Urban Roots is known for their quirky/chic style and grounded, down-to-earth staff that love to help. Aside from their botanical attractions, Urban Roots is also home to many furry friends. We had the chance to chat with them about how they manage it all.
1. Urban Roots seems like a fun spot for locals. What do you find your customers love most about the environment you create?
We get a lot of compliments on our quirky décor and friendly employees. Located in the heart of the Irish Channel in Uptown, we are truly a local spot. Customers can find a surprise around every corner. Maybe it's some beautiful blooms or a free-roaming chicken looking for a snack. The animals are a big draw as well as the quality of our pottery and plants.
2. I noticed that you did a flash sale of 4” plants over the summer. How did that work for you? Any tips for organizing an event like this? Was this a new idea for you or something you’ve done seasonally?
4" and 6" house plant sales are popular, but the Cactus/Succulent sale brings out customers in droves. Our first summer sale was 5 years ago and this was the most popular one yet. In late August, promotional emails start but customers are already asking about dates and details. It is amazing. Last year we brought in over 2,600 cactus and succulents. We plan sales months in advance, sourcing the best plants we can find. Vendors do a great job in helping to make these sales a success.
3. What do you think the secret is to re-engaging your long-time customers?
We stay true to our core values and make each customer feel valued. We make sure they know we recognize them and appreciate their support. Most have shopped us from the beginning (8 years now) and love that we've grown. We share stories of the early days and we are quick to give them credit for that growth.
4. The Urban Roots Instagram page is wonderfully photographed and has a great community following. How do you find it supports your business?
Social media makes it easy to reach customers. It allows us to quickly communicate what's new and in-stock. We use it to promote sales and specials, as well as updates on our animal friends.
5. We love your gift shop. I’m curious about your buying process. Where do you find new items? Any new trends in what customers are looking for?
We have slowly grown that part of the business. We listened to what our customers asked for and grew our inventory from there. We travel to West Coast trade shows looking for something our competitors do not carry. We use non-traditional shelves and lots of found items to create the "vibe" of our shop. Macramé hanging planters from the 70's and 80's are making a tremendous comeback. Along with the continued interest in houseplants, our customers are looking for innovative ways of displaying them. Macramé fits the bill!
6. You’re furry friends are beyond cute. What’s the history behind their part in your business and community?
Our animal friends started with 2 rescue rabbits after our first Easter in business. Lionel and Bunny Foo became - and still are - extremely popular. We started to take in other rescues and quickly found the animals set us apart from competitors. it became a great way to help animals in need and give our customers a unique experience. Customers come to adore them. Many have never been so close to a goat or pig and they love bringing them treats and following their growth and progress.