Plant & Curio - Gen & Leslie
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you meet each other and decide to open a store?
We've met about 8 years ago from mutual friends. We'd be going to the same local shows or parties. Only a year ago we've realized we had to same passion and love for houseplants. We started sharing cuttings and sharing our personal experience/tips. We would occasionally dream about how it would be like to have our own plant shop, but always thought it would never happen. One day I get a call from Leslie telling me about this great little spot for rent and if we should give this dream a shot. Next thing you know, the first week in November we opened our doors. Sometimes it still feels like a dream because everything happened so fast.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
The biggest challenge for us as new business owners is learning from everything we do. Everything is basically a big trial and error at the moment. Especially when we both had never worked in the botanical field before. Everything is very new and we try our best to learn and listen to our clients.
What does Ottawa bring to your business?
Ottawa is like a small town. Everyone is welcoming and ready to support/help each other. Ottawa loves keeping things local and helping out local artists, so I think this helps us a lot. Since we have opened we've received so much love from other local business that it makes things a lot easier on us and makes it worthwhile. We hope when we finally settled in we will be able to pay it forward.
How many plants have you sold to date?
We've sold about 1800 plants so far :)
Whats your favourite plant and why?
My favourite plant has to be Calatheas. They come in so many different beautiful colours, textures and shapes. Always the best plant to bring a hint of colour to your green collection. I love how this plant responds to its surroundings. At night the leaves fold up so you can see its beautiful purple colour.
Most sought item in store?
One of our good friend Barb Ochman's handmade "face" planters. A new one is often only in the store for a matter of hours! That and Pilea Peperomioides - instagram's most famous and cutest plant haha.
Your favourite place to go for Lunch/ coffee in town?
Ahhh so many places especially in Centretown! We love Wilf and Ada's, The Dumpling Bowl, Saigon Boy and the Noodle House. I had a divine blueberry danish from Breadbyus a few weeks ago and I still think about it daily. We love a good Bridgehead coffee and croissant as well.
What is your favourite part of your day and your job?
Definitely being surrounded by plants - I've barely noticed the winter for the first time this year because the shop really is my little tropical oasis. And of course chatting with plant-enthusiastic customers, especially ones who tell us/show us their success stories. Talking about plants with other house plant lovers gives us a chance to learn something new everyday!
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
Gen always laughs/shakes her head at me, but I never feel like we have enough plants! I even dream about them and wake up in the middle of the night to search the internet for new plant sources and hard-to-get plants. One of our biggest objectives was to have a great selection for customers so its exciting every time they come to the shop!
Where do you see Plant & Curio in 20 years?
As Gen explained, its all kinda been a whirlwind so far, so this is the first time that question has ever crossed my mind! But now that you've got me thinking that far into the future.. I'd love to have Plant and Curio grow/expand so we can have even more...ALL THE PLANTS !!