PAWLEYS ISLAND — As a licensed dental hygienist, Murrells Inlet resident Nicole Saenz said her work life was often emotionally and mentally draining. But her way of calming down at the end of the long day has always been caring for her indoor jungle of various house plants.
Now with the opening of her very own plant shop, Saenz hopes to share the relaxing peace that plants bring her with all of the Grand Strand.
Rock n' Roots, located in The Village Shops off of U.S. 17 in Pawleys Island, began when Saenz realized her skill for making terrariums and succulent arrangements was a way to make money while COVID-19 put her out of work.
"After about four to five months of doing pop-up workshops, this space became available and I thought 'Why not? There's enough demand, so let me try to start an actual brick-and-mortar shop.'" Saenz said.
After researching the coastal region, Saenz realized there really were not any shops like what she wanted to create around Horry or Georgetown County. Nurseries like True Blue Nursery in Pawleys exist, Saenz said, but no indoor house plant shops. And with the boom of plant lovers that COVID-19 brought, she said, it felt like the perfect time and place to forge her dream.
Walking into the shop, customers are instantly greeted with a wall that says "Welcome to the plant party." Tall and leafy plants like birds of paradise and monsteras line the walls, and several tables are set up in the main showroom with terrarium building stations. Customers can build their very own terrarium for as little as $10, and the price goes up from there as more custom options are added, Saenz said.
Groups of four or more can make reservations for terrarium building sessions, and larger parties can rent out a back room for anything from bridal showers to birthdays. Saenz said fostering a community of plant lovers is the ultimate goal of the shop, as well as giving people a space where they can come and talk with fellow plant lovers.
"You feel like you're part of this underground club, a plant club," Saenz said about meeting other people who enjoy plants like she does. "It's funny, when people walk in, you can tell that they're your people because of how they talk about their plants."
Though her personal favorite plants are big tropical ones like hoyas, Saenz recommends plants such as ZZ plants and snake plants to beginners because of their tolerance to low light and water. By allowing people to bring outside food and beverages into her shop, giving terrarium building sessions and selling locally made pots and crochet hangers, Saenz hopes to show Pawleys Island and all of Grand Strand why being a plant parent is the best way to unwind.
"We want it to be a relaxing place, just like when I was caring for my plants back years ago," Saenz said.
To learn more about Rock n' Roots' terrarium workshops and hours, visit facebook.com/rocknrootsplantco.