Meet The Owner
My name is Jeffrey Waggoner and I am the person behind The People's Plants. Most often I get asked, "How did you come up with The People's Plants," or "Where did the name come from," and, occasionally, "What's your background?" Hopefully this somewhat brief synopsis of myself and my background helps you get to know me a little more.
I grew up in a small rural town in Northeastern Oklahoma, surrounded by farms. Every drive was a guessing game of what was growing in the field. A significant portion of my childhood was spent on my grandparents' farm and every day I could, I was outside playing in the field. I would bring home book after book on flora and fauna of Oklahoma. I wanted to be able to identify whatever plant was in the field. It was then that my passion for plants started.
At the University of Arkansas, I studied horticultural science with an emphasis on sustainable, low maintenance landscapes. During the spring of my freshman year, I started working in a tissue culture lab. I learned how to cultivate the smallest pieces of plants to create thousands. Halfway through my sophomore year I was offered a job to be a regional live nursery buyer for the nation's second largest home improvement chain. It was during this role that I began partnering with The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, learning hands-on which varieties outperformed others in our region.
I am a firm believer in that if you're not learning something new every day, you have outgrown your position. After spending 3 years in the buying role and really becoming interested in sourcing locally grown products, I began working for a boutique garden shop in April of 2015.
While officially being the "Shop Manager" I also had a closet full of different hats. From IT guy to janitor, social media/event coordinator, website designer, accounts payable/receivable, product/inventory specialist, and class instructor, there was not a role I did not perform! You name it and I probably had a hand in it.
As life happens, it was time for me to move on to a new project. The People's Plants is something that I had been throwing around in my head for a little more than a year. I knew I wanted to own some sort of "e-nursery" and still have a large role in helping people choose better plants for their homes. I also love Tillandsia. So, it made sense for them to somehow play a role in whatever I did. I began looking for where air plants are native to and a significant number of them led me to South America. Fast forward a few months and I now hold CITES and import permits for a wide range of Tillandsia, including permits for the two endangered species in the genus, as well as a handful of other import permits for a variety of plants. I quite literally search the globe to bring you some of the best grown plants one can find.
The mission for The People's Plants is to become a resource for 1) exceptionally grown Tillandsia, 2) better plants for your home, and 3) supplies tailored for Tillandsia and other house plants. I have so many more ideas for The People's Plants and am excited to have the opportunity to share them with you all.