PLANT PLACES: Pollen Floral Works
Wanna be whisked away to an overwhelmingly inspiring, whimsical, lush, plant-filled oasis? Keep on readin’ for a tour of one of our all-time favorite plant places, Pollen Floral Works. Owners Jason & Vince Vorse are an epic power couple who brought their Los Angeles talents all the way to Jason’s hometown of Castle Rock, Washington with a major dream in mind. They envisioned a magical sanctuary filled with all things plants & floral, a creative hub where locals join them for workshops & events, a space that their community has longed for – and that’s exactly what they brought to life with Pollen Floral Works!
We caught up with Jason (Pollen’s creative floral designer) and his husband, Vince (Pollen’s innovative visual merchandiser) & got the lowdown on their thriving floral shop that quickly became the talk of the town. In fact, they’re celebrating Pollen’s first shop anniversary this month (August 2018) and have already moved & expanded since their grand opening. It’s safe to say that their business has bloomed & grown quite beautifully! They’ve shared some bright insight into how they’ve made it all happen & have let us into their charming, botanical world. Take a peek…
What was the inspiration behind opening up your plant shop?
Jason: We wanted the freedom to cultivate a creative space where we sell items we love & believe in. It was a conscious decision to only sell items that we would buy at affordable prices. We want people to have an appreciation for craftsmanship and design, and we try to give them that at a fair price.
Vince: I agree with Jay! However, it’s been the best and most difficult aspect of our model because I want to take everything home! I genuinely get sad when someone buys my babies!
When did you open up your plant shop?
Vince: It will be a year on August 12th!! We opened our doors hoping that people would respond to our vibes with a 5 year growth plan. Within the first 4 months, we realized we had underestimated ourselves and the community’s desire to have a shop like ours in the area. It was a revelation! People were hungry for a change! They’ve welcomed us with open hearts and truly understand our art!
What have you learned as a plant shop owner?
Jason: Presentation is everything. We put so much thought into every single piece. They are all individual and unique. We work hard to match plants with their ideal pots and containers based on shape, proportion, color, and so on. It’s not always easy!!
Vince: DON’T GET ATTACHED! We create so much beauty, so it’s hard not to!
How do you incorporate plants into your lifestyle outside of your shop?
We’re both pretty huge plant & flower nerds! Most evenings are spent talking about our plants and in our gardens – both indoor and outdoor. They’re both pretty extraordinary considering our space. We will actually get rid of furniture in order to create space for plants. We have a giant Monarda Didyma outside that has attracted a family of hummingbirds and bumblebees that make us very happy. Indoors, we recently added a Selloum Philodendron that is thriving and rapidly growing up, which gets us so excited! It’s strategically placed were we drink our coffee every morning so we can properly admire it.
Do you give your plants names?
Jason: I don’t name our plants. I have in the past, however it’s not a practice I have continued as of late.
Vince: Yeah, I don’t either. I refer to them as my babies and I call them ‘Beautiful’ or by their genus species, but no specific names.
Do you ever talk to your plants?
Vince: Whenever I’m near them! I tell them that I love them & express to them how much joy they bring into my life. Plants are not inanimate objects or just décor; they’re sentient beings with feelings and memory. They’re alive and need to be nurtured. I believe people forget that sometimes.
Jason: I do when no one is watching. It’s quite personal to me, so I don’t really want to share it… next question!
Do you play music for your plants?
Jason: At Pollen, I play music all day long – I think their favorite is disco. Everyone likes disco.
Vince: How can you be be sad, upset or grumpy listening to disco? It’s simply not possible.
Pots or baskets?
Jason: Easy! POTS! They give you more freedom to move with ease. We like to change our environment/space quite often. And pots allow you to rearrange and try new angles and elevations! It’s really a no brainer!
What is your favorite plant for low light?
Vince: Hands down it’s got to be the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (AKA the ZZ plant) – or as Jay calls it, the ‘Baked Ziti plant.’ Its foliage is modern and minimal while looking exotic & strangely prehistoric. It’s light requirements are very minimal and it adds so much character to any space.
What is your favorite plant that requires minimal care?
Vince: Ferns currently have my heart. There are so many species and cultivars to choose from! They’re pretty self-sufficient once you strike their ideal balance of low light/filtered and water. There is a variety for everyone and they add so much whimsy & enchantment to every room.
Jason: For me, it’s a Hoya, especially varieties with heart shaped leaves. They’re very low maintenance and enjoy a heavy water, but love to dry out between watering. You just let it be and it rewards you with sweet blooms – they are mini pink bouquets.
How do you water your hanging plants?
Jason: Everything depends on the plant. Tillandsias, kokedamas and succulent wreaths all get a soak in our basin sink and drip dry. Hanging baskets and containers need a bit more monitoring, as they tend to dry out more quickly.
How many plants have you killed this year?
Vince: A few that still hurt – the most painful being my 18 year old Ficus Benjamina. We didn’t allow it to transition properly during the fall months leading into winter & we shocked it by bringing it indoors. Before I knew it, it had dropped all of its leaves and was on a slow decline. I tried everything for weeks. It hurt so badly, it was part of my life for so long and it started out as a bonsai and ended up 6ft tall! I was devastated. It was a hard lesson learned: you need to let plants acclimate to new environments.
Jason: Not on purpose, but yes. It saddens me to think about it.
Who takes care of your plants when you’re out of town?
Vince: Since we moved to the Pacific Nothwest and opened up Pollen Floral Works, we haven’t had much time to leave town! Most of our plants are pretty hearty and don’t require much attention. They have also acclimated to our watering schedule. Choosing plants that fit your lifestyle is important! If you’re not home often, don’t buy plants that require too much care – like a fiddle leaf! Do your research, don’t be afraid to ask a professional, and be realistic!
If you were a plant, which plant would you be and why?
Jason: I’m a water lily. I love that they grow in mire and press through to bloom spectacularly & to be admired.
Vince: I’m pretty cliché on this one… I’m a garden rose. My favorite memories growing up involve my grandmother’s rose garden. They were so so fragrant and she watched over them so tenderly. My favorite rose is the Yves Piaget. Plus, pink is kinda my spirit color. So, duh!
Fallen in love with Pollen? SAME. HERE. Join them on their floral-filled journey & follow along on Instagram for all of their latest magical moments. We are eager to see what sort of out-of-this-world, unique arrangements & curated goodies Jason & Vince will dream up next!
Know of a super inspiring plant shop you’d like us to feature? We wanna see ‘em! Shoot us an email at [email protected] to find out if your Plant Place could be spotlighted on Jungalow®.