The Creative Mind Behind Opus Hanging Gardens

July 27, 2013 by

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The word “Opus” refers to creation or works of art, an encompassing, open-to-interpretation definition that suited what Marissa Pretorius hoped to do with her life.

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“I did not want to be bound by the name, but rather have a creative umbrella to work within,” she said, via email, of her company, Opus.

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Pretorius founded the business in 2010 after five years in the advertising industry. Armed with a degree in photography and graphic design, and a green-thumbed mother, she created an Opus line of women’s jackets and vintage accessories. Plants always hovered in the back of her mind.

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“I had a few interests,” she says, “but decided that I wanted to work with flowers and have my own flower shop.”

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Pretorius started experimenting with terrariums, and was researching design possibilities when she happened upon Japanese Kodedama – the word translates to “moss ball,” and involves removing a plant’s root system, dousing its lower half in mud and moss, and hanging it with string.

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“I made a few and the response from people was great,” Pretorius says.

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Orders for hanging plants started piling up, and soon the creations became her main source of business. Low maintenance plants, like philodendrons and succulents, do well in the suspended environment, as do orchids. The hanging pots work well in a confined space, like an urban apartment.

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“It is nice if you can get someone to stop, look and think about what they’re seeing,” Pretorius said. “Plants and flowers also have a sense of calmness and beauty and I think anyone can appreciate this, whether it’s in a natural environment or manipulated and presented in a new way.”

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Photos from Opus.

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