Not everyone can take their passion and transform it into an award-winning business, but that’s exactly what Odi Reuveni has done. An entrepreneur and problem-solver, Odi founded CUP O FLORA in 2014 to help plants lovers who struggle to keep their plants alive. We caught up with Odi to understand more about his life as a small business owner.
Tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur
Since early age, I have been passionate about plants. My parents always loved plants, and from my teenage years, I loved working in the garden and having pots around. I think having green around me calmed me down.
I’ve done many things in my life, and some of my most enjoyable ventures involved working for myself – from selling ice cream in North Carolina to driving taxis in Perth. I loved the challenge of being responsible for my income and was never afraid of hard work. CUP O FLORA is the happy marriage of my love of business and my love of plants.
How did CUP O FLORA come about?
Five years ago I was laid off from a previous job and found myself with some money in the bank and some extra time between job applications. Three months prior, I was travelling in South America, where I saw a small, plastic, self-watering pot, which had a variety of plants sucking the water through a wick from the bottom container. I was amazed that a plant could live in this environment.
I always wanted to create a new business and felt that this was my chance. I spent the next few months talking to designers and manufacturers about turning the basic model into an attractive product for the Australian market. At the same time, I engaged with a designer to come up with the logo and self-built the CUP O FLORA website.
I soon realised that plastic may not be the best material and started to explore working with glass. I had to change the original design to fit the glass production method and ended up with a simple yet effective product. The clear glass lets pot owners see the water level without opening the pot and adding water only once it runs out.
What has been one of the highlights of your business so far?
Winning the Good Design Award® last year was a great endorsement of the product and the business I built. I was humbled to have professional designers decide they were worthy of this prestigious award.
What do you enjoy about running your own business?
Enjoying what I do carries me through the slow times and allows me to develop the vision I have for the business. I love working for myself and knowing that both success and failure are the results of my actions.
But the biggest thrill is when customers tell me about their experience. I love stories from people who, for the first time, were able to keep their favourite plant alive. CUP O FLORA was always designed to be a gift that keeps giving, and it feels good to know that it’s fulfilling its design objectives.
You use QuickBooks to manage your business finances. Why?
I needed a simple web-based software that could handle stock, invoicing and payroll. I found QuickBooks to be a cost-effective solution, with plenty of support for the business owner.
What features of QuickBooks do you use the most?
I love the way QuickBooks tracks stock. We carry several different items, and it’s essential to know how many we have of each. I set up QuickBooks built-in alerts to signal when stock needs replenishing.
Why did you turn to a digital accounting software solution?
From the start, CUP O FLORA was set up as a paperless business and having a digital accounting solution was a must. Having a cloud-based software and documents means that my entire office goes with me wherever I go and can be accessed from my mobile phone, tablet or computer anywhere.
What advice would you give fellow entrepreneurs?
Always follow your passion but be realistic about growth. Understand how much money you need to invest upfront and how much would be required as you progress, as revenue may take time to start flowing. Make sure you never stop experimenting and learning from past mistakes.