Words by Jady Ojiri | Photos by Jenelle Ho | Video by Kari Lau
In this day and age, when the world is becoming more aware of the harm that’s being done to our environment, one woman is taking the stand to go green in a stylish way. Her name is Jessica Onetti and she is the one-woman-show behind the Plantsax, a local company that sells plant vessels for otherwise drab nursery plant pots.
It all started a little less than a year ago and Jessica revealed that it was more of an accident gone right rather than a planned brand. She explained how a friend of hers from Paiko, a local plant shop in Kaka’ako, had asked Jessica to try her hand at making plant vessels for the store.
Jessica immediately went home and began creating a few prototypes, and she tried to put her own spin on the designs by implementing upcycled fabrics and re-used materials. When she brought the stylish pieces back to the store, they were an immediate hit and customers haven’t stopped asking for more.
Throughout the entire process, Jessica has tried her very best to make her products as environmentally friendly as possible.
“If I’m creating something, I want to make sure that I’m not creating a lot of waste and that I’m not leaving a mark,” Jessica explained.
When searching for fabrics to implement in future designs, Jessica mainly gets her materials through thrift shops, but she also works with people in the hospitality industry who supply her with different patterns to work with. In addition, Jessica enjoys creating her own textiles using different dyeing methods and folding techniques on her fabrics. One of the techniques she uses in particular is called “Shibori.” She demonstrated the process for us with bleach and black fabric and was able to bring a beautiful geometric pattern to life right in front of our eyes.
“I like things that look like they have a story, things that look like they’ve had a life. I’m not a big fan of cookie-cutter standard colors, designs, shapes,” Jessica said.
When asked about her design process, she couldn’t really find the words to describe it. Jessica is constantly inspired by other artists around her and she is always trying new and different things. Whether it is creating pom poms out of scraps of fabric, or working with a new textile, she loves the creative process that she is able to explore.
Currently, Jessica is working on the Plantsax website and getting her products onto the shelves of more stores around the island. Her biggest goal would be to increase the amount of plants that people have either in their homes or in their gardens.
Jessica stated, “If you can make a difference, even if it’s something small, it will make an impact.” She went on to describe how every little effort counts, and that if her brand brings more people into the go-green initiative it would mean the world to her.
Even though her brand only started a little less than a year ago, Jessica is constantly meeting people who love her products. With her daughter transitioning into school and the bit of extra time it has given her, Jessica has been able to put forth more unique products and ideas.
Plantsax is a truly authentic brand that emphasizes all of the good parts about nature. Through her love of the environment, Jessica is paving the way for others to join her in the expedition towards a greener world, and it’s amazing how many people have quickly followed suit.