The story of how Exotic Plants came into being is a humble one. It's a story which has it's roots steadfast in the values of constant hard work, patience and bravery; having the guts to learn a few hard lessons and the knowledge to still make it all work and work well.
Niel's passion for the industry and botany started at a young age as working in and maintaining the garden was his chore growing up. Niel's dad, Phlipi, had made an active hobby out of buying up small plots of land and creating veggie gardens. He and Niel would drive out to the plots on weekends where he'd help his dad till, plant, feed and harvest. He worked hard and learned a great deal. As he got a little older (although only still just a boy) and a little more market-savvy, he started bunching and packaging veggies which he sold door-to-door for a small, but sufficient profit. As he moved into his teens and beyond, he started hepling out at nurseries where his knowledge was vastly expanded and his passion grew like a Bamboo Ganera in a rainforest. To add to his savings, Niel would often spend his weekends selling plants off the back of his small bakkie and trailer which he'd park along side busy road and in popular areas in and around Durbanville.
In 2004, all the physical work, the constant learning and the hard saving paid off as Niel was able to, with the helping hand of his dad, afford a place of his own. The nursery was built and stocked and Exotic Plants was officially in operation. Together with the ever-faithful helping hand of Sira, who has been with Niel for 10 years, Exotic plants has remained in operation for 11 years and counting. The team is small, but knowledgable and efficient, and thus, Niel has a great working relationship with all of his staff members whom he often physically works alongside with.
Niel is a people's person and he and his team work hard to maintain and create long-standing, loyal relationships with their clients. Having based his professional and personal journey in strong rooted values, there is little reason for Exotic Plants to not move from strength to strength with each passing year.