Secateur Me Baby was one of the many clever, creative businesses born out of Melbourne’s long string of lockdowns. While some of us made banana bread and worked on puzzles, Mike Sullivan invested in growing his houseplant collection.
Mike had already started an Instagram page to dedicated to indoor plants and composting, when he had the light-bulb moment that turned his hobby for horticulture into a full-time business.
‘I was looking at my Monstera when it hit [me] like a lightning bolt – a sculptural plant stake to complement a lovely plant,’ Mike explains.
His innovative stakes feature visually intriguing curves, designed to interact and intertwine with the plant, while supporting their growth in the wavy structures. Unlike the average plant stake, they’re also colourful and unexpectedly sculptural. In bright hues of orange, blue and purple, these vibrant objects help enhance the lush greenery of a leafy houseplant, rather than fade into its foliage!
‘I wanted to emphasise a style of playfulness with practicality,’ Mike adds. ‘The design is a slight ode to nostalgia, something familiar, a beam of happiness. I take inspiration from whatever is around me, nature, film, music, even food.’
Despite having studied business at university and working as a coffee buyer at the time, Mike had always been creative. ‘I always loved tinkering with wood as a medium and getting my hands on any tools within reach,’ he says. Using a ‘very old jigsaw and drill’, he created the very first WAVE I plant stake from his garage!
But his business has come a long way since. Secateur Me Baby has graduated to a professional studio in Kensington, with a full line of stakes made from wood, recycled plastic, and steel, in addition to some new homewares. This year, Mike also ‘unlocked the challenge’ of re-recycling his plastic off-cuts to create a closed-loop system – giving these scraps a second life as the brand’s HEAT stake.
‘There is a lot of plastic on this planet, so by using it in formats like our plant stakes promotes a message for using sustainable materials whilst keeping plastic out of landfill,’ he explains.
Impressively, Mike’s still ‘rocking it solo’ across his venture so far, learning the ins and outs of product design as he goes along. But it’s his positive ‘I’ll give it a go’ attitude and passion that’s helped make Secateur Me Baby so unique, transforming the humble plant stake into something worth smiling about.