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Monique brings green into your home

    Following your dream and starting your own plant shop. You have to dare to do it. Plant enthusiast Monique (30) opened her shop The Green Submarine in the Sint Annastraat in Breda. From small cuttings to large unique plant eye-catchers, you can find them in Monique's cosy, green urban jungle. "My shop is an extension of my living room."

    Green fingers

    “I come from Boskoop, a village known for its nurseries. My father was a gardener back then, and by the time I was twelve, I was already cutting cuttings. I studied tourism at NHTV, but I couldn't see myself working at a travel agency. After that, I moved towards the marketing side and worked for various companies. I didn't necessarily have the ambition to start my own business, but I knew I wanted to do something with my creativity and my green fingers.”

    That's when Monique came across the building in the Sint Annastraat, where she opened the doors of The Green Submarine in July 2021 - inspired by the famous song by The Beatles - for the first time.

    'Girl from the plant shop'

    “I wasn't actually looking for a place for myself, but as I walked through the Sint Annastraat, I saw that this property was for rent. I had always thought it would be nice to start something with a homely atmosphere, but I didn't yet know what that ‘something’ should be. That's when the idea for a plant shop came around. Homely, accessible; truly an extension of my own living room. At first, I wanted to remain anonymous and provide my green tips and advice online. But one thing led to another. Now I can offer advice in my own shop, The Green Submarine, and I am truly ‘the girl from the plant shop’.”

    And then another lockdown came. “People could pick up plants, and they could still ask for advice. But all sales were done through Instagram and my website.” These are still important channels for Monique. She buys plants on request, and she mainly receives those requests via Instagram.

    I couldn't deny anymore that having plants became a serious hobby.

    Out of hand hobby

    We probably don't need to tell you that Monique has green fingers and is a plant freak. "When I moved into my own place, I made it cosy with plants. At one point, I had so many that a 'plant ban' was not a luxury. Then I started propagating and things escalated. I couldn't deny anymore that having plants became a serious hobby."

    Monique has all sorts of special plants in her shop and also gives advice on how to care for plants and where to place them best, for example. "But I don't know everything, by far," Monique laughs. "I learn something new about plants every day, and that's what makes it so enjoyable." In addition to her physical plant shop, Monique also decorates homes and offices with plants and handles her own marketing. "That makes my work pleasantly diverse."

    Sustainable business

    “If you invest in plants and take good care of them with the right advice, plants can last for years. It's such a waste if plants are in the wrong place and for example, they don't get enough light. Then you might throw them away after three months. Not sustainable at all,” Monique explains. At The Green Submarine, you can also find second-hand pots, watering cans, and glass plant misters instead of plastic. Additionally, Monique uses organic potting soil and ecological pesticides. "Where I can be sustainable, I try to operate sustainably."


    “I really enjoy connecting with other entrepreneurs from Breda. Together with Emma from Studio Emma Sofia, we designed ceramic bowls that can be hung on your radiator. And with my neighbour from Sint Annastraat, Sarah from SAARBARBAARS, we developed plant pot mats. All the entrepreneurs in the street are really nice. We often have coffee together in the sun before the shops open, and on Friday afternoons we always manage to meet for a drink. This way, you still have colleagues, even though you run a shop on your own. I wouldn't want my shop to be anywhere else but here. This little street is so friendly, it feels like you're in a village.”