Jesse, can you share a little bit of background about yourself?
Sure. I grew up in Toronto. At school I was always bored; I wanted to do things rather than sit around learning about the people who did them. My professional life has included a lot of different jobs –– I’ve worked as a large-format screen printer, an apprentice to a corporate events florist, a cold caller selling ads (which was actually fun), a DJ at raves and clubs (in my heyday when I was way too young to be out all night), and spent too long in the salon industry listening to stylists who believed they were saving the world. I ran social channels for mid-size apparel companies before I started my current role in digital marketing. Now I do that during the day, and play with plants evenings and weekends. I have a wonderfully patient wife and two daughters Grace (7) and Ruby (17 Months).
Tell us about your Instagram feed:
@teenytinyterra is an outlet for me to share my creativity with terrariums, plants, moss and everything tiny. I like to have fun with it and keep things fresh. A lot of my posts are shot from a lighting shelf I installed aquarium lights on. As my plants are all very small, using this platform makes it easy to move things around and create a different feel for each photo. My new apartment has windows facing East, South and West so I’m excited to experiment with capturing all different types of lighting for posts. Luckily my creativity in posts has gotten me some great gigs making terrariums for some big brands and large media events. Teaching 150 fashion influencers how to make little air plant terrariums with my friend Darryl (@houseplantjournal) was a highlight this year.
What is your favorite plant?
Oh, great question. I go through little crushes with plants, but always find my way back to our family's Dwarf Barbados Cherry Bonsai. Making it happy enough to bloom is a fine art that is rewarded with the sweet smell of hundreds of tiny cherry blossoms. When I first met my wife, she had two bonsai and that's what got me seriously into plants.
Any plant care tips you can share?
-Easy on the water! Think of it this way: a person can live close to a week without water, but they'd die if submerged for more than three minutes. Your plants need air too, so don't drown them.
- Know your space and the light within it... Buy plants to suit that light.
-Don't buy a plant without knowing how much light it needs. It’s easier to adjust other conditions, but not as easy to adjust light.
- If you name your plants or dress up your dog, it's time to start thinking about having a kid.
Do you have a green thumb?
Yes, but I believe everyone does. It's about how much you want to invest in making your thumb green, not if you naturally have one. When people say "I kill everything" it’s actually due to a lack of interest.
What's the best gift you've given or received?
When I turned 18, my dad took me out for a birthday dinner with my grandparents. After the main course he gave me a tiny model of a vintage Vespa. I thought it was great and all, but then he threw me a set of keys to a full-size 1967 Vespa. It was a dream to drive when it worked (which was 60% of the time). My love for both miniatures and Vespas began that day. Now I own a 2005 150 cc Vespa. Every model manufactured after that year doesn’t seem to have the brand’s classic look and feel.
Words By The Sill
Empowering all people to be plant people — a collection of articles from The Sill’s team of Plant Experts across a variety of plant care topics to inspire confidence in the next generation of plant parents. Welcome to Plant Parenthood™.