House plants are more popular than ever as a beautiful means of bringing a space to life. In fact, it’s hard to find a home that doesn’t have at least one leafy green resident.
Hamilton small business Rustic Succulents knows that as well as anyone; and owner, curator, and creator Cheri Lyn Villeneuve treats her plant arrangements like individual works of art.
Cheri dreams up every detail of her caringly crafted arrangements, from concept all the way up to execution and final product including thoughtfully selected pots and vessels; hand-selected succulents, cacti, and house plant varietals; and any other finishing touches to complete the picture.
Well before Rustic Succulents was even a thought in her head, though, Cheri was a driven entrepreneur traversing numerous different industries and positions, arriving in Hamilton as a new resident in 2012.
As Rustic Succulents social media manager John Gorman tells me, it was shortly after Cheri’s arrival in the Hammer that her life took an unexpected turn.
“She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, which had an impact on her health and mobility,” says John. “Within the clutch of her disease, she was searching for something that would give her renewed hope.”
With Cheri’s illness taking her away from her previous work life, it was after chatting with her son that the initial seeds of the idea for Rustic Succulents began to take shape, blending Cheri’s skills from her time growing up on a farm with her passion for art and creativity.
The idea for this small business could be a way to keep Cheri feeling productive; work she could accomplish with as few barriers and as much joy as possible.
From there, Rustic Succulents began to take humble shape in 2018, with Cheri making her first creative succulent arrangements as party favours for a family friend’s bridal shower.
The response was so encouraging that Cheri began networking with other Hamilton small businesses and ended up registering as a vendor at the Ancaster Fair. It was there she truly realized how viable her passion project could be as a growing business: her booth completely sold out on the fair’s third day.
Rustic Succulents has been steadily growing ever since, with Cheri and John earning a loyal customer base and finding new supporters every single day.
Building unique custom arrangements for hand-selected succulents, cacti, house plants, and more, Rustic Succulents also keeps a tight relationship with its clients, with Cheri offering free succulent and plant care advice at all times of day and working closely with customers in order to craft their dream arrangements.
The business has also begun offering private potting classes and workshops, where as few as a handful of people or as many as 50 attendees get experience with the planting, potting, and creative arrangement process of building an attractive succulent arrangement themselves.
Guests are equipped with work stations as well as a variety of different pots and logs to choose from for their arrangements, and Cheri gives hands-on guidance in how to arrange their succulents in ways that are as beautiful as they are cohesive in terms of their care needs, soil type, and watering.
Finishing touches like driftwood, moss, and river rocks are placed on the handmade arrangements, leaving guests of all ages and experience levels with a beautiful souvenir to take home.
It’s clear that Rustic Succulents wants to go the extra mile with a personalized, artistically-focused approach to unique and striking house plant arrangements; and Cheri and John are quick to express how much they value Hamilton as the home for a smaller business they hope will continue to grow in 2022 and well beyond.
“Being a business in Hamilton is unique with a diverse and talented art community,” they say. “Hamiltonian makers understand what it is to be an artist, the tenacity to follow your creative passion.”
Images courtesy of Rustic Succulents