Confessions of a UK Hydro Store – Slims Place

Published
Confessions of a UK Hydro Store – Slims Place

In this edition of Confessions of a UK Hydro Store, our buddy Slim, owner of Slims Place in Watford and Hounslow, opens up about life in a grow shop. Slim is a fixture in the local hydro scene, known as a smart, hard-working guy who loves everything to do with plants. Here, he shares tales about his time in the industry and what makes him tick.

What do you like the most about being a hydro shop owner?

I love the ever-changing industry and customer interaction. From the beginning, all facets of the industry have continuously evolved, and Slims has been a part of the evolution and revolution. Every day is a learning experience, and we specialise in passing down data-driven and experience-led knowledge. I spend every day of my life working in some part of this industry, and it’s what I do as a hobby and profession.

How do you grow plants in your shop?

Our current setup uses Invisibilis Planta in a secret system in a current trial by a famous space agency. The staff enjoys working with this cultivar as the leaf drop is zero, and maintenance isn’t time-consuming. The hues are amazing, and it has the beneficial properties of keeping pests and diseases away.

How important has your location been to your success?

I have worked at nine different locations throughout London, and all have been successful. I currently have two shops with high shutter doors in Hounslow and Watford based at the end of industrial estates; this allows for easy loading and unloading of goods. However, our honest advice and service are paramount for customer retention.

How do you deal with angry customers? Have you ever had to throw someone out of your store?

I feel their pain. I’m an angry customer sometimes, so I try to understand the client’s point of view. You can turn a bad situation into something good by showing empathy and accepting responsibility if you are at fault. I would only throw someone out for stealing. Being angry, argumentative, or having a bad day is welcome. We will help you leave in a better mood.

What Is the most common question you get at the store?

Is SLIM there? Or how do I make big flowers and fruits? The answer is TWELFTY!

What do you do to create long-term customer loyalty?

We are truthful, however painful to customers. We genuinely care and make a client’s problems our own. We are open until 19:30 on weekdays and were one of the first shops to do a seven-day week. The amount of time spent with a customer is not determined by how much money they spend but by how much time they have to stay and learn.

What advice do you give a grower who is just starting?

Too many cooks spoil the broth! Don’t listen to pseudoscience; investigate your knowledge sources and discover how they are supported by science. Spend most of your budget on environmental control and only increase your expenditure on other products once you have achieved that.

What are your favourite products?

CO2, R.O. water, and appropriate spectrum light. Then, the measuring tools for EC, pH, water temperature, PPFD, room temperature, humidity, sun up and down, dry backs, leaf temps, WC, and brix are the most necessary. UV sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes.

What music do you play at the store?

If PPL and PRS are asking, we hum our original melodies. Some may say that sounds like the bass of reggae.

If you never ended up running a hydro shop, what do you think you would be doing today?

I’d provide a private banking solution for legitimate entities conducting cash transactions to be able to deposit without fear of closure. Many businesses have had their bank accounts closed with funds held only to be returned later without explanation. This practice leaves businesses that have paid millions in taxes over decades in a precarious position with the constant threat of another closure for no apparent reason around the corner.

Garden Culture Magazine

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.