Decorative hobby becomes a blooming business for Cactus Island

cactus-island.jpgBy Heather Posey, Staff Writer

Designs that speak to your spirit. That’s the motto of Cactus Island and its owner, plant designer and artist Albert G. Daniel. But four years ago when Daniel first started making his creations, it was less of an aspiring business venture and more of an emotional escape.
“When I started the business I was really sad and instead of going to a bar and doing something stupid, I decided to do something creative and use this energy into a positive outlet,” said Daniel. “I started making things so that I could just numb my mind of whatever was lacking in my life.”
And with little more than an eye for design and an interest in home and garden television, Daniel began to leave his troubles behind, and soon his plant designing career began. But why cacti? According to Daniel, a full-time job personal trainer, the low maintenance plant was the only thing that could survive with little care.
“I love plants, I love design, but I could never find plants that suited my lifestyle because I was always training people and when I had a regular plant, by the time I came home, it’s dead because I didn’t water it that much. So I thought ‘I should get a kind of plant that’s going to last so I don’t have to water it a lot,’” said Daniel.
He soon went to a cactus nursery unsatisfied with the designs and made his attempt to do better, breaking the mold of traditional potted plants to re-engineered bowls and food containers to accommodate a cactus. And not only do his miniature gardens have unconventional packaging but also, according to Daniel, carry with it positive emotions and energies he tries to portray in his work.
“My best designs come out when I’m in a heightened state of emotion,” said Daniel. “I try to evoke that type of energy, that type of feeling to my plants so that the next person that buys it can feel the type of emotion I had.”
Cactus Island designs range from a $45 centerpiece well into the hundreds depending on size and style. Plants have been used in homes, restaurants and businesses. Daniel’s next showing of his designs is at the California Heights Home Tour on Sunday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. His work can be seen at 3460 Orange Avenue in Long Beach.
For more information visit www.cactus-island.com or call (562) 761-9924.

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