On an early December day way back before the global pandemic after a company holiday brunch I was wandering around NE Alberta Street. My partner wandered with me a while and then headed off for a meeting but I chose to stay and wander more. NE Alberta, in case you are unfamiliar, is full of some amazing food, art, and shops. I had a couple of bags in my arm containing some Christmas gifts after wandering into countless other great little places, but this one shop had caught my eye while I was walking with my partner. It caught my eye because aside from just looking soooooooooooo cool it also had plants. I could see plants from the door, plants from the windows. PLANTS PLANTS PLANTS. And also some cute home goods and gifts. I didn’t want to bore my partner to death by dragging him into a shop where I would totally ignore him for an hour while I drooled over green things.
So even though I was done with anything I needed to do I wandered back up the street to pop into this little shop I had never heard of: Ecovibe. Although it turns out I had heard about it, I just didn’t remember the name. My friend Courtney had told me all about it and I actually ran into her and her husband moments after I arrived.
I crouched down as soon as I walked in the door as there was a multi-tier cart full of cacti and succulents and I just thought they would make the cutest little stocking stuffers EVER. You know, for people who actually like plants. I didn’t pick any up because as I looked up the whole expanse of the store seemed to sparkle and my eyes got wide. WALL OF PLANTS. Fancy poofs. Tassel chandeliers. Pots. Rugs. Jewelry. Bar wear. Clever little gifts that would be perfect to stuff stockings with for my partner (who doesn’t care about plants past loving that I love something so much) and my daughter (who likes plants just fine and has some in her room but I’m supposed to take care of them for her which is totally fair) and for me because… Well there were these earrings I had to have. And then I found this clever cute little dusky pink beanie with a big pink furry pom on top that somehow magically turned into a scarf. My mind kept wandering back to those plants though. At some point a lovely woman came up to me and offered me a basket or something to hold all the little things I was clutching in my hands. Or maybe she offered to take them to the counter to free up my hands. I can’t remember. I just know that she made it possible then for me to head straight to the wall-o-plants and begin my careful selection process.
I can’t remember how many plants I got that day. But I remember I was taking Lyft home and the driver gave my box of plants side-eye as I got in. Here’s this lady with cute little shopping bags and a box full of green things and I’m sure he somehow knew I’m a bit clumsy and expected me to knock them all over in his car. I did not. But his concern was reasonable.
That was my long way of saying that Ecovibe is a wonderland of amazing carefully curated ethical products that make you feel the wonder and whimsy of the world. And on top of that they have plants. Just plants in growers pots. But also plant arrangements, terrariums, plant sculptures. Goods to care for your plants. Things to put your plants in. If your plant needs it I think they have it. Except soil. I don’t recall seeing any of that.
After that experience I wanted to know more about this cool little shop so I did some research. Which was easy because they share their story on their site
Established in 2010, EcoVibe is the collaboration of the combined visions of Leonard and Andrea Allen, aka “Len and Dre”.from the Ecovibe about page
ECO: Focused on the environment and sustainable, ethical practices.
VIBE: The feeling, the style, the look, the energy, and the experience.
We take time and care to consider where and how things are made, who makes them and what they are made out of.
We support local designers, women, minority and family owned businesses and small makers and manufacturers.
We are a community-focused business that gives back to local environmental organizations through community-based events, classes and workshops.
We donate 1% of all of our online sales to local non-profit 1% For The Planet members, in order to ensure that we are always giving back to environmental causes.
We believe living a sustainable lifestyle shouldn’t be a privilege. It should be accessible to all. And it’s not just ONE THING.
Not mentioned on their site, but of particular importance to me when deciding where to spend my money is that Ecovibe is both woman and Black owned.
Now we’re in the midst of a global pandemic… That changes everything from a shopping perspective. I’m not even going to the grocery store in person let alone shopping for plants in person. For any number of reasons my family is trying to do everything we can to remove ourselves from the possible infection cycle. Both to ensure we don’t get sick but also to ensure we’re not getting others sick. We’ve seriously been on lockdown since the beginning of March last year. For the first part of the year I managed to keep my need to get new plants at bay. I only ordered a plant if it happened to be available from the grocery store from which I was ordering. So… you know… I have a lot of orchids now.
But I saw at some point that Ecovibe had started doing delivery. And… I was just… OVERJOYED!
At the time I placed my order last year the site to order local delivery was a little hard to manage and I eventually had to call into the shop for help, but they were able to process everything from my existing cart and get my order set and ready to go. And they were ridiculously pleasant to deal with. Their customer service is not just good, it’s a delight. And I didn’t exactly make it easy for them. I ordered a palm (and several other plants) that is well over 6ft tall to be delivered to me across town. It was one of the owners who delivered the giant beauty and he could not have been more delightful and kind.
What am I saying here? If you are in Portland and want some plants delivered or that you can curbside pick up PLEASE GIVE THIS SHOP YOUR PLANT MONEY. It’s a mindful local business dedicated to giving back. They take awesome care of their plants. They curate the most amazing stuff and I’d like to see them stay open as long as they want to be.
Not in Portland? In this case you’re not really missing out. they don’t ship most plants but they do ship a ton of other amazing items anywhere you may be so check them out. I think you’ll love this shop as much as I do.
Want to visit their shop? They’re open 7-days a week and are limiting their store to 5 customers at a time. Masks are required.
My next purchase from Ecovibe? It will probably one of their terrarium kits or bits and pieces from their shop to build my own. I’ve never made a terrarium and it’s a goal of mine. Perhaps I’ll do a special terrarium project during my birthday vacation in March.
Address: 1906 NE Alberta Street
PS: I checked their site, I was wrong. They even carry potting soil.
featured image from Ecovibe website