influencers

SPOTLIGHT ON: THE SILL

We have been crushin’ hard on The Sill these days. Designed for the busy urbanites, these Plant Experts bring innovation and accessibility to the concrete jungle. From their inspiring Instagramaccount to their hands-on in-studio workshops, we just had to ask: Who is the brains behind this plant mastery? Meet Eliza Blank, Founder and Creative Director of The Sill.

How did you get into the plant industry?

I grew up surrounded by plants in my hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts. My mother and grandmother are both avid gardeners and houseplant hoarders, which I took for granted when I moved to New York City to attend New York University. It was then - in this “concrete jungle” - that I realized how much greenery mattered to me. I missed having an abundance of plants around, and found that aside from the hanging pothos plants for sale at the corner bodega, it was difficult to track them down locally. After graduation, I moved back to Massachusetts for work, but the idea for The Sill was already planted in my mind. A few years later, when I found myself back in NYC “for good”, I decided to take the plunge and launch The Sill. 
What were you doing before you started The Sill?
 
After graduating from NYU in 2007, I spent time as a brand strategist at Wolff Olins. I then relocated back to Massachusetts to be the first marketing hire at the Cambridge-based start up, Living Proof. After almost four years at Living Proof, I moved once again back to New York City - and launched The Sill, with the help of a small boot-strapped Kickerstarter campaign in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood in 2012.

 

Where do you turn for inspiration? 

Inspo is endless! Especially now in the age of Instagram and Pinterest. On Instagram, we’re big fans of the Australia-based company Loose Leaf, and the blogging community Urban Jungle Bloggers, which was started by influencers Igor Josif and Judith de Graaff (both also follow-worthy!). This is just to name a few. Another source of inspiration for us is botanical gardens. Our team tries to make the time to explore a new one every month or so, or if a member is on vacation they’ll make sure to visit a local garden and snap some photos to share. Andrew Erdle, our VP of Brand, was just in Mexico and swung by FYJA - Mexico City’s Flower and Garden Festival at Chapultepec Botanical Garden. Our local favorites? The New York Botanical Garden and the Wave Hill public garden, both located in the Bronx. Botanical gardens are a great source of inspiration because you get to see plants in their “natural” habitats - where they’re most happy and thriving!
What is your favorite plant and why?
I love seeing my houseplants change in real time, so I prefer fast growing plants, especially those that you can stick up high on a bookshelf or cabinet and watch trail down. The apartment-friendly Pothos and Philodendron are two of my current favorites! They both come in a variety of different variegations so you’ll never get tired of decorating with them.

 

What is the easiest plant to care for when first starting out?

The Sansevieria, more commonly known as the snake plant, is our go-to recommendation for beginners. Not only is it striking in shape, making it a great addition to any space, but it is also famous for being extremely difficult to kill. (Full discloser, we’ve killed our fair share, so don’t get down on yourself if you have, too.) It’s extremely tolerate of neglect - and able to survive long periods of low light and lack of water. Did we mention it also sits on NASA’s list of top 10 indoor air-filtering plants? Not only does the Sansevieria convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, but it also naturally absorbs toxins, like formaldehyde, from indoor air.
Complete the sentence: "You need a houseplant, because…” 
 …plants make people happy!

 

The Lulu Team is plant obsessed. What would you recommend for our studio?

The Lulu team’s studio receives an abundance of light, so the possibilities are really limitless! (For the most part, all plants prefer bright to moderate, indirect light, but some - like the Sansevieria - can tolerate super low light levels.) We have a floor-sized Euphorbia acrurensis, a type of cactus, at our shop at 84 Hester Street and it’s a beauty! People pop in the shop sometimes just to snap a photo of it. Since Lulu’s studio space isn’t lacking in the sunlight department, like most NYC spaces are, we’d definitely recommend going all out with an awesome mix of cacti. There’s so many varieties out there to choose from. And the added bonus - you’ll only need to water them once a month ;)
What’s next for The Sill?
 
World-domination… We’re kidding! The Sill was born in New York City, and that will forever be in our company DNA, but we’re focusing on creating more of a national presence this year by expanding our national shipping options, creating more awesome content, and expanding our plant design, installation, and maintenance regions. We’re an ambitious and optimistic brand, so stay tuned!

 

In New York? Visit The Sill's studio at 84 Hester Street.