Eliza Blank has the ultimate green thumb for growing plants and her business, The Sill. Her brand has modernized the way we buy plants with an educational site and three beautiful shops in New York City and Los Angeles.
The Sill is built on the premise of slowing down and stopping to look at the greenery in an age when it feels like all we do is look at screens. Eliza helps bring this sense of mindfulness into people’s homes by streamlining the way we buy and choose plants.
Since Bowery is also rooted in greens, we are partnering with The Sill on a Food Tabletop & Plant Styling Workshop. To kick-off our partnership with The Sill, we asked Eliza a few questions about how she got started and the importance of plants in her life.
Tell us a little bit about your career before The Sill. What were you doing? What did you think you wanted to be doing?
I studied communications and started my career in brand strategy, and then as a brand manager at beauty brand, Living Proof. During my time at Living Proof I was inspired by other up-and-coming female entrepreneurs in the industry: the founder of Drybar and the co-founders of Birchbox. But the beauty industry wasn’t my passion. I wanted to start a business in the plant and garden category and knew that early on. It wasn’t until after my time at Living Proof that I felt ready to take on the challenge of starting up.
So when did The Sill come to fruition? What inspired the concept?
I was determined to make my very first apartment feel like home. Unfortunately, like most New Yorkers, my very first apartment was a 200 square foot studio up six flights of stairs with two windows facing a brick wall. On the other hand, I grew up with grass under my feet and greenery all around me. So, when it came time to find plants for my apartment I was shocked and disappointed how few options there were. I had stumbled on a universally beloved category that was being sold as a commodity — not for a consumer like myself. It was clearly time to modernize. And that’s when I stepped in.
At Bowery, we believe our modern farming methods will help build a better future. Do you feel there’s a similar mission at The Sill?
Oh heck yes! As Americans we spend 90% of our lives indoors and 11 of our waking hours in front of a screen. Plants are needed now more than ever before. Plants make people happy.
Can you share a little bit more about how you source your plants?
Our plant supply chain is entirely domestic and we are excited to be working with the best growers in Florida, California and New Jersey. Sustainability is absolutely top of mind for us. And we put this into practice across the entire business – whether it’s how we choose packaging, to how we clean our shops, it’s always a consideration.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying not to kill their plant?
Just keep on going and growing. Plants like anything else take practice and commitment. It’s okay if you’ve killed a plant! We all do it. Just don’t let that experience discourage you. Instead, see it as an opportunity to learn from. Did you overwater it? Did you neglect it? Perhaps it was just the wrong plant for the spot you chose. Try again.
We know it’s hard to choose a favorite as a plant parent, but do you have a most loved plant?
My favorite is the Philodendron cordatum. It’s a happy shade of green. The leaves are heart shaped. And it grows quickly. A nice reminder to keep going and growing.
When you’re not nurturing and running The Sill, where might we find you?
At home with my daughter. Just another wonderful nugget to nurture and grow!
How do you remain mindful while running a business?
We believe that plants are the antidote to the anxieties that come with a fast-paced lifestyle. They are slower. Watering your plants – or just admiring them – is a great practice in mindfulness. We think of The Sill as a wellness brand to some extent, so we are constantly thinking about our customers feelings and needs. This keeps us mindful about ourselves, too.
And for our last question – what vegetable dish would you choose to eat for the rest of your life?
There is nothing I love more than fresh vegetables. The more colorful the better. I would be happy eating salads the rest of my life. That said, as a treat – I also really love a good veggie lasagna.
Eliza Blank contributed to this article in her own personal capacity. The views expressed are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bowery Farming, Inc.