Our Small Business Story: The Fat Plant Society

In Business, Life by Kyle Gammon0 Comments

The Fat Plant Society is a Kansas City based business offering handmade vertical planters and succulent planters. The Fat Plant Society owner and founder, Morten Klinte, is a Danish national. Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark amidst the art influences of his mother, a lithographer and painter, as well as the Scandinavian aesthetic. Morten Klinte immigrated to the U.S. in 1999 and has a textbook immigrant story, having arrived in Kansas City with his American wife, Kasey (who he knew for only two weeks before marrying) and $200 in his pocket.

Since immigrating to the U.S., Morten had been trying to bring the best of Denmark to American consumers by partnering with local bakers with whom he envisioned creating Danish quality pastries. None of the bakery ventures were successful and Morten learned that for him, the successful business model meant relying on himself, his own abilities, and LinkedIn to learn and network effectively.

Morten returned to his home country with his wife in 2015 with an aim to re-establish their lives in Copenhagen but despite their best efforts to re-acclimate in Copenhagen, Kansas City and the long, warm, growing season beckoned. Copenhagen was a constant source of inspiration with its clean lines and natural beauty. It was while he was in Copenhagen that Morten fully developed and honed the business idea of handmade succulent planters infused with the Danish aesthetic.

Image
Image

Returning to the U.S. from Copenhagen, Morten and Kasey took up residence with friends at the Lake of the Ozarks and worked for months to refine The Fat Plant Society concept. Morten taught himself how to construct handmade planters and vertical plant frames using recycled and re-purposed wood such as old dressers and salvaged barn wood. Morten's friends provided assistance and he set up shop in the back of pal Jerry's plant nursery in Kansas City, just blocks from his West Plaza home. Morten utilizes the space as both a workshop and a retail location and spends six days a week crafting his planters and talking with customers.

Morten's wife, Kasey Riley, is the co-founder and CMO for The Fat Plant Society and while they work to build the business, Kasey has relied heavily on freelance work and plans to utilize LinkedIn Profinder to find new clients.

It is through networking on LinkedIn that Morten and Kasey have connected with vendors, potential customers, and collaborators. Through their combined LinkedIn network of well over 1000 people, Morten and Kasey go directly to LinkedIn for virtually all of their business needs. "LinkedIn is actually an online model of the 'super community' of Kansas City in that networking, referrals, and community provide the foundation for business development and growth." says Kasey. "LinkedIn is my 'go-to' resource for everything. I start with my own contacts and those of my friends and connections and I have yet to hit a dead end with regard to finding what I need or someone with whom to discuss specific business strategy."

Leave a Comment