We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Feretic and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, how does your business help the community?
For about 6 years now, I’ve been really into plants. It was extremely rewarding to nurture a living thing, watch it grow, and flourish in my care. Not only did this endeavor feel therapeutic, it gave me more purpose in life!
Deep in my new passion, I sought to share this love with other like-minded plant people who would want to offer care tips, swap cuttings, show-off their favorite plants, and overall just nerd out together and bond.
I found it difficult to find fellow plant people in my neighborhood and I knew there were others just like me. I was incredibly surprised to discover a dedicated platform for plant people did not exist. After a few months, I teamed up with my friend, Nick Mitchell, and we sought to connect, not only our own community, but the country through a passion for plants,
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was always curious. Figuring things out on my own, questioning theories, testing them systematically, and overall learning the “why” behind everything brought me joy. Naturally, this led me to a career in science, officially starting in college, where I studied Biology, Psychology, and Economics.
After Bucknell University, I took a research position at a Biotech company to gain some work experience and eventually moved to San Diego, CA to pursue a Master’s in Neuroscience (and for the surf haha). My interests encountered a shift. I still yearned to understand why things work, but also desired for my research to have a positive impact on peoples’ lives.
I opted to forgo the pursuit of a PhD, and work at a startup which sought to develop cures for diseases in the autoimmune and oncology spaces. The private sector seemed to offer more resources, and therefore, more opportunity to change lives. Over time, I found the whole pre-clinical and FDA approval process discouraging. The time-course was lengthy, often taking several years to a decade, and I felt like I wasn’t really making a difference, even with the population we were seeking to treat.
After an acquisition of my company, and subsequent layoff, I found myself with a lot of time to reflect on my career path and figure out what I truly valued in my life. My foray into horticulture as a hobby many years ago led me to apply my curiosity and science skill sets into investigating plant questions. Turns out I was intensely passionate about plants and really wanted to find like-minded people who felt the same way. Teaching people and sharing knowledge that I learned from my experiments was even more rewarding! I wondered if there was a way I could create something to fulfill these needs on a much broader scale.
The mission behind Blossm “stemmed” from my personal fascination with horticulture, and my desire to share my love with others. I now feel that I can directly influence the lives of people for the better, and have a much more significant impact on the world through something that brings happiness to everyone. I always dreamed how cool it would be to have a community, unbound by physical borders, growing together, as one big family. I believe that dream has come true.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve lived in Ocean Beach for about 11 years now and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else! I grew up in NYC and was looking for the polar opposite. I certainly found it in the “peoples’ republic.”
First off, my favorite place to surf and hang out with friends is sunset cliffs. While it used to be a hidden gem for years, it’s finally been uncovered, yet it’s allure and beauty still remains. It’s a perfect spot to catch the sunset, go for a stroll and just soak in some incredible beauty.
I would also highly recommend stopping by “The Template.” Owned and run by a few of my friends, it’s become an integral part of the OB community and place of expression, acceptance, inclusion, and really just an amazing overall place to experience like no other. They have a fully functional coffee shop, but they are so much more!
Besides that, I would recommend eating a California burrito at Mike’s Taco club, seeing a live show at Winston’s, and checking out all the other local bars, restaurants, and venues on Newport Ave.
OB is a special one of a kind place. What truly makes it magical are the people that make up the community!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It is most certainly my climbing/surfing friend and Co-Founder, Nick Mitchell. After conceiving of the idea, I realized I wanted to embark on this journey with a friend. Working together with someone I know well, who shares the same philosophies and passions in life seemed paramount to me. It’s been rewarding to have weekly Blossm “board” meetings with one of my best friends; brainstorming ideas, while in our favorite place: the ocean!
Other: tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@blossmplantswap?lang=en