Since then, I have developed a strong interest and liking for plants and flowers, and as of today, I have been in the gardening business for around 10 years.
Me: Can people come out to the countryside to choose their plants? I know that people can order plants directly from the Plant City Facebook page and messenger, but can you also choose plants for people, perhaps based on the lightness of their home, patio or balcony spaces and so on, and deliver them?
PP: Plant City is located in Shwe Pauk Kan, but as we can’t afford a storefront yet, we’re carrying out our business online, and can deliver all orders to our customers. You can also come to visit us and pick the plants yourself! We offer delivery-to-home in Yangon, but if you’re located in other cities, we can deliver the plants to the local bus station.
Should the reader wish to turn his or her home/balcony/patio into a plant paradise, I can most heartily recommend Pyae Pyae and the staff at Plant City. On Facebook, simply search ‘Plant City Myanmar’ and you will suddenly be in the presence of a sharp gal with big plans, fully capable of helping you set up your own little plant city right at home. I sure did!