By Hannah George By Hannah George | November 27, 2023 | Home & Real Estate People Lifestyle Feature Features Home & Real Estate Featured Lifestyle Feature Culture Feature Community People Feature Home & Real Estate Feature Creators Interviews City Life Home Feature
Fresh off the opening of a brand-new store in El Cajon, Momma Pots founder and CEO Blaine Tiongson is blossoming with her designer plant accessories.
Momma Pots founder Blaine Tiongson; PHOTO BY SHAY STUDIOS
For San Diegan Blaine Tiongson, growing is changing, and the entrepreneur did just that when a car accident brought her life in the restaurant industry to a screeching halt. “Looking for reconnection after so much change, I returned to my roots, cultivating a magnificent garden at my San Diego home with many, many plants,” recalls Tiongson. “I decided to pour my creative spirit into making beautiful vessels that would inspire others to connect with nature too.” From there, Momma Pots was born in 2017 in Tiongson’s San Diego garage. Since then, the designer plant accessories brand has sold more than 1 million products and can be found in over 700 retailers worldwide. Here, the green-thumbed entrepreneur discusses growing her business through sunshine and storms.
You recently opened your first store in El Cajon. Tell us about it.
It’s a 700-square-foot retail shop designed by our friends at Flourish Interior Design. The idea is to create a place where the local community and enthusiasts of Momma Pots can come together, offering a wide selection of top-quality pots and tools for plant care and fostering a sense of inspiration to connect with nature.
What is the most fulfilling part of running your own business?
Everyone told me I was out of my mind starting a pottery business. I ignored the noise, I put my head down and worked my ass off, and I was rewarded with a business that is my passion. Learning from that experience, I will always encourage, share, help and motivate others. It’s so exciting to have a successful, self-made business from hard work, dedication and a lot of sacrifices.
Granite pieces from the Momma Pots Gemstone Collection; PHOTO BY SHAY STUDIOS
What is your advice for plant-owning newbies?
Begin with more robust/hearty plant varieties. Opt for low-maintenance, easy-to-grow plants initially and familiarize yourself with your home environment and the specific needs of the plant you choose. Don’t be afraid to experiment and observe the results, as, let’s face it, we’ve all been members of the Plant Killers Anonymous club at some point. You’ll gain valuable knowledge through trial and error. Some beginner-friendly options include Sansevieria, ZZ plants, pothos and dracaena.
What’s on your holiday wishlist?
We just bought a new house, and a lot of the landscaping is commercial. All I want is a big, luscious green garden. Big on my wishlist is a picked flower garden; I will plant lots of bulbs and seeds with different blooming seasons so that flowers will bloom all year long. Also, I wish for a bunch of Protea plants and a lily pond!
We just purchased our forever dream home, and we are spending time making it the most beautiful place to live and thrive. I will create a bountiful veggie garden with chickens and my very own ‘she-shed.’ I couldn’t be more excited for the future!