From Educators to Plant-repreneurs: Why forgo a stable $6000 monthly salary to run a plant nursery?

“It is time to put myself first, for real, this time” — Avie Mercado, co-founder of Plants Ate My Money.

Victoria-Marie
ILLUMINATION

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Heintjie Santos and Avie Mercado, Founders of Plants Ate My Money
Photo by author

Heintjie Santos and Avie Mercado, founders of Plants Ate My Money

I first met Avie Mercado, a cheerful person who is well-loved, at my new workplace in July 2021. I joined her team of fresh, young and driven people who were tasked with a nebulous mission: Innovate. They gamely took on the title, “Workplace Innovators”, and spent the last 2 years experimenting, building, and facilitating professional development on a digital platform they built from scratch. Avie was leading in quite a few pieces of work, and drew high praises from our leaders for her creativity, positive attitude and role in building a wonderful workplace culture.

In just a month, Avie announced a piece of big news with much excitement — “I just handed in my resignation letter! I’m leaving in a month!” The team cheered for her, and also conveyed their sadness — they were happy for her decision to pursue what she loves, and at the same time, sad to lose a valuable team member. Avie’s announcement came in the midst of an uncertain time. We were in the troughs of a prolonged pandemic, and…

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Victoria-Marie
ILLUMINATION

Linguist. Writer. Mum. Currently navigating life with intense sleep deprivation, and learning how to still do what I love - teaching and parenting.