We’ve got a soft spot for female CEOs running cool NYC companies—call it a “like attracts like” sorta thing—and a growing affection for today's contributor Eliza Blank. Founder of The SIll, Blank is the quintessential small-biz superhero, re-defining plant retail one potted perennial at a time. The green-thumbed go-getter launched her brand to fill a void she’d pinpointed in the modern indoor plant market, perfectly on cue with an uptick in millennials making their homes cozier with plant multiplicity.
Every New Yorker we know turns to The Sill for their easy-to-order, delivered-to-your-door (not just in NYC!), eminently giftable plant goodies, also perfect for starting your own fledgling plant fam. They’re big on building a sense of community, and encouraging beginning plant collectors to take the leap—there’s even an “Easy for Beginners” section to browse on their site.
The Sill's approach is simple, straightforward, and stylish, combining the thrill of staking out your next houseplant purchase at the local garden supply with the curation and convenience of a savvy online experience. Worth noting: though they started on the internet, their NYC brick and mortar stores are a must-visit, if only to bask in the chill ambiance of their thoughtfully arranged, lush plantlife. They’ll be the first to agree that plants make people happy.
Below, catch our 5+5 interview with Blank, the Manhattanite, goddess of greenery and Matisse admirer herself. – Jen Bekman + Team 20x200
5 Perfect Picks
1) Small Rohdea Collection I, a 20x200 Vintage Edition
It's amazing to see how timeless houseplants are! This botanical illustration is from a book that was published in 1832 - almost 200 years ago. I love the little pedestals underneath the ornate planters.
2) Watercolor New York by Stamen Design
Manhattan is The Sill's home base! Although we ship across the contiguous United States, both of our physical shop locations are in New York City. One on the Lower East Side, and one on the Upper West Side.
3) Weedwatching Wall Hanging by Jen Hewett
I love the colors and simplicity of this wall hanging. I wouldn't mind those "weeds" in my backyard garden.
4) Columbus Circle, Manhattan, 1938 by Berenice Abbott
It's incredible to see old photographs of New York City. This one of Columbus Circle is from 1938! If it wasn't for the monument in the middle, it would almost unidentifiable from the Columbus Circle of today.
5) someday by Yosuke Yamaguchi
It's on my bucket list to see a Giant Rafflesia in the wild - that's the red flower pictured on the left that almost looks like it was pulled out of a sci-fi movie. It can grow up to a few feet in diameter! I love the dreamlike state and colors of this piece.
5 Q's + 5 A's
1) What's your favorite museum?
The MASS MoCA - where I married my husband Steve :)
2) What's your most coveted coffee table book?
That's a tough one! Right now on my coffee table is Living with Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home by Rebecca Atwood.
3) If you could be reincarnated as an artist, who would you want to be?
Frida Kahlo - who wouldn't want to call La Casa Azul home?
4) You've got $5m to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
Anything by Henri Matisse! His cut-out series was the inspiration behind The Sill's original brand identity.
5) Our rallying cry 'rounds these parts is "live with art — it's good for you". Plants have a similar sort of magic. What advice would you give to novice plant collectors looking to add a little green goodness to their lives?
Don't be afraid! The best way to learn to care for plants is through experience.
The 411 on Eliza Blank
Eliza is the Founder & CEO of The Sill, the first plant brand with a vision to modernize the garden center by bringing it online, integrating commerce with content and community. Eliza started The Sill in 2012 after starting her career in Brand Strategy at Wolff Olins and CPG Marketing for beauty care start up Living Proof. Eliza graduated from NYU in 2007 with a B.S. in Communications.