Planting by Design: Couple marry passions to create a growing garden-meets-interior-design business
Eric Coore is an engineer by profession and has a strong interest in woodwork. His wife, Kaya, has a career in science but she is also a plant devotee. Together, the pair married their passions to produce a unique business model that specialises in both greenery and interior design.
“The first product that we had was a planter box. My husband made the wooden box and I was able to put the plants that I love so much in it,” Kaya told Saturday Living. Having had a love for plants for as long as she could remember, she grew up cutting flowers from the garden and putting them in her room. Her passion transcended her garden and became a topic of discussion in other green spaces.
“I was initially into roses and hibiscus, as well as house plants. But, over time, the collection grew, and I have settled on succulents. So the entire greenhouse is filled with succulents.
But this ‘once upon a time’ planting meet interior design story began on a romantic note between the years of 2013 and 2014. Kaya was up to her ‘hands’ in gardening duties when she decided to take her leisurely activity inside in order to bring a refreshing look and feel to their personal space. She recalled there being a limited supply of quality indoor potting available at the time, so her husband did what any lover would do: he decided to save the day ingeniously.
Eric came up with a brilliant solution to the interior problem by creating a wooden casing of sorts for his wife’s plants in their apartment. They proved to be very durable and suitable for the location, leaving elegantly chic and aesthetically appealing impressions for all to see.
“I’ve always wanted to start a business, but I was never sure about what I would do. I always loved woodworking and I studied interior design at HEART Academy, so this was the natural route to go. But I’m glad it came about while I was helping my wife,” Eric said.
The husband-and-wife duo took their creation on the road. And spectators marvelled at the innovation. They initially provided products for stores like H&L Rapid True Value and Evergrow Garden Centre. While they received positive feedback and were grateful for such motivating reviews, many were unaware that they were actual creators.
The experience of pivoting through a tough time with a client gave birth to Octavia. “I wanted to take the outdoors in, on each person’s desk. So I sat down and came up with the design of the Octavia triple planter and the Octavia singles. Those products took the place by storm. People were so impressed by them, it was a great feeling,” Eric shared. They received rave reviews at a craft show held at Grovesnor Gallery in St Andrew and haven’t looked back since.
Seeing the importance of brand awareness, the expert curations soon led to the introduction of Kabreco Designs. “We did shows like Moda Market, Jamaica Made, and Expo Jamaica, in the past, while working full-time. But I walked away from my career at the hospital in December of 2020 to focus on building the business,” Kaya revealed.
Since its inception, the couple has grown from the planter box, expanding the portfolio to include wooden accessories to complement the home and the office. From plant stands, desk caddies, and key chains to key holders, monogram phones and pen holders, lamps, cutting boards, and end tables, the designs are customised and tailored to your taste. Customers have brought their visions to the couple with the requests to make it happen. And the team follows suit in fantastic fashion.
Eric is not the average woodworker, according to his proud wife. She explained that his knowledge and background ensure that the products won’t fall apart. “You have products that look good which can’t stand the test of time. So, this is one of our competitive advantages,” she said. He continues to be supportive of his wife and her ample plant collection.
The creative process, from the design standpoint, is based on extensive research. “So we know that the cedar is a better wood in terms of longevity; it is also termite-resistant. I wanted to use cactus and succulent plants to rival orchids contained in such a way that it could bring life indoors on a desk or in the house,” she stated.
As far as the design aspect goes, he takes his inspiration from the European construct and tries to infuse an island vibe and energy into the mix, “I let the wood speak to me, figuring out the functionality while making the pieces classy and timeless” he said.
The plant-inspired products come with caring tips because Kaya believes in preserving plant life at all costs. “I really don’t want the plants to die. I’m almost a reluctant seller at times because I don’t want the plant to die,” she added.
One of their biggest clients to date is Sagicor, who gifted about 170 people with their plants. They also enjoyed working with KERRYmanwomanhome, who has carried their brand. With high quality and customer satisfaction at the core of the business, it is their dream to one day collaborate with visual artists on paintings.
Follow the company on Instagram: @kabrecodesigns for more information.