#GoodSquad Interview with Haley and Jason from Cedar Planters

Jason & Haley

In a world where urban living often restricts opportunities for gardening, Cedar Planters shine as a beacon of hope, offering an ingenious solution to those longing for a touch of nature. Recent studies highlight the calming and joyful effects of surrounding ourselves with plants, as well as the sustainability and health benefits of consuming homegrown produce. Co-founders Jason and Haley have ingeniously created a sustainable and accessible product that encompasses all of these advantages. Their range of western red cedar planter boxes, raised garden beds, and plant pots provide a charming haven for your very own vegetables, herbs, or flowers. These exquisite garden containers, primarily crafted from the finest Western Red Cedar wood, exemplify Cedar Planters' core mission.

Founded in 2019 by Hailey and Jason, every piece at Cedar Planters is meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans and local craftspeople. The mindful choice of Western Red Cedar wood, known for its durability and low environmental impact, minimizes the carbon footprint while ensuring long-lasting, elegant containers. 

Their production process reflects a minimal waste philosophy, seamlessly integrating efficiency and sustainability. Jason and Haley further extend their dedication through educational outreach, sharing invaluable insights and tips for nurturing plants. 

Discover this week's essential reading in the #Goodsquadinterview where Haley and Jason delve deeper into the narrative behind Cedar Planters.

1.  Tell us about your journey and how Cedar Planters began.

Cedar Planters

During the onset of the pandemic, my husband, Jason, a marketing account manager and I, a first year teacher, started living in a condo. Our condo was a work-in-progress, and Jason, having learned woodworking from his Grandfather while growing up, took on the project of furnishing it. When spring arrived, we were desperate for some beautiful blooms to brighten our space, and Jason designed our, now signature, raised garden bed, so we could garden on our little condo balcony. Just down the road, was a storage unit company, where we started renting a small storage unit. We used our spare time to turn the storage unit into a fully functional woodworking shop and started selling raised garden beds and planter boxes.

We love providing people with the gift of gardening, no matter the size of their outdoor space, or their gardening abilities. We wanted to create a DIY product that is easy to assemble and easy maintenance using only Western Red Cedar that is sourced from sustainably managed forests. Being able to provide instant gardening, with high quality sustainable materials, is what motivates us each day!

2. What do you believe sets Cedar Planters apart from other competitors in the market, and how does your team work together to maintain that unique edge?

We are dedicated to establishing ourselves as a company committed to family, community, and the environment. Our environmental commitment is realized through crafting eco-friendly products that promote environmental consciousness at home. As proud members of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, we source all our lumber from sustainably managed forests, ensuring a renewable resource. Our waste reduction practices ensure maximal utilization of Western Red Cedar lumber while minimizing waste.

Our dedication to the community is evident in our local, handmade production, charitable donations, and sharing of resources with community members. A family-run enterprise, we cultivate a warm and caring work environment for our employees, including our beloved canine companions who join us daily. Rigorous quality checks by our woodshop team at every production stage drive continuous improvement in our manufacturing.

Our office team consistently researches and develops innovative marketing strategies. Crafted from high-quality materials—Western Red Cedar and powder-coated galvanneal steel—our products are designed for structural longevity. Our use of durable exterior-grade materials ensures our planters remain chemical-free and safe for food use. Our journey reflects a steadfast commitment to enduring quality and sustainable practices.

3. If you were to create a signature cedar planter that represents your company's personality, what would it look like, and why?

Our company’s signature planter box would be flourishing with a beautiful balance of gorgeous flower blooms, and delicious thriving vegetables and herbs. We already have a community garden at our office, and that is what we have designed! We have vibrant marigolds, planted amongst tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, basil, chives, parsley, and dill. It is so bountiful that we will be donating extra produce to our local food bank. If we were to design the planters to represent our style, they would stay the same visually because we love the aesthetic, but we would add some punny plant tags such as “don’t forget to wet your plants,” “we are mint to be,” “you are on point,” “everyone romaine calm,” “its party thyme,” and “don’t kale my vibe.”

4. Describe a memorable customer testimonial that touched your heart or made you realize the impact your cedar planters have on people's lives.

A memorable customer testimonial is when a kindergarten teacher purchased one of our planters for her classroom to help their students learn all about gardening, whilst utilizing the sensory play element of gardening with your hands. They even decorated the planter with their hand prints, and we have never seen anything cuter! When we hear stories of our planters being used in the community, it really motivates us to keep going and keep providing sustainable and accessible gardening!

5. What are some of the unique challenges and rewards of working with cedar wood as the primary material for your planters, and how do these aspects contribute to the overall quality and appeal of your products?

The unique rewards of using Western Red Cedar for our products include the high-quality exterior rated use of the lumber itself. Western Red Cedar is rot resistant, weather and climate change resistant, and will not shrink, warp, swell, or rot in wet or dry conditions. It is a beautiful wood to work with, and makes our products aesthetically beautiful. This sets our product apart from competitors, as they are higher-quality, do not need to be chemically treated, and will last years and years, not needing to be replaced after only a year or two of use. A unique challenge that we face is the higher material cost of using Western Red Cedar. It is important for us to communicate to our customers that the cost of our products reflect the high-quality Western Red Cedar, the attention to quality and detail, and the hand-making of our products locally in our shop. However, even with these higher expenses, we still work hard to competitively price our products against our competitors, and provide an accessible product. We are a one-time-buy product, and don’t contribute to throw-away culture. You are investing in a life-time garden!

6. What is your vision for the future of your cedar planter company? Are there any upcoming product launches or innovations that customers can look forward to?

Our vision is to keep growing and becoming a part of all different communities around the world. We are currently starting the process of distributing our product to Europe. We are also developing add-on products for our planters with our engineer, such as, a self-watering system, trellis, wheels, bottom shelf, other styles of planters, etc. We are about to launch some other add-on products such as garden tools, greenhouse covers, and grow-bags, so look out for those on our website mid August! We are also in the brainstorming stages of other products outside of the realm of gardening. We hope to keep learning, growing, and innovating for years to come!

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