Embellished with bright colors, patterns, pottery and, most importantly, plants, Green Lady Gardens is a Latin American themed house plant boutique in Denver. Here you’ll find common and rare house plants, pottery, accessories, tools and handmade decor in the heart of Denver’s Santa Fe art district.
After graduate school, Jessica Schutz found herself unemployed. She had always hoped to own a business but wasn’t sure when or how to start. Schutz began Green Lady Gardens through selling moss walls and house plants at farmer’s market.
One day in 2018, Schutz drove by her current location on Santa Fe. At the time, the building had a “For Lease” sign on it. The entrepreneur automatically knew it was the perfect place to start her long dreamed of business. She signed the lease the next week and began her journey into owning one of Denver’s most unique plant boutiques.
Schutz envisioned exactly what she wanted from her future plant boutique before she had even signed the lease. She craved to be different from other house plant boutiques in the area. To do so, Schutz wanted a Latin American themed store.
“They all look identical,” Schutz said referring to other plant stores in Denver. “For retail to work, you have to create an experience. I wanted something that was bright, colorful and fun.
The store fulfills the Latin American theme with blue, red and yellow walls, Aztec print pillows and blankets, a multi-pattern tiled counter, Mexican pottery, Salsa music and splashes of colors wherever possible.
Customers are greeted with a smile and an explanation of the one-of-a-kind plant matching system when they enter Green Lady Gardens. Schutz emphasized that no other house plant store in Colorado has a system like hers.
By giving each plant a care level based off of the plant’s weekly needs, like watering habits and light conditions, Schutz can personally match the right house plant with the right customer.
“Level one tolerates neglect and doesn’t need that much attention and communicates needs. Two is generally once a week type of care. Level three is going to be plants that need more humidity. Fours, I don’t even sell fours,” she said. “I’m honest with people. If they pick out a plant that I don’t think they are going to be happy with, I tell them they should not buy it.”
Green Lady Gardens also serves as Denver’s go-to place for rare plants. Green Lady Gardens sells at least one exotic plant a week. On Thursdays, Schutz announces that week’s rare plant for sale online. When there are a few of the same plant for sale, they are sold to the first arrivals in store. When there is a limited amount of a plant, Schutz will use a raffle on Instagram to sell the plant.
“I’m maintaining that as what I am known for in Colorado,” Schutz explained.
Schutz is looking to continue to grow her plant boutique and business in the future. She is hoping to increase her sales of rare plants. She envisions her own pottery line and Green Lady Garden products. As her business grows, however, Schutz plans to continue to focus on the customer’s experience.
“I want to grow but stay small enough that I can keep it personable,” she said.
There isn’t a downside to being surrounded by house plants all day, but the interactions Schutz has with her customers are her favorite part of owning Green Lady Gardens. The people coming into her store make running a business worth it.
“People come in happy, excited and curious and I’m able to help them and build them with confidence so that they leave and they feel good about themselves,” Schutz said. “If someone leaves my store feeling like, ‘I’m going to kill it,’ or just not super stoked, I feel like I didn’t do my job.”
All photography by Jordan Poorman.