Updated: Feb 9
For our next ONEOFTHE8 story, we somehow managed to shoehorn ourselves into the jam-packed schedule of doting mother, travel junkie, entrepreneur and creator of Pow Pots (‘plant pots with panache’) Nathalie Gibbins. Born in Blighty, raised in the Costa del Sol, educated in London before putting down roots (for now) in the rainy city of Manchester where she celebrates pattern and colour whatever the weather.
“You kind of just have to feel your way… and it’s life isn’t it? I suppose it just takes you on its journey”
Chatting casually about where she found herself after her studies in journalism, Nathalie reminisces about her successful early career as a commercial Journo in health, cosmetics and travel for a portfolio of impressive titles including Now, Superdrug and Zest. We explore the memoirs of her freelance work, jetting over the Hawaiian volcanoes via helicopter and suffering a broken collarbone at the fate of a particularly intrepid boat trip in Serbia. Then we navigate around the nostalgia of her move to Manchester where she ended up at the editorial helm of ecommerce fashion brand, Little Black Dress which, at the time, was a burgeoning start-up business and has since been a huge success with ambassadors like Alisha Dixon as allies.
You might assume that somebody with such a prosperous career must have had a meticulous plan of action set out from the start but in her charming, chilled-out way, Nathalie prescribes it all to a sense of destiny. Career advice wasn’t really a luxury she was afforded during her years in education but hey, “you just kind of have to feel your way…and it’s life isn’t it? I suppose it just takes you on it’s journey”, she says.
As if to prove the point, when we delve into how and why she chose to take the leap from the traditional desk-job career path to becoming her own boss, she explains: “well, I had a baby!” and it doesn’t take another parent to know this is one hell of a pivotal turning point. Spending her maternity period back in Malaga, where she grew up after her dad moved the family there to set up a real estate business, Nathalie lapped up headspace, clarity and time to think - in amongst the sleepless nights of course. It was this injection of time spent out of the shackles of 9-5 employment - and a heap of Instagram inspiration - that led Nathalie to birth her second baby, Pow Pots.
“Plant pots with panache!”
Nathalie moved back to Manchester with baby Beatrix (Bee for short) and partner Dan and that’s when Pow Pots really started to bloom. The main focus for the business - which offers contemporary alternatives to traditional plant pots - was always “to bring joy into people’s lives and homes” and use the power of colour to do this. Gorgeous plants are a dime a dozen these days but Nathalie identified that “sadly, plant pots are lagging behind”.
Now, before we lose you at one more mention of plant pots, please be aware that these aren’t just any old pots. These are hand-decorated pots with serious attitude, subliminal levels of style and an effortless chicness that emanates from their inspiration in their mother’s love of symmetry, Scandinavian design, simple bright colours and graphic patterns. In fact, look more closely at the ‘Ziggy’ pot and you’ll see how Nathalie finds inspiration and a spark of something special even in the most mundane objects - road signs no less. “It’s hard now not to look at something and get inspired by it”, she zealously explains and when asked how she finds such bountiful inspiration, she simply responds: “It’s a lifetime of love, pattern and colour” - otherwise known as ‘the little things’ many of us are often guilty of neglecting.
“It’s hard now not to look at something and get inspired by it”
The pots are made using fibreclay, meaning they’re sustainable and breathable and therefore a real boon for the environment and its potted virtues. Every single one is hand-painted in a local studio, under the watchful eye of little Bee who embellishes her own miniature plant pots with Crayola as her mum and her studio accomplice work their magic.
Pow Pots has joined forces with luxury florist, Frog and stole the limelight with a Selfridges concession. The pots are set to be showcased at festivals around the country on Mister Monsteras “plant mobile on wheels”. Nathalie has a book in the pipeline, new ranges on the horizons and a gorgeous little girl growing up under her wing. Talk about blossoming.
Her secret to being so calm and collected, and successful? Just keep it simple. “I haven’t been bogged down in the details. It’s all very simple from the patterns to the business model. I think when you’ve got that, it can really help you stay focused”.
“White sands, green pine forests, turquoise seas”
As is customary with all ONEOFTHE8 guests, we wanted to tap into what fuels Nathalie’s fire, and what whets her appetite. Sources of inspiration look different for everybody - for some it’s a bowl of spaghetti, for others it’s a monumental life-changing event. In our Plant Pot Aficionado’s case, it’s colour. Not just the hue of a wall or the shade of lipstick on a billboard but the world’s entire colour palette - the technicolour spectrum of chroma which can be found in every sunset, every landscape, every tide… every road sign!
When we asked where she finds her inspiration, Nathalie paid homage to her late father and his risk-taking daredevil-ry when it came to starting his own business but then strayed onto the topic of travel. More specifically, the surfing town of Tarifa on the Southernmost coast of Spain where she sporadically spends weekends riding the waves with her family. She recalls the “white sands, green pine forests, turquoise seas” and enables her listeners to conjure quite the kaleidoscopic vision. She recollects her fondest flashbacks by the tints they were cast in, almost like she’s compiling her own archive of Pantone references from her life’s journey so far. The woman who thinks in colour.
If you’d like to find out more about Nathalie’s love affair with the rainbow or how she frog-leaped from fashion to flora accessories, make sure to catch her episode on the ONEOFTHE8 podcast. If you’re in the market for a plant pot with panache, head to the Pow Pots website to shop the range and don’t forget to share your snaps by tagging @pow_pots on Instagram.