From laid-off server to business owner in six months

Posted at 6:19 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 07:46:36-05

TUCSON, Ariz.-- While many people are trying to survive the pandemic, one local business owner is thriving because of it. Brandon Rakowski is the owner of Casita Verde.

He says his road to success wasn’t easy. Rakowski says he went from being laid off as a server in March to becoming a successful business owner in September.

“People are staying home and taking care of their plants. That’s really the newest hottest thing right now,” Rakowski told KGUN9.

Rakowski says he’s always had a green thumb, so when he was laid off because of the pandemic, he turned to what made him happy, gardening.

“I noticed that in Tucson there wasn't really many houseplant places that were houseplant explicit so I was traveling to Phoenix to find the next coolest thing,” he added.

Before he knew it, friends were putting in orders. So he, alongside his girlfriend, had to get creative to keep up with the demand.

“We started selling out of our carport. That grew out of control and now we have a storefront. There’s a whole culture around it. People are trying to collect the new rare thing,” he said.

Isabel Atencio, a plant enthusiast, is one of them.

“I love plants. I’ve been actually looking for the string of pearls forever. So I’m excited to take these home, finally,” said Atencio.

Inside Casita Verde you can find outdoor and indoor plants, pottery, and tools like the moisture meter to help you know how wet the soil is. Rakowski will even re-pot your plants for free. Here’s some advice to keep your plants looking their best.

“Give it sunlight, water it regularly and pay attention to it,” as Rakowski. As far as his secret to success during the pandemic:

“I just kept doing what made me happy and eventually it led me to this. I’m very thankful and I would never have seen this happening," he told KGUN9.