We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Nelson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
COVID took its toll on so many industries this last year, one of which was undoubtably the event industry. Weddings and corporate events were rescheduled, restaurants closed, and even events as small as meet ups and workshops were cancelled or postponed. Being a DIY workshop space, we at Sweet Digs had to close our doors in mid March with little insight into when things may open up again. In order to stay afloat we had to privet and refocus on a line of business that we hadn’t prioritized very heavily in years prior. We took some time and ramped up our online presence and started shipping succulents, arrangements and DIY arrangement kits all over the nation. The excitement from customers was immediate. In March-May we shipped over 1200 plants nationwide, most with notes of love and encouragement to family and friends who were struggling through quarantine. Being able to bring this dose of happiness to customers nationwide was a game changer for us and is now our primary focus. We have since shut down our store front and are now primarily digital. We are in the process of expanding our online offerings to succulent subscription boxes, candle and plant gift boxes and we are even adding more to our DIY and arrangement pages as well. It’s easy to forget when living in Southern California how rare succulents are in most other parts of the country. Sweet Digs is excited to bring these rare and gorgeous plants to homes and offices all over the nation. And we are just getting started!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My journey with gardening and plants is a bit different from how most artists start their business. Many will tell you that they loved their craft since they were very little and it’s all they ever did. I was not this way. I grew up in the desert so I was always surrounded by cacti and succulents but truthfully I never really dug in and played around with them. I considered myself creative and loved trying my hand at new things but I didn’t stick to one artistic venture. A pottery class here, a cooking class there and I have more than a few cringe worthy DIY scrapbooks that should probably be put in the trash. It wasn’t until I found myself in the corporate world that my yearning for creativity finally started to kick in. I worked in HR for about 5 years out of college and was not a huge fan. I loved the customer service aspect of my job but I spent a lot of time hiring and firing people and it was mentally exhausting. I knew I needed to get out but I had no clue how to do it or where to go. Then at 25, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. This is without a doubt the only reason I have Sweet Digs today. It was with this diagnoses and the subsequent treatment that I was able to remember what was really important to me in life; having fun, loving what you do, and making others happy along the way. A lot of anxiety and uncertainty came with my diagnoses and I had a friend recommend that we go buy some succulents and do some gardening as a form of stress relief. Instantly I was hooked and shockingly my arrangements didn’t look half bad. I remember thinking very early on that gardening and arranging plants could be learned by anyone and that the beauty of the piece was in the eye of the beholder. It didn’t take me long to start formulating a plan to create DIY succulent arranging workshops. Enter Sweet Digs. My workshops were geared towards adults who just needed a night to unwind, have a glass of wine with friends, and create something gorgeous and fairly effortless. Originally I traveled to different restaurants to host my classes but eventually grew large enough to get my own space. The journey was not always easy. Coming up with new projects, marketing to new customers and eventually adding other lines of business and revenue was a constant but I felt lucky to have an outstanding customer base from the beginning who kept coming back and kept growing. This past year we have made some pretty big changes due to COVID. We have pivoted to an online platform so we are able to reach our existing customers but also engage others across the nation. We offer workshops as well as pre-made arrangements, subscription boxes, and DIY Kits. Expanding online has also had it’s challenges but is so rewarding. Im so grateful to have grown from a small community based company to a nationwide presence. But of course, I’ll never forget my roots. 🙂
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a really unique time in San Diego because everything is now outside! Id recommend that we do some local hikes and walks like Torrey Pines and La Jolla Cove. Then enjoy some al fresco dining in Little Italy or walk the waterfront to the new Brigantine. Some beach time is a must and of course, I’d take them to a Sweet Digs workshop if they had any pop-up classes going on that week. 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out and thank all of our customers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a one time purchaser or are a repeat succulent enthusiast, your support and the trust you put into Sweet Digs and our products means the world to us! I also want to shout out to my amazing husband who helped me stay (somewhat) calm when the future of Sweet Digs was unknown. He’s always believed in me and the company and I can’t thank him enough for that!
Yelp: Sweet Digs
Jarrod J Photography