Plants in pots, French and untreated. This is what offers The Green Shoot, the microenterprise founded in November 2019 in Lyon by Caroline Le Ster.
“I think that what seduced the jury is the alliance of my commitment and my ambition, supposes the entrepreneur. The basic idea of my project is obviously the environmental approach. When we know that France is the world’s second largest importer of plants, and that most of the offer is made up of foreign plants and chemically treated … that’s my main added value! “
Caroline Le Ster, founder of La Pousse Verte
The plants it sells are in fact purchased from French suppliers, who do not use chemicals. And for Lyon customers, the entrepreneur delivers the packages herself, by bike !
Make people want instead of giving lessons
But Caroline Le Ster did not simply want to behave like a “giver of lessons”. It was therefore necessary to make people want to buy their products. Hence the idea of offer them in gift boxes. Four boxes are offered per year (one per season), each time different.
Inside, a seasonal and edible plant, but also recipes, gardening tips, an illustration on the theme of the season (thanks to a partnership with an illustrator), and a “surprise” related to the plants. .
These boxes are available as a subscription, but “ultimately, this mode of purchase is anecdotal, analyzes Caroline Le Ster. Boxes are mainly used as gifts to give, customers order them for special occasions. This is not what was planned but that suits me, because customers pay in advance! “
Supported by the BGE network, the entrepreneur is reviewing her business plan and forecast, because she would like to be able to pay from March 2022. Her turnover of 3,000 euros in June not yet allowing him to pay himself a salary.
Planted by the crisis
“The Covid did not help me! I launched my activity in March 2020, just before the first confinement, sighs Caroline Le Ster. Certainly, when people were confined, there was a big demand for plants, but it was also very complicated to deliver and have them delivered, so it still weighed down the start. “
This does not prevent her from remaining ambitious: she now wants list its products with different types of resellers : florists, bulk and zero waste grocery stores, organic stores and concept stores. A diversity enabled by the positioning of La Pousse Verte, at the crossroads between ecology, plants and gift ideas.
Caroline Le Ster also intends to use this multiplicity of themes by participating in numerous trade fairs and events to make herself known. It also plans to offer gift boxes to companies, who will be able for example to distribute them to their customers during events.
Change status to achieve your ambitions
La Pousse Verte also sells plants individually, and is banking on strong growth in its Christmas operation. Caroline Le Ster sells organic and local trees at the end of the year. In December 2019, to launch its activity, it had sold 60, against 300 in 2020, which allowed the company to generate 10,000 euros for the month of December.
To help her in these developments, the entrepreneur will hire two work-study students. For this, it will change its legal status. Today as a sole proprietorship under the microentrepreneur regime, she is already supported by the CCI to begin the process of transformation into EURL.