JOHOR BARU, MALAYSIA: Chinese New Year has always been an exciting time for vegetable seller Razillah Abdul Rahman as her market stall takes on a festive appearance.
For the last 17 years, Razillah, 44, has made it a point to decorate her little stall with prosperity plants and other colourful auspicious plants as 90% of her customers are Chinese.
This year, she decided to go one step further and sell the plants as business was a little slow.
"It was a great decision as I've made around RM15,000 in less than a month," she said happily when met at her stall at the Johor Jaya market.
Customers to the market are greeted by red banners and bright lanterns while the lucky plants line both sides of the market entrance.
The enterprising businesswoman and her husband Ahmad Faizal Harun, 30, sell plants that they bought from nurseries.
These included Chinese New Year favourites like lucky bamboo, kumquat trees, money plants and prosperity plants.
"I thought I'd use my artistic skills to decorate the trees and earn some extra money," she said.
Razillah admitted that she was so enthusiastic about her plan that she even went to accessory shops to buy ribbons and other fancy items to create the Chinese New Year mood.
"I usually decorate the trees while my husband takes care of the vegetable stall," she said, adding that the auspicious plants had brought her luck as her business had thrived.
"The most popular plant here is the lucky bamboo as it is beautiful with all its bent shoots and can be placed as a house display," she said.
Razillah added that even her Malay and Indian customers were fascinated by her plants and had bought them hoping for good luck.