If you are on Instagram, you may have noticed one of the many posts from a new business that’s been planted at Northwestern.
NWC Roots and Threads, a plant and clothing shop, is run by sophomores Emma De Groot and Delanie Coady. They share photos and videos of items they have for sale. Most recently, the page has been overrun by ficus, calathea and cacti.
De Groot became interested in plants during her freshman year when she and her roommate, Alayna Bakke, purchased air plants for their dorm room. From there, she began exploring many different types of plants and created her personal mini jungle.
While stuck in quarantine this spring, De Groot turned to her interest in plants to occupy her time. She collected plenty of new plants to brighten up her study room. As she accumulated more, she researched and learned how to propagate.
Propagating is where you take clippings from parent plants and grow new roots in water. After doing that successfully a few times, De Groot decided to start growing her own succulents and cacti from seed.
“I honestly just find it really interesting how plants grow and react to different sunlight, water and environments,” De Groot said.
What started as a small collection soon filled her entire apartment on campus. This is what gave her the idea to begin selling them.
De Groot and Coady already had a clothing page on Instagram to help make some extra money, so they had some followers. They switched their name to NWC Roots and Threads, posted their first plant on Sept. 30 of this year and have had a great initial response.
The plants are grown and kept in De Groot’s sunroom at her home in Orange City. She says that her parents and siblings have helped her find fun pots at thrift stores, pot plants for her and water them occasionally.
De Groot’s grandfather has also been a great help as well. He has done a lot of woodworking for the plant stands and air plant holders, along with teaching De Groot many valuable skills. Coady also spends a lot of time painting the unique pots and designing the Instagram page, which is incredibly helpful for the business.
One of De Groot and Coady’s biggest sources of publicity has been the giveaway they posted on their page. They gave away some of their plants along with their favorite things from local businesses to one of the many people who shared their page. This was very successful and turned out to be a great way to market their new business while supporting other small local businesses that they love.
So far, they have had mainly NW and Dordt students as customers, along with a few graduates and local community members.
“We are just selling our plants via the gram for now. I dream of opening a plant shop someday, but for now, this how we market our small little business,” De Groot said.
They hope to expand at some point and get their name out to more of the community, but for now, they are thrilled with the business they are getting right here on campus.
De Groot said that her favorite part so far has been delivering the plants to their new owners and seeing their plant collections.
If plants are something that you love or you are just interested in supporting a new small business here at NW, then you can find and follow @nwcrootsandthreads on Instagram. Each plant posted will have the name of the plant, the price and information on how to care for the plant.