In a world where the bond between humans and nature often feels strained, Jack, the visionary founder and CEO of Sowvital, stands as a beacon of hope. With a profound love for plants that began in his childhood, Jack embarked on a journey that would lead him to launch Sowvital, a brand dedicated to nurturing and nourishing plant life like never before. Today, we have the privilege of delving into the mind of this horticultural enthusiast and learning about the remarkable story behind Sowvital's rise to prominence.
From his early days spent marveling at the magic of seeds and cuttings, Jack's fascination with plants was deeply ingrained. It was during his time living in London, surrounded by a bustling urban landscape, that he rekindled his passion for greenery. Rediscovering the joy of tending to house plants alongside a dear friend, Jack realized the profound impact that plant care had on their well-being. This realization sparked a quest to create something extraordinary, something that would not only revitalize the relationship between people and their plants but also revolutionize the concept of plant care itself.
Driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence, Jack embarked on a mission to source the finest formulations for his plants. The quest led him to collaborate with top experts in the UK, meticulously crafting unique, scientifically-driven products that catered to the needs of house plants. But Sowvital's commitment extended beyond mere efficacy; it embraced a holistic approach. Their formulations were not only rich in every nutrient a house plant craved, but also animal-free and vegan, aligning with their deep-rooted values of sustainability and compassion.
As we delve into the interview with Jack, we gain insights into his philosophy—rooted in the belief that plants are not merely decorations, but living beings deserving of utmost care and attention. Sowvital's three-step ritual—Cleanse, Nourish, Spritz—serves as a gateway to a world where plant care becomes a soul-nourishing, wellness-driven experience. Through this approach, Jack aims to connect individuals with the natural world, fostering a sense of balance, joy, and appreciation for the wonders of nature.
Join us as we uncover the wisdom and passion that fuels Jack's dedication to Sowvital, his reflections on the booming interest in plant care, and his dreams of a future where Sowvital becomes a global force in helping people cultivate thriving plant sanctuaries in every corner of the world. Prepare to be inspired and uplifted by the vision and purpose that drive Jack and the Sowvital community, inviting us all to embark on a greener, more harmonious journey with our leafy companions.
Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your brand, Sowvital.
Hi, my name is Jack, and I'm the founder and CEO of Sowvital. We specialize in creating premium horticultural products that focus on plant care.
As a child, I was enchanted by the magic of plants. I would grow endless varieties from seeds and cuttings. I used to spend hours at the local garden center, exploring horticultural products that could help me become the best plant parent I could be.
Fast forward to 2020 when I was living in London, and my focus shifted more towards house plants. I rediscovered the joy of caring for plants, which I shared with a friend. The care ritual became something I looked forward to. I would put nourishing fertilizers in empty Aésop and Kiehl's cosmetic bottles, making it easy to dose and dropper into a small watering can for my house plants. It also ensured that I didn't forget, as my collection of plant vitamins sat prominently on my shelf, blending in seamlessly.
I searched for plant experts who could provide me with the best formulations for my plants. These formulations needed to be rich in every nutrient a house plant requires, as well as being animal-free and vegan (which many fertilizers are not). Sustainability, ergonomic design, and aesthetic appeal were also important factors. Fertilizers should proudly sit on the shelf, close to the plants they nourish, just like our hand creams sit on our desks. This concept gave birth to Sowvital, with its ritualistic and scientifically-driven ethos. We worked with top experts in the UK to develop our own unique formulations and, after nearly a year of efficacy testing, we brought our products to the market.
Where did your love for plants come from?
Much of my childhood was spent surrounded by plants and the natural world. I would spend summers helping my grandpa in his little vegetable garden, and I fondly remember the excitement of watching a plant race from a seedling to a fully fledged adult, dripping with fruit. Over the years, my connection with plants has only grown, taking on new and different forms, ultimately leading us to the present day, where Sowvital aims to help others reconnect with their plants and cultivate their own love and appreciation for the natural world.
Over the last few years, we have seen a significant increase in people caring for plants. Where do you think this interest came from?
I believe the recent surge in interest in plant care can be attributed to two factors. Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic confined people to their homes for months, making them realize that many modern homes lack greenery. Without the usual connections to the outside world, people became interested in bringing nature indoors, particularly through houseplants. Secondly, the pandemic emphasized the unparalleled mental and general wellbeing benefits that nature provides. Regularly connecting with flora and fauna is essential for gaining perspective and establishing a sense of connection. Houseplants have been shown to have numerous benefits, such as regulating air quality and lowering blood pressure. Sowvital is dedicated to championing their positive impact on wellbeing.
What advice would you offer to someone making their first plant purchase?
JThe first thing to consider is the location where you plan to put your plant. Will it be on a windowsill, receiving direct sunlight, or in the corner of a bathroom with higher humidity? This will determine the type of plant that will thrive in that environment.
Additionally, you need to think about how to care for the plant, including the frequency of watering and the cleansers and fertilizers to use. It can be overwhelming! The number one mistake many new plant owners make is overwatering, so it's important to always be mindful of that. Sowvital's proprietary three-step ritual—Cleanse, Nourish, Spritz—aims to alleviate some of the pressure by providing a straightforward, all-in-one solution for your plant care routine.
Could you talk us through your philosophy and why it is important to you?
Sowvital is a plant sciences brand with a mission to reconnect people and their plants through scientifically and mindfully informed nourishment and care rituals. We promote a balanced and conscious way of life by incorporating house plants, botanical knowledge, and our three-step routine into the home.
This philosophy underpins everything we do. It is fundamental to us that we provide high-quality products that sustainably improve the well-being of both our consumers' plants and themselves. The ritualistic aspect of our products soothes the soul, while the products themselves promote plant health and environmental care.
How do you want people to feel when they follow your rituals?
We want our Sowvital community to feel connected and joyful. By taking the time to care for your plants, you are investing in your space and the elements in your surroundings that can improve your well-being. Through our three steps—Cleanse, Nourish, Spritz—we aim to create a sense of wellness and recognition of the importance of plant care rituals.
Do you have plans to expand your product range and launch new products in the future?
Absolutely! Follow us @sowvitalplantcare for some special product releases later this year.
If you didn't pursue this career, what else would you have liked to do?
I originally studied law at Cambridge. I was fascinated by the philosophical aspects of governance and ideas of justice. An alternative career path would have been pursuing a Ph.D. and conducting research in these areas.
Could you talk us through an average day in your life?
Every day is different. One of the best things about Sowvital is that we are constantly working on a wide range of projects, from developing new formulations to visiting our design studio in Paris. Some days we organize art exhibitions, while others we host potting workshops or pop-ups in NYC. It really depends. The one constant is, of course, setting aside time to care for my plants.
Looking back since launching the business, is there anything you would do differently?
I would take more time to enjoy the process and reflect on how fun it is to develop a brand. Often, we reach milestones quickly without taking the time to celebrate before moving on to the next project.
Our readers love to travel. What destination is at the top of your bucket list?
I would love to go night skiing in Japan! They say the snow there is unbeatable.
Running a business can be non-stop. What do you do to switch off?
To switch off, I find solace in plant care and playing the piano.
What's your go-to quote when you're lacking motivation?
A quote that often comes to mind is "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming," amusingly from Finding Nemo. When facing a lack of motivation, the best approach is to push through it, and you'll often find that the engine restarts.
In five years from now, where do you see the brand?
In five years, I envision Sowvital as a truly global brand, assisting people in caring for their plants all over the world. We aim to bring our rituals and quality-focused products to homes from Tokyo to LA.
Where can people find out more?
Jack: You can find us at sowvital.com or on Instagram at @sowvitalplantcare.