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
40 WINTER 2020 | WWW.SHAKER .LIFE