As if we couldn’t love Glasswing even more, our hearts just grew three sizes knowing there will be not one, but two stores. Perched on the corner of Melrose and East Olive Way, only a short distance from its other home, is its divine new space, Glasswing Greenhouse.
It’s a new year with a fresh start. The air is brisk as I head down the street to meet Alisa Furoyama, co-owner of Glasswing, to talk about her newest adventure. The front of the shop is entirely glass, a peek, so to speak, into what’s inside. The windows are adorned with a plethora of plants and florals nesting on beautifully crafted live-edge wood tables by Brackish. I open the door and am almost knocked over, in the best way possible, by the fresh aroma lingering inside. Hold the phone, I think I’ve entered a verdant utopia.
Hanging above the entrance is a colossal eucalyptus in place of where a chandelier might be. My eyes bounce all over trying to take it all in. To my left: a darling arched doorway leads to another space where there are clothes on racks. To my right: a build your own stem station and plants—so many plants, everywhere, stacked high in the most aesthetically pleasing way. A stairway leads to an upper level, where there are even more, yep you guessed it, plants. Also upstairs: some pretty extraordinary kitchenware. My head is spinning and my cheeks are burning as I run my hand along the freshly painted white balcony and breath it all in... Flowers really do make you happy.
I gather around the front counter space with Furoyama, who has a soft but bubbly demeanor and is sporting a bob with bangs as well as some chic apparel from her store to talk shop about this exciting new space. She opened Glasswing, a men’s and women’s clothing boutique with an array of plant options, five years ago with her partner Forest Eckley and has always dreamed of opening another store someday. “Ironically in the very, very beginning we started out with plants. We did plant popups, even before we did clothing. I always knew that we wanted to do both going forward,” Furoyama says of her initial desire to open another shop.
The concept for the greenhouse has been in play for almost two years. Furoyama found herself inspired by Marigold and Mint, a floral retail shop that was originally housed in Melrose Market for seven years before moving to Pioneer Square. She remembers going in and immediately feeling her mood lift. “Florals are an extremely special department and thing in general. I remember that very emotional experience and always trying to find it again. Now that they have moved locations and are no longer on Capitol Hill, I felt like there has kind of been a void for it.”
When plant director Tassy de Give came on board, collaboratively they started to realize that the two-sided business at Glasswing felt so great together, but also that the plant and floral side of things could be its own living entity that evolves on its own. “We had big aspirations for it. Florals need refrigeration and proper space and we started to realize that we just wouldn’t be able to sustain it at Glasswing,” Furoyama says.
When the team initially introduced plants and flowers at Glasswing, they inevitably started to get inquiries about events and bigger, more exciting projects including office and residential redesign. "We want to be able to say yes to everything because we are yes people," says Furoyama.
The Greenhouse’s focus is on floral and plant design with a separated flex space that will primarily be used for workshops and experimental ground for whatever else they fancy. “Workshops are at the core of what we do. It's about building community by getting together, getting your hands dirty and learning something new. The more workshops that we can build into the space and partner with other businesses, the better.” You can build your own arrangement or bouquet at their open bar floral station and, of course, they’re there to assist when needed. “It’s surprising how many people want to do it themselves,” says de Give. Everything is priced individually and arrangements start at $35 and go up depending on the size.
The unique variety of plants, florals, planters, and assortment of other products they’re offering at the shop comes from all over. They work with several extraordinary vendors from the United States, Mexico, Vietnam, Hawaii, and Florida offering the best and most unique products. “We try to go local whenever we can, we source a lot of our stems from the Seattle Wholesale Marketing in SoDo, but some of the more unusual things we have to get from other places,” says de Give, their plant director. De Give offers a House Plants 101 course once a month to help all of us with black thumbs trying to learn and be better plant caretakers.
The team will have a grand opening party sometime later this month where they can officially say “this is our vision, we have our party shoes on and we’re ready to go,” says Furoyama. Future plans consist of partnering with local businesses that align with theirs, creating floral arrangements for their favorite restaurants and spaces, and starting to grow their own florals. They’re also looking to add a little delivery truck for online orders so they can drop off arrangements for special occasions. Be on the lookout, you're bound to see them sprouting up here and there.
Stay up to date with Glasswing Greenhouse via their Instagram @gwgreenhouse or stop by the shop (1351 East Olive Way) anytime Monday through Saturday 11 to 6 or Sunday from noon to 6. It’s time to polish your green thumbs and go join the party.