Plant people come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Much like the plants themselves, these enthusiasts will surprise you.
"What you expect is an 80-year-old grandmother working with plants...and I really want to break that image."
Luis Manuel Pereira Soto is a young entrepreneur and plant-focused artist living in Norfolk, Virginia. From his first job at a local greenhouse near his home in Puerto Rico to moving stateside to help at a large-scale retail garden center, Luis' knowledge and experience helped him get his own business up and running.
He put everything he had into starting Color Fleur. His was one of the first kiosks in the then newly refurbished Selden Arcade. Starting his own business proved to be a challenge, but he worked with purpose.
"I quit both my jobs, I got myself a loan, and I just did this in a matter of months."
Everything he had went to helping his family after two Category 5 hurricanes hit the island of Puerto Rico just days before Selden was due to open.
"I do provide whatever my family needs from here, so I needed to focus on this and do this right."
His goal to show that horticulture is something more than the typical garden center and his passion for flowers and art is what draws people to his space.
"I want to show the world that no matter what age or where you're from or what you can do...everybody can enjoy plants."
In spring of 2018, Luis was invited to open his business in his own storefront in Selden Arcade.