In case you missed it, this year marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. To commemorate, many people share photos of nature and discuss the importance of environmental protection laws on social media. While that’s all well and good, two D.C. women took their March 22 celebration to another level by launching online plant store and subscription service, Grounded. Despite the challenges facing the world, Grounded arrived as an instant hit and sold out its stock in one hour.
Grounded co-founders Mignon Hemsley and Danuelle Doswell have always been passionate about plants. Before their company’s creation, the self-described “plant moms” often posted photos of themselves tending to plants on social media and would message each other about their shared obsession. The two eventually became business partners thanks to these online interactions.
“I posted a photo of me and my plants captioned ‘just might open my own store,’ and Danny messaged me asking ‘why don’t we actually?’” Hemsley says.
When formulating concept, Mignon and Doswell emphasized the health benefits of living with plants. There have been an uncountable number of studies about how owning plants and gardening can boost your mood, reduce stress and increase concentration and creativity.
Doswell studied psychology in college and pushes her own positive plant mom experiences as an example of the boost it can provide to a person’s mental health. No matter your level of gardening, the women behind grounded “want everyone to be able to find the joy of caring for a plant,” Doswell says.
Doswell and Hemsley want the benefits of plant ownership to be widespread and as young black women in D.C., they hope their community will embrace Grounded’s mission. The duo also intends to generate more discussion on the topic of mental health and to provide help in their own way for anyone struggling.
“We want to help our community with this,” Doswell explains. “In the black community, mental health isn’t always talked about and this is a way to promote that.”
Opening a business during a pandemic was a bold move that has paid off so far, and though they did not expect to be able to sell go out stock within an hour, plants and positivity were clearly needed by their fellow Washingtonians.
“We are so thankful for the support we have gotten from the community in launching this,” Hemsley says, in awe of the support. “We can’t wait until we are restocked and can give more people the gift of owning a plant.”
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