Refresh: Elio Calabrese | Urban Planting Cleveland

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Urban Planting Cleveland has not just grown—

it’s florurished.

Since I wrote my first feature article with Urban Planting Cleveland in September 2018, the tropical foliage plant shop has expanded across multiple avenues, and the growth is not stopping any time soon. Now, a little less than a year after opening his first studio shop in The Hildebrandt Building, Founder Elio Calabrese has moved his urban jungle oasis into a modernized storefront located in Cleveland’s Edgewater neighborhood, on Clifton Boulevard. 

Urban Planting Cleveland is a company founded with the purpose of bringing plant life into the built environment. Here’s what’s been up in the shop since we last checked in:

Urban Planting Cleveland’s Edgewater Neighborhood Storefront is Pet, Kid, and Superhero Friendly.

Urban Planting Cleveland’s Edgewater Neighborhood Storefront is Pet, Kid, and Superhero Friendly.

Things you need to know:

Urban Planting Cleveland is now located at 10908 Clifton Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44102

  1. Current store hours (check Google and social media for the latest):

    Tuesday: 12-7pm

    Wednesday: 3:30-7pm

    Thursday: 12-7pm

    Friday: 10am-2:30pm

    Saturday: 11am-5pm

    Sunday: by appointment only

  2. You can hire Urban Planting Cleveland to create custom moss artwork for your home or business.

  3. Urban Planting Cleveland offers plant rentals for events and gatherings.

  4. Amazing events and collaborations are always popping up at the studio shop! Check them out.

Custom moss artwork on display at the Urban Planting Cleveland studio shop. Fun fact: it lights up in many different ways!

Custom moss artwork on display at the Urban Planting Cleveland studio shop. Fun fact: it lights up in many different ways!

what he’s up to now

Q&A with A Linderella Story

I love plants and I want others to be able to learn about them and enjoy them as much as I do.

-Elio Calabrese

In our last interview, you had just moved into your previous studio space in The Hildebrandt Building. When did you know it was time to move your business out of a community based building and into a more traditional retail storefront?

I was at The Hildebrandt building for a little less than a year and I absolutely loved it.  Unfortunately, during our busy summer months, the studio became more of a storage facility and I was never physically there.  I quickly realized that what I needed to do to in order to escalate by business was to move to an easily accessible storefront. 

I started looking early in the spring and by July I found what is now our amazing new space.  Our new location has allowed us to gain a lot of foot traffic and being at a main intersection allows people to see our shop as they are stopped at the light or driving past—many times deciding to turn down the W. 110th side street and stop in to browse our plant selection.  Seeing so many new faces has been a really cool experience. 

Urban Planting Cleveland offers a unique variety of tropical foliage, plants, and custom moss creations.

Urban Planting Cleveland offers a unique variety of tropical foliage, plants, and custom moss creations.

In your previous studio space, you worked extremely hard to create a relaxing, unique atmosphere where everyone feels welcomed in your shop. Can we expect the same vibe in your new location?

Same vibe—different space!  Everything in our new storefront is very fresh and clean, yet I was still able to tie in the relaxed, modern industrial vibe we created in The Hildebrandt Building.  We’ve got an updated feel to our original vibe and I love to see how the storefront continues to grow and evolve.  

Have you had to make adjustments to caring for the plants in your new storefront?

In the new shop we can’t just dump water everywhere like we were able to do at the Hildebrandt Building—so that’s been an adjustment for us! But, in all seriousness, caring for the plants has been a lot easier due to the amount of natural light in our new space. Plus, the new storefront has allowed us to have a quicker turnover for plants, which is always convenient for us and them!  

How does this new storefront broaden your horizons as a business/ business owner?

This new shop puts us right in the spotlight and has allowed us to gain a lot more publicity.  It is a place that is accessible to people from all over, and that in itself will allow us to expand quickly and build up a much larger client base in a shorter period of time. 

Pilea peperomioides aka the Chinese Money Tree: just one of the unique plant species you’ll find at Urban Planting Cleveland

Pilea peperomioides aka the Chinese Money Tree: just one of the unique plant species you’ll find at Urban Planting Cleveland

Congratulations on making it through another busy summer full of events and markets! What can the world expect from Urban Planting Cleveland during the winter months?

Thank you!  This winter and into next year you can expect to see more workshops, gatherings, events, and ways for people to become interactive in our shop.  We have been working on many new ideas to keep people feeling tropical all year long.

What can we expect next from Urban Planting Cleveland?

We are currently working on rolling out our interior plant care and design services for homes and businesses.  We will be offering consultations regarding the proper plants and styles available for specific spaces.  We are also working on getting into event rentals and we’ll be spreading the word out about that early next year.

we’ve saved the best for last

Elio welcomes business partner, Monica Nessel, to the Urban Planting Cleveland team. Here’s what Elio had to say about the Monica’s addition to the company:

“I chose to bring on Monica as a business partner for many reasons. She is a true plant lover and we have been able to learn from each other in many aspects— both plant and business related. I could have hired anyone to work with me, but Monica has shown a vested interest in the company and she is just as dedicated and motivated as I am.

Monica has become a key part in making the new storefront a reality and she runs the operation smoothly. It only made sense for her to buy-in to the company. She has been taking care of the plants and the shop while I focus on running the business, which is something I was not always able to do. It’s a beautiful partnership and has made everyday a learning experience. Having Monica on the team has been a blast and we are so excited for all that is to come.”

Urban Planting Cleveland supplies high quality tropical foliage, plants, and custom moss creations— for everyone!

Urban Planting Cleveland supplies high quality tropical foliage, plants, and custom moss creations— for everyone!

Urban Planting Cleveland is more than a plant shop— it is an experience.