Plantiitas, a thriving LGBTQ and Latinx-owned plant store rooted in Long Beach
Plants have long been a source of peace and tranquility for people. That’s especially during a pandemic.
Kevin Alcaraz and Anthony Diaz always wanted to own a unique plant store that could benefit their community of Long Beach, CA with proper tools to maintain their houseplants.
However, as the duo sprouted ideas for their storefront, so did the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since COVID-19 began closing small businesses all over the country, last year, Diaz decided to post pictures of their plants and elaborate macramé plant hangers on Facebook.
It was a hit.
“From Facebook, we got a really good response from people,” Alcaraz said in an interview with The Daily Forty-Niner. “Everybody wanted to buy our plants and we were taking really good care of them.”
Their online success allowed them to start their own small business. It was created in their garage.
In doing so, Alcaraz and Diaz would be able to host pop-up events for people who also recently found a love for plants.
The couple then bought over $1,000 of plants and pots, and posted the photos on Facebook.
“I said to Anthony, ‘We’re going to sell everything or we’re going to have a jungle,” Alcaraz told Los Angeles Times.
By the end of Saturday that week, every plant sold out, and it left Alcaraz and Diaz excited and speechless.
It was at that moment they knew they had found their niche, and eventually, a long line grew in front of their garage.
This was the official beginning of their potential business venture.
As their business began to blossom, Alcaraz and Diaz needed to find a more suitable place to set up shop. They needed the space to add more plants, pots, and other unique handcrafted goods, and provide a larger area for their customers to explore.
The couple also wanted to devote their time and space to create more community healing events, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plants have the healing effects to make people feel tranquil, relaxed, and at home.
“Plant care and wanting to have plants around you isn’t anything new,” Diaz explained. “It’s only because of the pandemic that there has been a huge surge in popularity.”
Since Alcaraz and Diaz opened their storefront on 4003 East Fourth Street in Long Beach last October, customers have been amazed by the variety of unique and colorful decor displayed.
The vibrant, LA Chicano art and colorful skulls laminated on the walls are what give the shop its unique flair.
As a result of their boom in sales, the duo is proud to know that they are also Latino, queer, and successful business owners. By spreading the words of their success, Alcaraz and Diaz hope to inspire other people of color.
“I came with probably $100 to this country, so I had to work really hard to buy some things,” Alcaraz said.
At the end of the day, their popular storefront will remain deeply rooted in Latinx culture.
For more information on Plantiitas, check out their website.