Meet the budding entrepreneur helping Britain's gardens bloom
Great things come in small packages: Meet the budding entrepreneur helping Britain’s gardens bloom this year
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Danny Lezer, owner of small gardening business Seed Sloth, and his dog Teddy, who is very cute but not so helpful when it comes to fulfilling orders
Thousands of people have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic this year. But some have seen this as an opportunity to start on a new path.
Danny Lezer is one of these enterprising individuals. After being made redundant at the start of the first lockdown, he decided he had nothing to lose by making a career out of his favourite hobby: gardening.
As it turns out, this couldn’t have been better timed. Lockdown saw us all become a nation of gardeners, and Danny was there to help.
Here, he shares his story, and explains how we can help him and other small businesses during this time.
Danny says that growing vegetables is a great way to become more sustainable and it’s something the entire family can get involved in
32-year-old Danny Lezer from Hertfordshire had spent years in digital business management, gradually rising through the ranks. His career seemed to be going well.
‘I’ve always worked in digital and eComm roles and prior to setting up my own business I worked as a digital business manager,’ says Danny.
‘In previous roles, I’d also created new brands and directed small businesses, which I think planted the seed (no pun intended) for me wanting to run my own business.’
Like many others throughout the UK, Danny lost his job when the pandemic hit. But this wasn’t necessarily bad news for him.
Armed with an idea and the necessary know-how, he decided to use this opportunity to set up a business of his own.
He joined eBay’s rapidly growing community of small businesses in April and set up Seed Sloth, through which he sells vegetable and flower seeds, as well as growing kits for novice gardeners.
Going it alone gave Danny the control he never had when he worked as part of a large corporation, which is something he really enjoys.
He says: ‘I love the freedom. In my working life, there was always someone who would say no; “you can’t do this because the brand team say no”, or “you can’t do that because the commercial guys say no.”
‘When it’s your own brand, corporate rules and red tape don’t exist. You can just run with anything and learn as you go, scaling up what works and stopping what doesn’t.
‘It’s liberating, fast-paced and exciting as innovation comes thick and fast in all aspects of the business.’
But that hasn’t been the only perk.
The timing of Seed Sloth’s launch was fortuitous; while many businesses struggled as the pandemic took hold, Danny’s green-fingered enterprise touched on the nation’s lockdown love of gardening – and business has been blooming.
‘I think lockdown has probably helped Seed Sloth succeed as everyone has started thinking about their living spaces and working environments now that they’re at home more,’ says Danny. ‘They want their homes to be functional and productive spaces, and so are turning to gardening.
‘Growing vegetables is also a great way to become more sustainable and it’s something the entire family can get involved in.’
Sow some joy in your garden with these top-selling easy growers from Seed Sloth.
Small businesses, big ideas
Danny and his popular Seed Sloth Cat Nip Grow Kits. Even Teddy the dog seems to be a fan!
For Danny, being able to play a part in this blooming trend for sustainable living and gardening has been a privilege, and it’s something he couldn’t have done without eBay.
He says: ‘I didn’t have the funds for a bricks and mortar store, so I knew Seed Sloth would be an online business from the get-go. For me, eBay was easy to use and the exposure it’s given me has helped my idea grow.’
Thanks to his online presence, Danny has been able to tap into the increasing numbers of people who prefer to shop over the internet rather than hit the high street.
This has not only helped his sales, but it’s enabled him to still offer the tailored, personalised service we all love about small businesses.
‘As an online business trading during a pandemic, my communications with customers are entirely virtual,’ Danny explains. ‘It’s been amazing as it’s given me the chance to get to know people from all over the country, whereas if I’d had a physical store, I’d only have met people from my local community (and may not have been able to keep my shop open at all!)’.
From pretty flowers to tasty vegetables, Danny loves encouraging his customers to try new things and fall in love with gardening
Keen gardeners from across the country have been coming to Danny for starter kits and advice, and he now has a community of loyal repeat customers who rely on him for their hobby.
He’s even started a small social media trend thanks to one of his products. ‘I love making my grow kits, and the cat nip ones have been a real hit online,’ he says. ‘Customers have been sharing photos of their cats enjoying the cat nip they’ve grown which is really cute.’
Danny feels a real sense of pride in seeing people take such joy from something he’s made.
As a small business owner, it’s also a real confidence boost: ‘When you think about the work you’ve put into creating a product and that’s been perceived to be good enough for someone to purchase, that’s a huge compliment.
‘It means they love your product enough to spend their money on it and that’s an amazing feeling.
‘By buying small, you’re directly supporting those behind the business – the ones who are creating the products you love and providing the service you deserve.’
Until December 31, 2020, eBay is running a Pay As You Grow scheme meaning any first-time business seller registering on ebay.co.uk will pay no fees to get started and will only begin to start paying as they grow.
Find out more here.
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