Virginia Beach native and honorable Norfolk resident, Alex Gozar recently graced us with his presence offering us a deeper look into his successful endeavors with Plant is Life. An advocate for all thing’s in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, Gozar is usually found in the midst of it all, supporting local businesses, friends and the community. The basketball planters are just another portrayal of Gozar’s pursuits in uplifting the community during these testing times.
- What Influenced the designs on the planters?
AG: When it comes to a design of what I want on the planters I just really dig deep on a mood or what I want this design to influence. The pieces that I’ve drawn are really geared towards showing my brand and what I’m about. When Raymond designed the mini balls I just really trusted him and knew they were going to be flames! I did give him some direction and it was just “Much Love.” With that I wanted pieces to show the idea of giving back growth and Raymond nailed that with his drawings of plants/flowers. To me “Much love” is just a really even saying of “I love you” to the point where I support you and what you’re going through to get where you want to be. The planters I plan on making later will definitely have themes to them to represent the planter. I also have Doddie Braza on board with helping promote these planters. Doddie is a big mentor to me especially with how he handles promos. These promos we work on are Funny. they like little jabs to basketball culture with memes and stuff we think of that show we like to have fun with Plant is Life. Overall, it’s pretty much just having fun with it and how different you can make your message be received with these designs and promos.
- What gave you the inspiration to create your basketball planters and who influenced you to begin creating them?
AG: The inspiration for these planters came from straight boredom. During quarantine (boreantine) I felt like my creativity was lacking and I wasn’t able to produce anything to contribute to “doing something.” This planter Idea has been around many years and a lot of people do this. The whole concept of DIY projects really intrigues me in realizing that anything is possible. It wasn’t until I started making these as gifts for friends and family that I noticed it could boom as a little venture. I’ve always loved basketball and the idea of taking care of a plant. I’ve been playing ball since I was kid and just always had love for the game, and when it came to plants I noticed it was the idea of taking care of a living thing that reflects on to you of taking care of yourself. So to give back that thought to people who support my brand really brings me at peace for myself and them. The main person that comes to mind when making these planters is Original rose. originally known as bodega rose, is a creative and artist of the plant game. Olivia Rose is the owner of the brand and her idea of turning objects that show the culture of fashion and art into planters, ranging from shoes to designer bags is what gets me hype. Her work and craftsmanship is so inspiring and impeccable, often replicated never duplicated. She went from making these as pieces to a full brand running a business. When she pulled up everyone had a little DIY planter of their own. I hopped on and was able to bring this idea to my community.
- What motivates you to continue / perfect your craft?
AG: Just the thought that people really bang with this idea of a DIY planter ahah. I love to see the support and the love that people show me when purchasing a planter or liking/commenting on a post I put up. I look up to the Original Rose brand and just try to keep up and challenge my creativity with these planters. There are so many brands that do this that it pushes me to be different or one up those other brands. I feel like who I am and the circles I have I can definitely bring something different to the table. I may come out with a fire piece but I know it can be improved or better. I’m just really striving to out do myself and come out with new experiences from the people I meet, customers, and media that I work with.
- What has been keeping you fueled through the pandemic to continue creating?
AG: The Idea that I can do better and provide something for my community. I noticed with the pandemic a lot of people have been practicing a lot of stay at home or self care and being by yourself. while I’m working on my projects when people purchase a planter they have a project for their home. Whether it be “where am I going to put this planter or how I’m gonna hang it and what plant do I use for this?’ This pandemic go crazy but I realized it has brought a lot of awareness to people of how they can come back better from this and survive on their mental. Hopefully I’m inspiring other people to do their own DIY stuff and they figure out a hobby that they like or never even knew they liked. Really enjoy seeing people get theirs and strive to become a better person.
- How do you go about sourcing items for your planters?
AG: When it comes to sourcing these planters I just really like to research what kind of basketballs are out there. I like choosing designs on basketballs that look unfamiliar or different than your normal ball. I really prefer to use recycled basketballs that I find from thrift stores and upcycle them to be reborn into something new. also I like to offer a chance for my friends to join in on the fun and see if they would like to work on a ball ranging from making ideas for my brand to doing pieces on them. An example would be my long time best friend Raymond Braza. Growing up I’ve always loved his work of lettering and characters that he draws. Recently I gave him a chance to work with the mini ball planters that I released and it was a banger! I really appreciate his help and support for Plant is LIfe and just want to showcase his talent and skills, “everybody eats!” I can’t wait to put on more homies and challenge them to get up on a ball. other than the basketballs when it comes to items like chains, or wood (for the holders) I just think aesthetically how they would look. Picturing them hanging in an apartment or household window or them just chillen on a desk or kitchen top. I want my piece to compliment your household and work with the flow of your plants.
Photography By, Huey Melendez and Cortez Artis
Q&A Conducted By, Sydney Stewart