Places we Love that Love Plants: Virtue Salon, Clintonville
For the month of February, we're spreading the love and highlighting some of our favorite plant-loving businesses around Columbus. We've checked in with them to ask why they love plants and how having plants in their business shapes their customer experience. Up first: a conversation with TJ Guzzo, of the stylish and beautiful vegan salon, Virtue Salon, in Clintonville.
How many plants do you have at the salon?
Over 30. We would have more, however we need to maintain space for our Guests and Hairdressers.
How have you acquired your plants? Where do they come from?
I have purchased most through Oakland Nursery. A few I have adopted from team members or guests that have needed some TLC to get then back to thriving. Additionally, a few have been donated to the Salon from Guests who could no longer care for them as they grew to big for their homes! I feel a responsibility for the plants that have been donated to nurture them and continue their run.
What prompted you to include plants in your space?
We are a vegan, Eco-Friendly Salon and from the beginning, 10 years ago, we knew that plants play such an integral role in life. We have always had an outdoor green space and have slowly built our army of plants inside. Interior plants bring life to a space and helps with work place morale...not to mention it looks good. It all started with a fiddle leaf fig we purchased from Oakland Nurseries many years ago. It is now over 8 feet tall and very popular among our Guests and Team.
Who takes care of your plants? Do you have a plant-parent on your staff?
I do. :) I am the full time manager at Virtue Salon and husband to Melanie Guzzo the owner. Managing the plants has taken on quite a bit of a role in my weekly duties.
How do your clients, customers, or guests respond to your plant collection?
It has been so much fun growing our little Virtue jungle. Our Guests have loved them! Guests are always commenting on them and asking for help with their own plants. I have been able to give many guests cuttings from many of my plants. (Or directed them to Oakland to purchase their own:)). One of my favorite things is when they return to the Salon and talk about how well their propagation is doing or discussing any issues they may be having. One of our core values is Old Fashioned Hospitality and I feel like establishing this connection with our Guests is an amazing way to do just that.
What's your favorite thing/s about having plants in your business?
The challenge. I am not a plant expert but have just learned by trial and error how to care for them as they grow bigger and through the seasons. Its also nice to have it be a part of my job to maintain them it makes it easier to give them the attention they need every week. Also as I mentioned before I love connecting with our Guests and Team about their plants and sharing some of ours with them.
Anything else you want to share about the intersection of plants and your business?
Another perk is I am constantly moving plants from my home to our shop. Rotating plants in and out depending on needs allows us to change things up a bit from time to time. This also means our house is full of different plants.