The unassuming glass door of Babygreens separates the industrial feel of downtown Bellingham from the magic behind it. In this indoor plant shop, fiddle-leaf fig trees tower over Swiss cheese palm plants. Sunlight filters in through large windows, hitting the heartleaf philodendron hanging from the ceiling. Small succulents line the shelves as larger snake plants rest on the floor. It is like stepping into another world.
Founder, owner, and Western Washington University graduate Nick Meza opened the shop in April and envisioned a space that was creative and comfortable from the beginning. He planned every detail, even down to the long leather couch resting against the back wall and the large colorful artwork showcased above the cash register.
The attention to detail seems to be paying off. The Instagram account dedicated to the plant shop already has more than 4,000 followers after being open only six months. Instagram is one of the main marketing tools Meza uses.
“Plants are very photogenic and there is a lot of opportunity for cool photography,” Meza says. “The big selling point for a lot of people with plants is the design of them and how they look. There’s a lot of opportunity to market creatively in a very aesthetically pleasing and fresh way with photography and plants. It just works really naturally.”
Indoor plants have become increasingly popular since 2016. Data collected in the 2016 National Gardening Report found that 6 million people started gardening that year and the vast majority of them were aged 18 to 34. Most of Meza’s customers fall between 20 to 30 years old, which he attributes to the large social media presence of the store and the popularity of indoor plants.
“It’s a very multi-dimensional thing” with everything from their appearance to their use in interior design. “Stylistically they’ve become really popular,” Meza says. “But I think the other half is there’s a growing appreciation for nature and for being around plants. People are learning more about the benefits they provide and how they clean the air and how you can connect in a space that is full of life.”
The best-selling plants in the shop are small succulents, cacti, and hanging plants, but it depends on customer needs. Finding the right plant for the right environment is the key to success.
“Plants create really nice energy,” Meza says. “It’s something that you can tend to and mindfully care for, watch grow, and you can take care of it and that’s really rewarding.”
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