An Update on Shayla, Owner of Tía Planta: Hudson County’s ‘Plant Aunt’

During quarantine, at-home planting has been one of the million things people stuck at home have taken on as a new hobby. However, many of us quickly learning that a green thumb is not always a natural gift. For those who have come to that harsh realization — have no fear. Enter Hudson County’s  Black-owned business —Tia Planta. Owner Shayla Cabrera has been a resident of Jersey City for over 10 years and is sharing her love for plants with the world and Hudson County locals — which started with several pop-up shops in the area and now has a resident spot at an abandoned police kiosk in Jersey City at 722 Montgomery. Here’s more about Shayla’s story about how Tía Planta came to be, and how you can support this Jersey City business.

tia planta hoboken jersey city

Shayla’s Journey to Tía Planta

Shayla Cabrera has been a plant lover for as long as she can remember — in fact, she currently owns 150 plants. But Tia Planta was a slow build, with Shayla first foray into greenery being known by friends as the plant aficionado, all while working as a full-time nanny.

“Whenever I would visit a friends’ house, if I saw a sad houseplant, I couldn’t help myself from giving it a little TLC. That’s how I became everyone’s favorite plant aunt.”

And plant aunt she is — proof that funny hobbies can fuel some passion projects and even a career path.

After quarantining with a friend throughout the pandemic and talking non-stop about plants, Shayla decided to start her Instagram account @tiaplanta with the help of a friend, Danielle {Muneca} Mullins, co-owner of Mint Market, by posting funny plant tips on Instagram and donating her services for a raffle prize for the Black Trans Travel Fund, an organization Shayla is very passionate about.

Fast-forward two weeks later, she has a logo, a growing Instagram following, two pop-up shops planned, and now a Go Fund Me created to help raise funds for supplies including a plant van, and, in the future, Shayla hopes, a nursery.

Read More: A List of Female-Owned Hoboken + Jersey City Businesses to Support

On Tips for Plant Care

tiaplanta plant care

{Photo credit: @tiaplanta}

Because Tia Planta grew out of Shayla’s love for plants, Tía Planta is a one-stop Instagram shop for all things plant knowledge and supplies. For those looking to grow a plant collection, She sells a variety of options both big and small including air plants, succulents, monstera, and more. But let’s be honest, buying the plant is the easy part. You can visit her Instagram or get personal 1-on-1 help for the hard parts, like plant placement consultations {in-home or virtually}, plant sitting, and plant care tutorials. 

Once you do consult Tía Planta, her advice for plant care is quite simple — though varies depending on the plant. “To be a better plant parent, it is important to understand each of your plants has different needs. In most cases, over-watering is the most common mistake that leads to plant casualties,” she shared with us.  “Check your soil’s moisture by sticking your finger in it about an inch and a half to determine whether it needs a drink of water or not.”

But above all, she says, “having someone to talk to about your plants, it gives people so much room to try and to grow.”

See More: A List of Black-Owned Businesses to Support in Hoboken + Jersey City

Where to Find Tía Planta

shayla tiaplanta

Tia has come far in the last six months to where she is today. She started by hosting local events to raise enough funds to have a plant van to transport her plants and eventually create a local nursery. And now, she’s the resident plant business owner in an abandoned police kiosk in Jersey City — located at 722 Montgomery Avenue, open Thursday through Sunday from 12PM – 5PM. She also offers Zoom plant parenthood workshops for corporations.

How to Support This Black-Owned Business

For more information on Tia Planta, to get in touch and render her services, head to her Instagram page @tiaplanta

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Written by:

Jordan and Joelle, contributors and volunteer coordinators to HobokenGirl are true Jersey Girls. Originally hailing from down the shore in Hazlet, NJ, the girls made their "rite of passage" move to Hoboken a few short years after graduating with degrees in Communications from Loyola University. Outside of their 9-5 as senior publishers in NYC, the twins can be found baking cookies, reading the latest books, or walking their yorkie-poo Chica. Like many 20-somethings, Jordan and Joelle are balling on a budget and know how to score the best deals around town