Arthur Stacey – After 27 years as an interior plantscaper, an active member of the Association and past President, Arthur Stacey retired from the Executive Committee.
Members of the current Executive joined Arthur for an informal “farewell” dinner in April and expressed their appreciation on behalf of the industry. The Association made Arthur a Life Member for his enduring contribution and commitment to interior plantscaping.
In 1985 Arthur joined Queensland’s Plantscape sector when he became a one-third owner in Paradise Indoor Gardens. In those days Arthur’s part of the business consisted of 20 customers of which 19 were in the one building, the average monthly hire was $5 and the common decorator pot was the carousel selling at $4.50 each.
With no industry experience or horticultural background, Arthur’s learning curve was vertical. Upon reflection, Arthur says, “Plantscaping has changed; many of the plants used in the 1980’s such as the “philo emerald duke” are never seen today, while others have come and gone and, like the Sansevieria, are back in fashion again”.
“There are not many industries where you can build relationships with so many people,” Arthur said. “I still have lasting friendships with folk I met servicing plants. In Brisbane, most plant hirers are friends, sharing stories and information while still being able to compete commercially. We have shared the pain of tough times and sweated through the good times when, I wished the phone would stop ringing.”
Arthur intends to stay busy working at his family’s Brisbane-based Sunnydale Professional Plant Services (SPPS). His son, Cameron, now takes most of the day-to-day management responsibilities. Arthur finds it exciting being involved with the next generation. “They bring fresh concepts and techniques to marketing and management, and have a different approach to work.” My son said to me: “Dad, work is your life, for me, work is so I can have a life.”
Certainly the interior Plantscape industry has been a large part of Arthur’s life. He was a foundation member of the then Queensland Interior Plantscape Association before being elected as the President of the National Interior Plantscape Association for several years in the early 2000’s. Arthur has been an active Executive Committee member for more than 25 years using his networking skills to further the aims of the Association and has personally known many members throughout Australia.
On retiring, Arthur “has no regrets for the 27 years in the industry”, saying he “looks forward to a few more yet.”