A Journal exploring the value of plants and flowers
30-01-2018 Incubation Programme

Introducing Class 2: Blumixx

Words by Kelsey Lee Jones

Photos by Let it Grow

In our latest interview introducing our Incubation Programme startups, we speak with Heinrich Gräbig one third of Blumixx.

Many residents of German cities are living in apartments with balconies. And they’re known for making the most of this precious outdoor space, for relaxing or creating overflowing gardens. A balcony garden has the potential to become a veritable ecosystem – however, if neglected, things can get rather bleak. That’s where Blumixx comes in: the startup that claims to have created the world’s easiest urban greenery solution, offering all kinds of gardening gear, so that everyone (even the busiest, and the laziest among us) can achieve a blooming balcony all year round.

Let’s talk about green in your native Germany?

Even though Germany is right next to the Netherlands, flowers and plants don’t play such a prominent role. They’re less important for the national economy in relation to the gross volume. However, in Germany people are moving to cities more and more. Our biggest cities have many urban gardening projects, offering ways to make people more independent from the food industry.

What plant problems that inspired you to start Blumixx?

Our idea occurred pretty much when we learned how much work it is to green a balcony. We feel that there is not enough knowledge when it comes to flowers and plants and that it’s too much work. When it came to solutions for balcony greenery there was a lack of viable alternatives. So we decided to come up with something. We started by ordering plants from different retailers in order to discover how they solved the shipping challenge, the results were unsatisfying. To evaluate alternative ideas we began shipping plants in different packaging. At some point, Jan came up with the idea to work with the textile net, and we’re still using it. We arrived at the Blumixx Bag. We figured out custom packaging to save on shipping too. We’re happy that the textile net is now produced using an organic and biodegradable material, and we’re shipping ornaments, herbs and evergreen plants utilising it.

How do you contribute to greening the city?

It’s our first priority. The Blumixx Bag is a direct urban greenery solution – so every sale means one more green spot somewhere in a city. To accelerate this process we make sure that the customer would not have any hassle with ordering and handling our product. It has never been easier to green a balcony!

Who makes up your green team?

The team is made up of Sarah, Jan and I. We’ve been a team for five years already. While studying entrepreneurship we were always looking for opportunities, Sarah has a lot of knowledge in flowers and plants so we felt that the green sector was perfect for us.

“We’re keen to support green and to fight grey with guerilla tools.”

Could you tell us all about the many cool gardening products you’ve come to sell?

We have so much to offer the urban gardener. To offer the full range of products needed to kit out balconies we connect with manufacturers who produce new items, and we also cooperate with other startups to improve our product range. We’re keeping up with ongoing trends like urban gardening. We’re keen to support green and to fight grey with guerilla tools. We sell everything from compost tea – a vegan and organic fertilizer for protecting plants (like a tea bag in a pot, the compost tea is hanged into the watering can) – to seed bombs, gardening belts, mini greenhouses, and so much more…

Envision the perfect balcony for us...

Well, a balcony is not just a balcony. They differ in size and form, they always depend on the building they are attached to and on how they are utilized. I think that the perfect balcony is unpredictable… I do however like to read on my balcony, I want it to be cosy and nice up there. We always recommend flower boxes that are easy to handle in terms of watering, plants that have the ability to attract bees, and of course, a comfortable chair for reading.

 

What do you think is so attractive about plant subscriptions?

A plant subscription model is a great subscription model… because of the plants. Plants are so much more important than most other stuff people are subscribing to nowadays. The advantage of subscriptions is that the revenue is recurring and therefore plannable. In times of full-service, the customer does not need to put time and effort into buying plants over and over again. It’s basically: win-win.

What have you learned so far on the Incubation Programme?

We have become better in prioritising tasks, which has helped us progress faster. This is thanks to having a great mentor and a lot of valuable input by all the other startups. We feel that we already made some important contacts who can help us raise the Blumixx Bag to a whole new level bringing to the other European markets. Watch this space!

 

Each week we’ll be introducing someone new from our Incubation Programme. Make sure to check back and follow the journey.

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