It’s no accident that beautiful design is at the forefront of the STUMP experience.
By Sharon Holbrook
If the bare trees, frozen ground, and the gray palette of a Shaker winter have you looking for escape, go no further than the Van Aken District. STUMP (3398 Tuttle Road), a sleek, inviting plant store on the central lawn across from Mitchell’s Ice Cream, has the boost you need right now.
STUMP is nothing like the limp plant section at a big-box store. For starters, it’s gorgeous. Against serene white walls, a profusion of green stands out against artisan made, earthy ceramics and rustic wood tables and shelving. And customers get the kind of personalized service and unique products that come only with smaller, local, and more thoughtful stores like STUMP.
It’s no accident that beautiful design is at the forefront of the STUMP experience. Married founders and owners Brian and Emily Kellett graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design. After backgrounds in photography and industrial design, respectively, they have brought their aesthetic expertise and a passion for plants to the STUMP stores they’ve opened in the last four years – two in Columbus, one in Philadelphia, and their newest in Shaker Heights.
Each of the four stores is purposely on the smaller side and staffed by only two or three highly trained employees. That’s so employees can serve all kinds of customers well, from the beginner to the connoisseur. “With everybody that comes in, we try to get a feeling for things like, do you have plants already? Do you travel a lot? Do you have a dark house? Do you have a sunroom? We kind of get a feel for the situation and then try to guide them in the right direction,” says Emily.
For the just-give-me-something-I-can’t-kill customer, STUMP employees – typically Bekah Lehman or Myranda Owens in Shaker – can point them to easy-care plants that thrive on low light and infrequent watering, or they can offer the basic care instruction for a plant that needs a little more upkeep. A take-home card for each plant provides that information as well. STUMP is also happy to
troubleshoot care after purchase.
Experienced plant hobbyists will also find a lot to love. Regulars have been known to pop in on plant delivery day to check out and grab the newest unique arrivals. “If you see something that you like a lot, you probably should get it,” Brian says. “Because if it’s something unique, we might not get it again for a year or so.”
STUMP’s Instagram (@stumpplants) is also a good way to stay up on new arrivals.
The ceramic pots that the plants come in are part of the STUMP experience. Emily designs some of the pots and others are handmade largely by Ohio artists in accordance with STUMP’s specifications. The result is a cohesive but varied selection. Then it’s the customer’s turn to create their own look: Bring in your own plant, buy a pot, and STUMP will repot it for you for free. Same deal if it’s your pot from home, and you come in and purchase a plant. Or mix and match plants and pots within the store – STUMP will help you with that too. Any way you do it, you’ll be bringing home your own artistic creation, and a little bit of springtime.