FOSTERING JANA’S START UP
– So tell us about Jana the budding microbiologist, what is microbiology?
So I am currently doing a Bachelor of Science, double major in Microbiology and Biology. Microbiology is looking at all bacteria and viruses, the stuff that most people find gross and is everywhere around us. When I was little I was obsessed by gross facts and had stickers all over my wall with random stuff like “the average human produces over 2 litres of saliva a day” and “stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve razor blades”. I had no idea that there was an area of science that only focused on bacteria and diseases until I was at uni.
– And how did bacteria lead to Microcosm?
Pretty random I know but I love plants, kind of obsessed actually! Other than the fact that I think they are pretty there are heaps of studies showing the benefits of having plants around you. In an urban environment especially where we don’t have as much access to plants and outdoors it is even more important. Stuff like improving air quality, mental health, and from a microbiology perspective they improve the balance of micro-organisms your exposed to. Kinda like kombucha or fermented foods. I started Microcosm as a way to help people have plants in their space, with a focus on small businesses and homes.
– And where does INSACIOUS come in?
Well I liked plants and was always looking at places and thinking “A plant would be great in here!” but it never went any further than that. INSACIOUS took my idea and showed me how it could be a service that I could provide. I had never really thought of doing something before, but after seeing how I could offer people advice on what plants would be good for their space, and then look after the plants for them, or give them the knowledge they need to do it themselves, it kind of just went from there. Pablo was really great at suggesting things I should look into, and giving me ideas to grow my business. The support with branding and website stuff was really good too. I am terrible at tech stuff so having someone to physically chat too was definitely a big help. I could just say how I wanted to come across and what I wanted my website to be used for and then Pablo made that real.
– So whats next for Microcosm?
At the moment I am running regular Plant Parenthood workshops which are going really well. I love meeting people and helping them learn about how to keep their plants happy and starting their plant addiction. Next up I am working to have a retail space. I want to have beautiful handmade pots and plant accessories with a selection of plants you don’t see everywhere. I am having a pop-up shop at INSACIOUS in November so will be exciting “plant the seed”.