Life on Trinity Lane is greener now with the addition of two shops, FLORA and The Crop Shop.
A traveling pop up for the past year, FLORA owners Kate Holl and Kerbi Howat opened a storefront in a permanent space at 305 E Trinity Lane, Suite 103.
Kate Holl and Kerbi Howat of FLORA
Holl, originally from the Milwaukee area, moved to Nashville in 2011 to pursue working in the arts, but a trip to Yosemite National Park opened her mind to plants and changed her direction.
Howat, a plant lover and backyard gardener, came to Nashville in 2005 for college at Belmont, and loved the city so much that she stayed.
“We met through our husbands through music,” Holl said, “and started getting to know each other and realized we both love plants.”
“Talking about it with Kate pushed me to go forward with this dream,” Howat said.
Quickly, they formed a common goal to start FLORA, first in a cute tear-drop trailer setting up as a mobile vendor at hot spots around town, like NISOLO, White’s Mercantile and Bongo Java. The pair built up a solid clientele of loyal customers who can now visit their brick and mortar storefront, open every day except Monday.
Since opening in early spring, the specialty plant boutique features more than 25 species of indoor-appropriate tropical plants and succulents, ranging in various sizes and priced from $5 to $150.
“There wasn’t anything like it (in Nashville),” Howat said. “This is more like something you’d see on the West Coast, but we thought Nashville needed a place like this.”
Most of the plants come from a grower in Florida, and the shop also will sell bouquets from locally based The Farmers Florist, plus body products from Little Seed Farm and botanical art prints by Tess Erlenborn. Clientele can also take advantage of a loyalty program, and reserve the space for special private events.
“People now come to us, which is nice,” Howat said. “We will also go out and do consultations.”
The pair goes to private homes, hotels and restaurants to advise on plants for those spaces. Currently FLORA plants can be found in Crema and Lulu.
Its success, they say, has happened almost naturally. “Social media has been huge for us,” Holl said.
The Crop Shop, a plant and produce market, opened this April at 900 East Trinity Lane. The shop is the vision of Jim Stuart and Tony Marchetti.
“I’ve always been fond of East Nashville,” Stuart said, “I grew up on a family farm in a little town of Woodburn, Ky., and as a kid we always grew sweet corn and sold it out on the roadside. I started asking around to see where you can find fresh picked produce here and no one knew of anything.”
Open seven days a week, customers can find a variety of affordably priced in-season fresh produce like blackberries, blueberries, corn, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, sugar baby watermelon, plus Amish jams and cheeses. Outside of the store there are dozens of herbs, garden and patio plants.
“We start out in the spring with tropical plants and herbs for gardens. In the fall, we will sell 10 to 15,000 mums, plus pumpkins, and then we will open up for Christmas trees and close in January and February.”
“My father, who is now 81, he started the first Crop Shop on Highway 31 West, in Woodburn near Bowling Green, and it’s been there for as long as I can remember,” Stuart said.
“For decades he was on the honor system, and finally started taking digital payments in 2007. Where he is located has real advantages,” Stuart said. “We grow a lot of sweet corn there, and what we don’t grow the neighboring Amish farmers grow, and take those things to my dad’s store. Now I’m bringing that produce to Nashville.”