Arber Shark Tank Update: Promoting Organic Plant Care

Image Credit: Christopher Willard/Disney

Plants breathe life into the world, so it is our responsibility to take care of them just as they take care of us. With this mission at the heart of it, Arber was founded and has positively impacted the environment. In episode 22 of the 15th season of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank,’ the founder presents Arber’s plant wellness products in front of the sharks and hopes to seal a deal with at least one of them. Deal or no deal, the feature on the show gave the company more exposure and attracted new customers to their business.

Arber: Who Are They And What Do They Do?

An interest in gardening led Vanessa Dawson to create Arber, a company that focuses on the wellness of plants. After earning a dual degree in Psychology and Biology from Queen’s University, she got the opportunity to work as the Director Of Business Development in Dom & Tom. Simultaneously, she founded Evry in January 2012 before bagging a job at 1843 Capital, where she served as an Investor Relations. In September 2013, she became the founder and CEO of The Vinetta Project. When things got smoother, she invested in Flytographer and Silvernest. In the late 2010s, life changed quickly for Vanessa as she not only moved from New York City to Los Angeles but also became a mother.

Being an environmentalist, she made sure that she used products that did not cause any harm to the planet, be it skincare, home care, or baby care. However, when it came to gardening products, she failed to find anything organic or environment-friendly. That was when she noticed a significant and exploitable void in the market. In a conversation with Forbes, she expressed her disappointment at the time, “Garden and (plant) care products were about quick growth regardless of whether it degraded the soil and killed beneficial insects.” She also claimed that there was “a lot of ‘greenwashing’ in the industry.”

With plenty of experience as a serial tech entrepreneur, Vanessa began working on the idea of making garden products that are not only made with biologicals but also packed in recycled materials. Meanwhile, owing to her success as an entrepreneur, Vanessa became a Council Member of the National Women’s Business Council in April 2019. After two years of research and development, she launched Arber on April 22, 2021 (Earth Day), and hired Pam Marrone as a chief scientific advisor to develop impactful product formations for the company’s products. Since all this happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanessa and her team found it difficult and tricky to build a supply chain.

Vanessa said, “Prices increased for ingredients, packaging, freight, and labor, which could have had a major impact on Arber’s gross margins.” She reportedly hired a third-party company to ensure quality control for her products. Arber’s focus is on providing all gardeners with access to safe, aesthetic plant care products so that they can maintain green spaces. The company also provides people with various educational tools to teach them how to nurture plants and make the world more sustainable.

Arber: Where Are They Now?

Vanessa’s experience as an entrepreneur and investor in early-stage tech and CPG startups came in handy when the time for fundraising for Arber came around. By telling her inspirational story while pitching her brand to potential investors, she got significant financial backing for her company, relying mainly on champions who made introductions to other investors. She elaborated on the same in the Forbes interview, “Walmart has been an unbelievable partner to us. They care about sustainability and have amazing programs to support diverse suppliers, such as C2FO. They also have a diverse-vendor program where you get even better rates.”

Over the years, Arber has been featured and praised in INC, Vogue, CNN Money, Forbes, House Beautiful, Veranda, Business Insider, and more. The company provides gardeners with important and different kinds of products, including fertilizers and flower food, liquid concentrates, and basic gardening accessories. With an aim to fulfill all your organic plant wellness needs, Arber offers Organic Bio Insecticide, Bio Fungicide, Plant Food, and Bio Protectant at $25, while you get Fresh Cut Flower Food for $13. They also have several carefully curated collections for different requirements — an Organic Holistic Kit ($99), Organic Indoor Kit ($84), Organic Restorative Kit ($84), Organic Outdoor Kit ($84), Organic Nutrition & Health Starter Set ($30) and Organic Disease & Insect Control Starter Set ($30).

Except for the last two, the other kits come with a measuring cup and a spray bottle. You can grab Organic Soil & Root Food at $17, while Organic All Purpose Fertilizer and Organic Fruit & Veggie Fertilizer will cost you $15. Aside from plant-based supplements, the company sells accessories such as Always Growing Hat, Spray Bottle, Measuring Cup, Repotting Mat and Garden Tote, ranging from $8 to $40. You can purchase any of these items on the company’s official website, where you can get even more information about Arber. The company also offers a 10% discount when you place your first order through their site by signing up for their email subscription.

On Earth Day 2023, when the company completed three years of business, they provided a generous 25% discount. Other than that, if your order value proceeds $75, you don’t have to pay the shipping cost. As of writing, Arber products are available for purchase at Amazon, Gardener’s Supply Company, The Sill, Fred Meyer, Terrain, and over 3000 Walmart and 1700 Target stores, respectively. With such a wide range of eco-conscious products, Arber is determined to help everyone give it back to nature.

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