Tony Reaves was working at a school when they asked if he could fix their 10-year-old 3D printer.
“3D printers always seemed kind of intimidating before that,” he says.
Little did he know that less than two years later he’d have three 3D printers of his own, creating custom casita-shaped planters from his dining room table.
“I made it for a design contest on a website — trying to get a free roll of filament,” Reaves says.
Although he didn’t win the contest, a trip to pop culture-themed shop Plantney inspired him to create an Instagram for his indoor plant casitas.
“The first time I visited Plantney, I was just looking around at this totally different kind of store. I grabbed one of their cards that had their Instagram and I thought maybe there’s a market for this kind of thing,” he says. “I just kind of put it out there.”
People are also reading…
He never thought his hobby could turn into a business, but it did. The first casita he sold was of a friend’s house in Maine. Much of his custom work has been of people’s homes here in Tucson.
Tanna’s Botannas soon reached out, too, asking if Reaves could make plant casitas that look like her shop. The Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, also reached out to Reaves, asking if he’d be interested in selling his casitas in their gift shop. They asked for a wholesale price and he gave them a low number — the folks at the gift shop ended up talking him up in value.