Green With Envy // Flora Plant Shop
With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, there's no better time to blow the dust off your shelves and fill them with greenery. If you're still feeling some post-winter blues, Flora Plant Shop has got you covered with sun-soaked summer vibes and enough plants to revive your withered winter soul.
Plants can provide some serious positive effects on our psychological health and can help naturally purify the air in your home. If you're looking to up your self-care routine, try adding some leaves and florals to your life and reap the benefits of a more serene scene.
Kerbi Howat of Flora Plant Shop shared which houseplants even the least adequate green thumbs can handle and how she turned a bare-bones space into an urban oasis.
How would you describe your personal style, and how does that style come through in the design at Flora?
My personal style is pretty relaxed and casual. Neutrals with the occasional pop of color -- kind of like the shop! I’m actually bolder in my choices for things like the shop and my home than I am with clothing. Visually, I’m not a huge fan of all white everything. I think there needs to be some bold color to liven things up.
Where did you find inspiration when designing and curating the space?
Kate (my former business partner) and I designed the space together. We both drew inspiration from other plant shops we love like Stump, Pistil’s and Solabee, while also wanting to maintain our own look. We both loved natural wood and wanted to add some warm color to break up all of the white and green.
What was the biggest design challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was not having any experience designing a store and also not having much of a budget! We were a brand new company and couldn’t get our hands on any seed money. So we built most of the furniture ourselves with the help of our families. And we did our best to create a nice flow in the space that can be easily changed around if needed.
What is your favorite element of the space?
I love everything about the space! I guess my favorite thing is that it feels alive. For obvious reasons, because it’s filled with plants but also because it’s constantly changing. Stock changes weekly, we’re always moving things around. I get bored easily and it always stays interesting.
I think there needs to be some bold color to liven things up.
Did you have any go-to stores when furnishing the space, and if so, where? (Specifically that lush green sofa!)
We get asked about that sofa a lot and I wish I knew where it’s originally from! We found it on Craigslist. We got a few items from Pre-to-Post Modern and other second-hand shops. Otherwise, we built a lot of the furniture so we spent a LOT of time at Home Depot.
What inspired the wall art? Who painted it?
I saw a photo of an abstract wall from somewhere in New York and Kate created a store palette. We gave all of that to Caroline Walkup, who is an interior designer in town, and she made it happen (with the help of our friend Megan Johnson).
What are your plant recommendations for people looking for low-maintenance houseplants?
Our low maintenance go-to’s are Snake Plants and ZZ Plants. Both do well in low light and with infrequent watering, so you can’t go wrong! We like to say that they thrive on neglect.
If you could only have one plant in a room to liven up a space, what would your pick be?
That’s a tough call! My favorites are always changing. I guess if you can only have one, you better go big. I’m in LOVE with Ficus Audrey and Branched Dracaena Marginata right now.
Our low maintenace go-to's are Snake Plants and ZZ plants.
What’s your favorite part about owning/operating your own business?
My favorite part about owning my own business is the freedom! Freedom to experiment with ideas, freedom to try out new products, freedom to take risks and push the envelope. I have a 3-month-old baby and I can’t imagine how much more difficult work would be if I didn’t work for myself, although it’s still really hard to get things done! I can bring him to work, I can work from home- I have the privilege of a certain amount of flexibility and I definitely don’t take that for granted.
If you could give your younger entrepreneurial self a piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself to GO FOR IT! I spent a lot of time in my 20’s afraid to take risks and waiting for the right career door to open (it never did). I definitely think my path led me to where I am today but life is way too short to be unhappy in your work. Also, don’t take yourself so seriously!
Bonus Question! What are your favorite hangout spots in Nashville?