The Nice Plant Founders Believe Self-Care Is Rooted in the Garden

Founded in 2020, The Nice Plant delivers potted plants and wellness essentials directly to your doorstep.

This is part of our yearlong Black History Month series celebrating Black creators and the meaningful lessons handed down through generations of past, present, and future change-makers.

Plant care and family go hand in hand for Jasmine Nicole Cisco, 31, co-founder of The Nice Plant. "I used to garden with my [maternal] grandmother. Her garden was her joy," remembers Jasmine Nicole. "That's just the thing I remember vividly, being in her garden, and she's growing tomatoes, sunflowers, and all types of vegetables." But it took a while for the green thumb to pass down the generations to her. "College days, I could not keep a plant alive," says Jasmine Nicole. "It was really weird because my dad is also literally in plants for a living." (Her dad is a horticulturist who manages the grounds for Progressive insurance campuses across the country.) "So it was kind of embarrassing that I have…this background with my family really being immersed in plants, and I was killing plants. I guess, I thought it would come naturally."

Jasmine Nicole Cisco of The Nice Plant holding a tray of succulents
Courtesy of Jasmine Nicole / The Nice Plant

After college, Jasmine Nicole decided to reintroduce herself to plants. She had her first raised bed garden in Columbus, Ohio, and decided to grow some of the same plants and vegetables as her grandmother. When she moved to Los Angeles five years ago, she filled her small studio apartment with house plants. "Watching her was in the back of my mind always," says Jasmine Nicole. "Grandma watering the plants and tending to the garden. Being patient, that's one thing I learned from my grandmother specifically. The plants are going to grow. The garden is going to thrive. Just being patient."

Left: Photo of maternal grandmother Juanita. Right: photo of Jasmine Nicole Cisco's mother.
Courtesy of Jasmine Nicole Cisco

This growth became the inspiration for The Nice Plant, a direct-to-consumer plant and sensory experience company, that she and then-fiance Andre Cisco, 36, co-founded in June 2020. When the pandemic started, Jasmine Nicole's work in event production and digital marketing stalled and the two began thinking about what a business would look like for them. "It was actually Andre, who pointed out why not do something around plants?" says Jasmine Nicole. "I'm obsessed with plants. I had really overloaded our home with plants, so he was almost like, 'Duh!' Let's think about what a business in plants looks like for us.'"

Their home was the main inspiration, but Andre also brought his own experience in the plant business to the venture. "I have an aunt in Cleveland that has a huge backyard. It's one of those backyards that when you're a kid it just seems to go for miles," remembers Andre. "She had several different gardens back there. I [was] 4 years old pushing the wheelbarrow, picking weeds and dandelions. And then at the end of the day on Saturday, she would give me $5. That's where the base of my plant experience started. All of the kids in our family have a story about working in her gardens."

Andre and Jasmine Nicole Cisco co-founders of The Nice Plant standing in front of plant wall
Sam Cahill

The love of plants and their familial connections helped Jasmine Nicole and Andre reflect on the role plants play in their lives and how they could offer the same experience to others as people were spending more time in their homes thanks to the pandemic. That's how they came to The Nice Plant's motto: Plant care is self-care. "Plant care is the medium," says Jasmine Nicole. "Introducing plants into your space changes the aura, changes the energy. You know you're getting fresher air. These small but tangible changes definitely foster space for that therapy-type behavior."

The behaviors of slowing down and focusing, are both essential elements of the wellness movement. However, the wellness business does not often portray this experience as accessible to everyone. The Ciscos felt their experiences as young, Black- and woman-owned business owners and plant consumers were missing from the industry. "We really wanted The Nice Plant to be our voice, our stories, our experiences with plants, our experiences with wellness, and our self-care journeys," explains Jasmine Nicole.

The Nice Plant ZZ plant with accessories on gold metal chair
Christian Adkins

Their voice is a big part of their business. From the plant names to the plant-care instructions, what shows up at the door feels like talking to a friend. The plant offerings have names such as Big Energy Succulent and Ready to Mingle single plant. The gift boxes include The Ease Your Mind room spray, Hey Nice Lip all-natural lip balm, and wooden-wick candles with mantras on the side. "What is something that will continue to grow and remind them of a moment we had together?" asks Andre."The plants definitely do that, but a room spray will make you mindful of your environment—of whatever it is that you need in that moment. We want to appeal to people's senses."

Now the married couple is excited to keep growing their business and helping customers customize their space. They have plans to start offering larger house plants and collaborations with female artists. In March 2022, they launched new products featuring original artwork by Lauren Levi and candles by Leah Kirsch. They hope their plants and products will continue to give their customers the similar experiences that plants have played in their lives, while also helping them avoid the most common mistake they see. "Yes, plant care is self-care," says Jasmine Nicole, "but don't overwater your plants."

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