The interview of the week is Ben Newell from Worcester Terrariums, where we chatted all about his business and journey, read the latest interview below and make sure you keep supporting local.
Tell me about your business?
I sell terrariums! A terrarium, in simple terms, is a glass container that houses plants. Terrariums were invented by a man named Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward back in the mid 19th century and back then they were known as a Wardian case and their primary use was to keep plants safe during long, turbulent sea voyages.
I make terrariums of all shapes and sizes; from a jar the size of my thumbnail containing a tiny moss ball to a bowl 50cm in diameter depicting the ‘Welcome to Jurassic park’ scene (whenever I look at that terrarium I can’t help but think of the epic music John Williams composed).
How did you start your business?
Around a year ago I thought about turning my terrarium hobby into a side business. I wrote out a plan and once the ball got rolling it never stopped.
How did you get into this industry?
I’ve been interested in plants from a young age but my real gateway to the world of horticulture came 5 years ago when I bought a reduced, nearly dead bonsai from a garden centre. I have a tendency to obsessively read when I’m interested in a topic and I made it my goal to revive this tree. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the tree quickly died but I found the content to be fascinating and since then I’ve been hooked.
What do you enjoy most about being in your business?
Researching new plants, building terrariums, creating terrarium scenes and spending my time doing something I love.
What top 3 words/phrases describe you best?
Personable, knowledgable and determined
What is the best USP about your current business?
I found that terrariums sold in garden centres are expensive, mass produced and ha a short life. I personally make every terrarium that I sell and do my best to build them to last. Should the terrarium fail, despite the customer follow my instructions, then I’ll replace the plants for free. I also offer free maintenance on every terrarium I sell so long as brought to my workshop. If a customer has a particular request I try my best to it. For example, a customer contacted me because their father, an avid hiker, had recently passed away and he wanted to gift his mother a hiking scene terrarium. I was contacted by the mother a few weeks later who sent me a heart warming thank you email.
What is your favourite local restaurant and shop?
Restaurant – Mendi in Wychbold. Shop – St Peter’s Garden Centre and Webb’s. I couldn’t pick between the two
What exciting things are happening in your business?
I can’t wait to start teaching the workshops planned for the future. I’m also in discussions with a few local garden centres but I’ll reveal more about that in the near future!
What motivates you?
I get a great deal of motivation from reading/watching/absorbing content from successful, hard working people. My music teacher hammered into me that you have to work harder than everyone else to be successful in your field. I met him at a difficult period in my life and he contributed massively in helping me turn things around: “Talent is common but the hard work required to let it bloom is rare.”
What demotivates you?
Being unhealthy; If I eat badly or don’t exercise for a few days I always feel less motivated. On the flip side, if I eat well and exercise I feel ready to take on the world.
What would you say would be your biggest achievement to date?
Kicking out negative aspects from my life.
The terrariums he make come with a guarantee that if the plants fail within the first 3 months then he will replace them for free so long as you have taken care and followed my instructions.
For now, all terrariums can be collected from his workshop (WR1) or delivery is available within a 10mile radius from Worcester city centre at a flat rate of £5. For deliveries further afield please contact him directly.
Please be aware that he cannot post the terrariums due to their delicate nature.