Talk of the town this weekend orbited around two main events: the Sunflower Trail Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay, and the grand opening of Poorman Plants. First, let’s talk about the Sunflower race.
The Sunflower seems like a rite of passage for valley runners and is a ritual for many devotees who travel here to run amidst the natural bouquet. After many transformations over its lifetime, this year’s race was no exception. A pushed-up date, staggered stops, limited entry to 500 runners, no finish line party, no shuttle, masked start lines, and fewer aid stations were among a few of the measures Methow Trails undertook to provide a safe race. Congratulation Methow Trails for 40 years of the Sunflower!
Poorman Plants, a new retail shop on West Second Avenue, is the passion child of Valerie Husby, who celebrated her 34th birthday Saturday by opening her long-envisioned dream: an indoor/outdoor plant store in Twisp.
Valerie moved here just over four years ago with her significant other, Kris Ericson, local and owner of Methow Construction. Together they started family, built a home on Poorman Creek on his family’s land, and now own Poorman Plants.
Valerie’s love of plants started over a decade ago when plants became a source of refuge, offering renewal and inspiration to make positive changes in her life. She wants to bring that to others through offering houseplants which are currently unavailable in the valley.
The space was renovated in less than a month with a style and aesthetic that Valerie hopes brings a peaceful, serene feeling to customers plus some interior design inspiration. The store is mix of local products and exotic items. Handmade baskets from Africa as well as macrame from Little Larch Studios made in Mazama by Megan Leedom adorn the shelves and walls.
Valerie is featuring local seeds from Methow Valley Seed Collective, a new cooperative of seed growers up Twisp River, Twisp River Seeds and Hoodoo Blooms. While garden plants are the big push as the growing season begins, she looks forward to offering more creative activities such as wreath-making workshops during the holidays, and more house plants to fill the store in the winter.
Valerie is extremely grateful for the outpouring of help from the community to make the opening a success. Asking nothing in return, neighboring businesses and strangers have stopped by to offer help. Sindi Scheinberg, an experienced design consultant, dropped in when she saw something happening. Sindi offered up ideas for displays, props and finishing touches to the displays and was there on opening day to make sure a smooth start. But Valerie was no rookie. She had experience in corporate retail prior to moving to the valley, so setting up a store, while exhausting, didn’t seem too foreign. She was accustomed to late night turnovers and arranging displays.
Valerie sourced many of her necessary retail infrastructure locally from online forums where locals got word of her opening. The store displays include a wooden hutch from Lina Estes from the former PIC boutique; a velvet couch from Hilary Ketchum ar the Thrifty Fox; a till from Kary Brennan at Gathered in Winthrop. Robin Doggett helped set up her point-of-sale; Kaileah Akker from the Confluence Gallery painted her sign; and Tess Hoke contributed shelving units from Yard Food, which will no longer be a retail plant store.
The store came together in a little over a month, an ambitious timeline for the mom of a toddler. Kris, her partner, was big help in building shelves and remodeling, putting in extra hours after work. But she also credits a lot to the community at large that stepped in to make as what to Valerie felt like a true “community effort.”