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East Austin Succulents Blossoms with BigCommerce
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Summer is in full swing, and what better way to celebrate than to add to your growing plant collection?
But for East Austin Succulents — Austin’s most diverse and creative cactus and succulent nursery — searching for rare and interesting plants is a year-round mission.
From agave to bougainvillea to Texas plumeria, EAS is home to a wide variety of unique air plants, trees, herbs and shrubs. With a working greenhouse and a retail nursery, the blossoming business is a haven for plant lovers all over Central Austin.
Beginning in 2009, EAS has since thrived as a solely brick-and-mortar nursery, but in 2020, the team decided it was time to go digital.
“We existed everywhere but the internet, and we had a pretty well-established reputation in central Texas,” said EAS’s customer service manager and assistant web shop manager, Rachel Harris. “But nobody else really knew about us, and we thought it was time to change that.”
To help expand the nursery’s reach, the team built the East Austin Succulents webshop — which now serves plant lovers not only in Central Texas, but also across all 50 states.
However, with the webshop launching during the peak of the pandemic, EAS not only had to navigate how to sell online for the first time, but they had also recently closed their retail nursery and transitioned to appointment only.
“We were having to navigate how to allow for orders to be fulfilled in-person through our web shop, but also how to ship them out. We were learning a lot all at once, but it was a huge win because we’re still here,” said Harris.
In fact, the webshop didn’t just help EAS survive the pandemic — it was a seed that would help the company grow like never before.
“Our Instagram already had people who were asking to buy things online, and all our social media has only grown since launching online. Plus, our email newsletter subscriptions have grown drastically,” said Pam Humphrey, EAS’s web shop manager.
On top of celebrating the two-year anniversary of its webshop, other big wins for EAS include becoming a Star Seller on Etsy and a Top Seller on eBay. With the help of its BigCommerce store, EAS has only grown and grown, establishing itself as a unique, high-quality plant nursery.
And that includes the packaging and shipping of plants for its online customers. But while packaging a cactus may seem like a difficult feat, Humphrey claims shipping day is her favorite day of the week.
“We ship all the plants with so much love and care,” Humphrey said. “When we pack something, we also think about how someone will unwrap it and it’ll be in its new home. Packing is a very special day for all of us.”
Without a doubt, the EAS team loves all things plants. From discovering a rare mutation or a variegated plant they haven’t seen before, to finding baby possums in their greenhouse, Humphrey and Harris agreed that working at EAS comes with no shortage of surprises.
But one of the best parts of East Austin Succulents is how they foster a community of people around plants.
Recalling an instance with an Etsy customer, Harris explained how the customer had forgotten to order a heat pack along with their plant purchase. So, the EAS team messaged the customer and offered to send them a heat pack for free. But instead, the customer kindly offered to buy five heat packs as a “pay it forward” for anyone else who forgot to buy a heat pack in the future.
“They didn’t have to do that,” said Harris. “But it was just a nice moment of plant people looking out for other plant people, and also plant people looking out for us.”
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Haylee is a Content Marketing Writer at BigCommerce, where she partners with the SEO team to craft narratives and blog content. She earned a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin and afterward spent a year abroad to pursue a Master's in International Management from Trinity College Dublin. When she’s not writing, you can usually find Haylee with her nose in a book, enjoying live music or scoping out the best local coffee shops.