Founder's Notes: LAPS AROUND CALIFORNIA - March 2024

Founder's Notes: LAPS AROUND CALIFORNIA - March 2024

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Now, back to some updates from March. 

On March 7, I found this Karl Blossfeldt photograph from his book, "Karl Blossfeldt: Masterworks." 



The image is called, "Acanthus mollis, bear’s breeches, flowering stem with bracts, flowers removed."

A single image depicts a linear stack of 3 large flower buds that work together to create a tower of structure, pattern and incredible detail. A single syndicate that creates wonder and awe in a single photograph.

The photographs in this book were primarily used by the artist as a teaching aid, but have since been acknowledged as one of the finest bodies of work of early 20th century photography. 

It’s an image that I kept in mind through an extremely busy month, and something that resonated with me as I continue to navigate and define Marly’s place in this world. 


Palm Springs 

I drove to Palm Springs to meet with a few of the hotel groups that have staked their pieces of the desert to see if we could get (more in some cases) Marly’s on to their properties as an easier way for them to care for their plants at scale. 

The climate is harsh out there but the perfect landscape to illustrate the eco-friendly properties of Marly.

The trip was rewarding and allowed me to focus on Palm Springs as a destination for Marly. It’s a location that resonates with the various camps that Marly appeals to - design, modernism and hospitality - and I’m excited to explore relationships in the desert further with those communities. 


Expo West 

Walking around this huge trade show, it was awesome to see how brands were positioning themselves by way of product innovation, spend (obviously), and differentiation. 

Meeting with other founders and seeing the directions that their brands were taking provided some valuable lessons on the demand to continually evolve in order to stand out from the crowd. 

The trip gave me a lot of ideas for offerings beyond our existing physical products. 

Providing ongoing, in-person plant care services to both commercial and private clients being one of them. More on that later…




I feel very lucky to have visited and stayed in a very remote part of California called Bolinas. 

This small town is made up of a community trying so hard to protect the California that once was. A land of misfits who are more than happy living life on their terms, in solidarity with their natural surroundings. They don’t subscribe to the volatility of San Francisco and its ways. 



It was an inspiring change of pace that allowed me to remind myself of a natural world that is in so many ways being lost.

If Marly can carry the spirit of Bolinas even just a little, then I will be satisfied with the direction we are taking. 



We met with half a dozen architecture and interior design firms to pitch our product and its technology. All of which was a first for me.

This is coming at an optimal time as we recently discovered that there was a reorganization inside of our procurement agency, who will no longer be representing their accessory brands (which Marly qualifies as). 



What I’ve learned about the commercial furniture industry is that contracts take a long time to procure, and for agents of those brands, the margins are often thinner than comfortable, making the juice not worth the squeeze in some cases or just very challenging to build a business on. 

It was an initially unwelcome development, but an experience that has been eye-opening, and fingers crossed, fruitful.


Prowl Studios 

As a way to remain in close contact with our now former procurement agent, Holland (its founder) had lined up a week of meetings with some of their existing clients as well as hosting a bio-plastics workshop with Materials Library and duo Lauryn Menard and Baile Mishler of Prowl Studios. 

PROWL has been friends of Marly ever since being introduced 2.5 years ago by GANTRI founder, Ian Yang. We may have even spoken about creating products together in the near future… 



Lauryn and Bailey toured us through their new space and began showing us all the incredible materials that make up their research and practice(s). After the tour, Lauryn, who is also a professor at CCA, took the group through an experiment that involved creating our own bio plastics. 

A simple combination of gelatin, vegetable glycerin, a little bit of water and a combination of other organic matter of our choice. I chose oranges for my concoction. 

It was a refreshing way to get to know someone’s practice and share conversations and ideas with architects and designers from some of the largest agencies in the Bay, working on some of the largest, most impactful projects on the planet. 

Again, it was grounding to think about Marly’s place in this huge ecosystem of ideas.


Nursery and Plant Shop Relationships (Distributors)

Coming out of these past few weeks of meetings, conversations, demos and market research is that most of our clients are looking for a turnkey solution when it comes to gardening and growing plants. 

Through this process of getting to know this market, I’ve found it to be increasingly fragmented, antiquated and increasingly opaque. What concerns me most is that there are different companies that make the product, versus those that grow the plants, versus those that procure the plants, versus those that end up taking care of those plants. 

Not only that but there is very little interaction between each of these partners and each of those stages. What Marly wants to do is syndicate the entire process. 

Why can’t we be the designers of the environment by filling space with products that we design, with partners that we trust and are a part of our community? I want to go beyond selling planters, to source our clients the best plants for their space with ongoing plant care services on the backend. 

Over the course of this trip and through a process of getting in touch with local nurseries that can help us provide additional services to our customers, we have found our first distributor in the Bay Area. This partner will help us fulfill orders that come from Northern California clientele as well as be able to provide plants and ongoing plant support to those clients who choose to use Marly for their ongoing plant care needs. 

We want to make it easier for clients everywhere to create green space, wherever they are. 

If you, or someone you know - a business, an individual, a hospital, library, co-working space - needs help growing their plants, let us know. 

We have a growing community that is responsible for saving plants everywhere. We’d love to be of service :)


Innovation, Community & Care, Together.

March has yielded an awesome amount of adventure, connections and possibilities. 

Just as the Blossfeldt photograph unveiled the intricate interplay of structure, pattern and detail within nature, our own endeavors at Marly are seemingly to weave together threads of innovation, community and care. 

From Palm Springs to Bolinas, each encounter has reinforced the importance of cultivating meaningful connections with both the environment and the communities we serve. 

Whether it’s collaborating with hotels to integrate Marly’s solutions into their spaces or engaging in dialogue with architects and designers in San Francisco, the common thread is our commitment to creating spaces that thrive with nature. 

As we move through another month at Marly, our vision is getting clearer: to become the architects of green environments, bringing products, partners and services together that breathe life into every space. 

By bridging the gap between product creation, plant cultivation and ongoing care, Marly aims to offer a holistic solution that empowers clients to bring more green into their spaces wherever they may be. 

Just as the Acanthus mollis blooms with grace and precision, so too shall Marly nurture environments that inspire wonder and vitality. 

Join in on this journey, and together, let’s cultivate a world where every space blossoms. 

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