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Growth & Jobs | Amanda James: Balances banking and horticulture

Published:Tuesday | November 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/Gleaner Writer

Entrepreneur Amanda James believes that a pot of plant can easily lift the spirits and that has been the testimony of several of the customers who have purchased fresh foliage through her company, Creative House Of Plants Etcetera.

James started the business last year by mere coincidence, but given that her late grandmother Olive James and her grandfather, the late Vernon Radcliffe James, were both in the field of horticulture and owned a flower shop, she figures she was destined to tread this path.

“Once I actually bought a plant arrangement, someone saw me with it and liked it and the word spread, and I started buying and selling, until I decided to make my own and then I tried and it worked,” she said.

James works a full-time job in the banking sector, but the evenings and weekends are dedicated to nurturing her plants. Her business specialises in succulent container garden pieces, potted plant arrangements, Chinese bamboo arrangements, and other creative plant arrangements/pieces.


“It can be used for homes as decorative centrepieces; it can be used in offices, on desks, and at business establishment also. It can be used as gifts for both males and females, so I do have male clients,” she said.

Her clientele, she finds, varies from young professionals to senior citizens.

“I always saw plants, I always liked them; but since this gift was developed in me, I realised that I love them more, and I have grown to be more attached to them and becoming more of a lover with this business, because it has shown me the different sides to plants and the positive impact it has on someone who gets them, and just putting a smile on people’s face,” she said.

“This business has helped me to reschedule my daily work activity to ensure that I am able to give 100 per cent on the job, while at the same time being able to handle my business outside of work time,” James added.

She said she has had to restructure her life to facilitate her business, but the effort has been worth it. Family and friends have made the task a little bit more bearable by offering their support as she tries to nurture her plants and meet customer demands.

James, who has a first degree in hotel and resort management, is looking forward to placing new products on the market in 2020 and offering additional services, but for now, she is busy trying to meet the demands for the Christmas season.

“For the Christmas, what we are trying to do is to include Christmas colours in our decor, in our accessorising of the plants. Our plants are personalised arrangements, so you can actually choose what you want to put in the different things. But for Christmas, we have our very popular succulent arrangements, made with reds and greens and even pine cones,” she explained