We had the chance to discuss with Uli, the founder of Secrets of Green - a fabulous online marketplace full of nature-inspired ideas and beautiful greenery items! We wanted to find out more about the creative Uli and her motivation to create an environmentally friendly online store...
1. Could you tell us about Secrets of Green?
Secrets of Green is an online lifestyle store and a green community for nature-loving urbanists. It’s a destination for people who feel close to nature but are not always able to spend time outside amongst greenery and animals. The marketplace offers products but also content around nature so people can express their love for all things green. Finally, we also advocate an environmentally conscious behaviour and want to inspire our community to take part in making the world a better place.
2. Why do you think is nature important in our urban life?
Statistically, bringing nature into our homes and workplaces makes us happier. You can read more about it in one of our latest blog posts here. Being surrounded by plants reduces stress and makes us more productive. Just imagine you’re in a room fool of plants. Wouldn’t you be immediately happier? I don’t even think we need statistical proof; we can experiment with ourselves and observe how we feel when experiencing nature around us.
"Whether you live in a rural town or urban landscape, adding a few leafy green friends can help improve your overall quality of life. Try sprucing up your workspace with an air plant, which changes colors when exposed to light. Add a hanging plant to your newly finished living room to give your room depth, light, and increased air flow!"
by Isabelle Marsh | Founder and editor of @healermag_
3. Do you have examples of initiatives in London promoting nature in the city?
Tough question! I should definitely know that… let me google it hahaha I actually have a Twitter list called ‘Green Inspiration’ where I save inspirational organisations. One of them is Cordwainers Grow. I discovered them before I had the idea of Secrets of Green when they invited me to an indigo blue dyeing workshop. They develop great urban gardens in Hackney. I also remember an initiative by the Mayor of London. Check out their Twitter account, you can, for example, apply for their Community Tree Planting Grants.
4. How do you curate all the beautiful products on your website?
When I started Secrets of Green I got in touch with some brands I knew from my time as a blogger. I asked them if they wanted to be part of my new venture and luckily, they thought the idea was great. Since then I found wonderful talents on Instagram as well as on Etsy. A couple of the brands on Secrets of Green also found us and absolutely understood the vision we have. I definitely wanted to have products on the website which are in a way associated with nature. What kind of products make it on the website is dependent on originality and the message the product/brand has. We also like surprises and products which you can’t find everywhere such as handmade felt plants.
5. Do you have any “nature” best practice to recommend in our daily urban life?
The thought of taking care of plants can be sometimes scary. We see a lot of comments of people saying they love plants but they can’t keep them alive. That’s why we don’t sell plants directly. We want to inspire people with nature-related items they can collect so they slowly familiarise themselves with nature at home or at the workplace. Once they feel more confident, plants will follow, they think more about how to make the world a better place with, for example, recycling, zero food waste, more walking etc. etc. One step at a time. Small changes are already a huge contribution to the world.
6. Could you tell us about you? What is your background?
I’m a city girl. I have lived in cities like Berlin, Singapore and London. Living in a city has many advantages. It’s also very exciting because there’s always something to discover but I definitely miss nature in my life so that’s one reason why I started Secrets of Green. I’m my own customer. I moved to London in 2011 to start a career in social media and advertising. Since 2016 I help small businesses with their social media presence that’s why I spent a lot of time on Instagram (who doesn’t love Instagram, though?!). I discovered a lot of like-minded people and thought it would be great to bring all these nature lovers together.
7. Any next steps for Secrets of Green?
Yes, there are so many next steps for Secrets of Green. But the biggest one which I hopefully can concentrate on next year is to build a bridge between technology and nature. This isn’t a new idea and there is already great talent out there who work on solutions involving tech and nature. But we want to be the platform, the destination, for these inventions so people can access them and bring them into their homes.
To name a few examples of products which embrace technology and enhance nature in a city home, Click & Grow is a self-watering smart indoor garden and Clairy is providing fresh air in homes by enhancing a plant's capability to purify the air. The latter is still a crowdfunding campaign, though. More related projects are on the rise but again, there's no platform which pays attention to these kinds of products. Secrets of Green would like to be that one destination for product developers and inventors to spread the love of nature to the community.
Find out more about Secrets of Green on secretsofgreen.com.