Sarah Burrows: Crowdfund to Grow Your Startup

June 14 - On The Dot


As I lay my fifth indoor plant to rest, I am left unsure what happened. Did I water it too much or too little? Did I forget about it for seven days straight? Should I blame my pets or my imperfect nursery or the full moon? Here are some tips I discovered during my melancholic post-plant-death internet search about how to be a better plant lady: Take on only what you can handle (I’m totally guilty of wanting a lush oasis now!), and learn when and how the heck to water each plant. Master caring for basic, virtually no-fail plants first. By adhering to this advice, my thumb may never be green, but maybe I can keep plant funerals to a minimum, and that’s progress, right?


Another piece of advice I’ve heard involves planting something that gives something in return, you know, besides boring old oxygen. Herbs fall into this category and can be grown using hydroponics. For the novice gardener, growing with hydroponics can be fruitful. There are five key benefits to hydroponic gardening: It requires as much as 90 percent less water, and hydroponically grown plants can often grow twice as fast. Furthermore, hydroponic gardening is perfect for small spaces, as you can plant about four times the amount of plants as in traditional soil, all with no need for herbicides or pesticides.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Sarah Burrows, Co-founder of Modern Sprout

Pull out your credit card and get ready to load up your online shopping cart, ladies. Today’s horticulturally minded Woman to Watch, Sarah Burrows, the co-founder of hydroponic-gardening online retailer Modern Sprout, has the power to make you feel like all your fingers are green. Offering all the resources you need to get your hydroponic garden off the ground, including grow kits, seed starters, grow lights and planters, Modern Sprout is no garden-variety business.

The idea for Sarah’s luminous company started with a need. As an avid foodie, Sarah longed to grow her own garden and incorporate her bounty into her homemade meals. There was just one problem: Her tiny Chicago apartment had no yard where she could build a garden. And with a super-busy schedule, she didn’t have much time to tend to the soil-planted botanicals she filled her balcony and windows with. That’s when she discovered hydroponics, a seemingly perfect way to garden. But Sarah also discovered hydroponic gardening can cost a heap and can be cumbersome to learn. With a small footprint, Sarah needed something that worked for her lifestyle and home, but also looked great and produced results.

She took to Kickstarter with an idea: hydroponic grow kits in minimalist and adorable planters. Naturally, backers saw the light and loved the concept. Since Sarah officially launched her Kickstarter campaign in 2013, Modern Sprout has blossomed into a successful biz, offering easy-to-use gardening kits for even the most unskilled gardeners among us. Her three-pot hydro chalkboard planter delivers water and nutrients to plants using a preprogrammed feeding schedule and encourages a little fun décor doodling, while Sarah’s colorful, self-watering garden jars are ideal for small spaces and gardening newbies.

If your desire is to grow a lavish garden and a fruitful career, this entrepreneur has some great advice for you: Find a partner who can be your cheerleader and help you dig in the trenches. Also, plant habits that will help you cope with disappointment and anxiety as you grow your startup. And once you’ve cultivated a great idea, take the plunge. Dig deep, put down some roots and prepare for your little acorn of an idea to grow into a mighty oak of a business!

Thinking of crowdfunding to finance your next startup venture? Check out these five crowdfunding myths debunked by Sarah Burrows, co-founder of Modern Sprout. Click here or go to

To access your special On The Dot discounted rate of 10 percent off on Modern Sprout's fabulous offerings through , use this code, ONTHEDOT2018, upon checkout on the Modern Sprout website,


Sarah Burrows would certainly agree with British horticulturist Gertrude Jekyll, who said:

“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Get On The Dot in your inbox each day.
Copyright 2018 © On The Dot Woman - All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy