After more than 20 years working in film and television in New York and Los Angeles, Daniela Verona decided to move to Miami to be with her partner, a pilot in the private sector of aviation. Together, the couple decided to leave their demanding jobs after embarking on a new venture selling rare palms on eBay. What started out as a hobby has since turned into a full-fledged business — Let's Grow Florida is an online botanical boutique that curates rare and exotic palms from around the world.
We talked with Daniela about starting her own business and where to start when shopping for tropical greenery for your home:
Tell us about why you decided to start Let's Grow Florida.
When my husband bought our house, the yard was a blank canvas — mostly lawn with just a few common palm trees mixed in. He's spent the last decade and a half filling it with the most stunning rare trees from around the world. Some grown from seed that he collected from his travels. A walk through our yard is similar to a stroll through a mini botanical garden and living proof of our love and borderline obsession for rare plants.
He was convinced we could make passive income harvesting and selling our rare palm seeds online and that’s how it all began. At first, there were a few sales every couple of weeks, and that grew, leading us both to leave our careers behind and concentrate on this venture 100%.
What's one thing you wish you knew about starting your own business that you didn't know at the time?
I wish I knew how all-consuming a home-based plant business would be. My husband and I love to travel, but with a yard full of baby plants, it’s hard to get away for more than a day or two. I know our future includes more of a work/life balance — so for now, I’m just incredibly grateful that I’ve ditched the daily commute and get to convene with nature in all its beautiful abundance.
What's your favorite tropical plant currently and why?
I am constantly in awe of our tropicals and pick a new favorite weekly it seems. This week, it’s the rainbow eucalyptus. It’s arguably one of the most stunning trees nature has to offer.
What do you think is the best starter tropical plan for beginners?
The Rhapis excelsa ‘Lady Palm’ is a gorgeous, low maintenance, tropical-looking palm. A beginner would have very little problem keeping it happy and thriving. Plus, it does great indoors, which is always a bonus for big city dwellers.
What's your favorite way to relax?
If I give myself a few hours to relax, I’ll head to the beach for a swim. The beaches in Miami are beautiful and the water’s warm year-round. The blue water is a nice break from the green garden.
What's your go-to 707 Flora product and how do you like to use it?
Hands down my go-to 707 Flora product is the Core Cleanser. I have been searching my whole life for the perfect face and body wash and I finally found it. It’s literally off-the-charts amazing!
What does the phrase "Beauty from Within" mean to you?
If you want to live a happy and healthy life, you have to start with what goes into your body. The foods you eat, the liquids you drink — even the information you ingest. All these are building blocks for thriving beautifully in today’s world.
Learn more about Let's Grow Florida on letsgrowflorida.com. Follow Let's Grow Florida on Instagram and Facebook. Shop Let's Grow Florida on eBay and Amazon.