76-Year-Old Loses Husband to COVID, Opens Jersey City Plant Business in His Honor

Starting a business at 76 sounds daunting enough — but for Krishna, a new Jersey City resident who lost her husband to COVID-19, that’s exactly what she did during a global pandemic no less. Krishna Choksi transformed the pain of losing her husband into starting a plant business called Madhuban with the goal of giving back to her home country of India and helping others in the process. Read more to learn about Krishna’s inspiring story of love, loss, and entrepreneurship —plus how you can help give back to India’s COVID-19 crisis through her new plant shop.

A Tragic Loss

             {Photo credit: @madhubanplants}

The current COVID-19 situation in India is disastrous and heartbreaking. Less than 2% of the population is vaccinated, thousands among thousands of people are dying each day, and there is a large shortage of aid. India is suffering from a lack of oxygen supplies, antiviral drugs, and ventilators. Even though this critical aid has been sent from countries all over the world, much of the cargo has been held up with little to no communication from the government. Hospitals are pleading to authorities for help because their patients are slowly dying. Sadly, Krishna’s husband, Madhukar, was one of the COVID-19 victims.

Healing + Growing Through Plants + Giving Back

Krishna, at the age of 76, decided to take control and transform her life. After the death of her husband with whom she spent 55 amazing years, Krishna’s son, a local resident, brought her to Jersey City so they could heal together. What was meant to be a short visit turned into a permanent situation due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in her home country of India.

Not only did she stay, but Krishna also chose to channel her loss and honor her husband’s memory through a plant nursery, forming a new business with a goal to inspire and help others.

That’s when Madhuban was born. Madhuban is a nursery and garden store that, as Krishna explained, “is my dedication to him, an ode to his inner beauty and unwavering spirit that brought a wave of joy wherever he went.”

Read More: Local Non-Profit StacheStrong Raises Over $1 Million for Brain Cancer Research

The Shop

{Photo credit: @madhubanplants}

Madhuban has a variety of plants to choose from including mini bloom, polka dot, aglaonema, coleus, golden pothos, and more. Each plant is given a special name with what it represents and a fun fact to learn about the plant, with all plants carefully curated and filled with love and intention.

Plants can be bought online, and Madhuban currently offers pickup and hand delivery options. The shop hand delivers to Jersey City, Hoboken, and Manhattan. For pick-up, the shop will email you with a scheduled time to pick up your bloom at Exchange Place in Jersey City. Krishna also shared that she is constantly introducing new sets of plants every Thursday.

To give back to the COVID-19 crisis in India, Krishna will be donating all profits received from Madhuban to support the ongoing efforts to battle COVID-19. She works specifically with IAHV, better known as the International Association for Human Values.

Read More: How to Introduce + Keep Indoor Plants in Your Home

How You Can Help

{Photo credit: @madhubanplants}

By purchasing a plant, you’ll be helping Krishna support the crisis in her home country of India as COVID-19 continues to battle the pandemic, with 21.1 positive million cases since the start of the pandemic. Krishna’s goal is to be able to donate 500,000 Rupees or about 3,267 US dollars to India through Madhuban.

“I am feeling so emotional and overwhelmed with all the love you all have showered upon me. So many of my plant babies have found a new home and it makes my heart smile,” she shared on her social media. “It is only with your support I am able to do something for my country being so far away.”

Follow Krishna on social media here, and visit her website to purchase your plants here.

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Written by:

Katherine is a senior studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing at Montclair State University. Apart from her family and dogs, she loves traveling most. She has fallen head over heels with traveling, trying new foods, learning about new cultures, getting out of her comfort zone, and experiencing the world. She's been to 12 countries and a few states. Coming in a close second is music and nature.