Hi, I'm Casey, a floral and visual designer, specializing in creating stylized events and gatherings. More than that, I love putting together visuals for retail and residential spaces utilizing natural components and botanical elements. Serving as the Creative Director for PlantShe, a full service, floral boutique in Manhattan, I have worked closely with high fashion and couture designers, bespoke interior design firms, and textile companies to help produce cohesive and thoughtful designs. While typically inspired by nature and organic shapes, I enjoy experimenting with more structured design concepts, botanical textures, and other far-reaching design aesthetics. But I never really meant to live in New York City. I came here in 2011 to spend a summer and potentially expand my career as a floral designer. Landing odd jobs and working freelance in the industry was exciting and stressful at first, though I eventually found a home at PlantShed, a New York based floral and plant company. So, let me tell you about PlantShed.
This family owned business was about as badass as it gets in NY.
While they produced high fashion and couture arrangements for so many recognizable names, they were really just a family of passionate horticulturalists and traditional florists that were willing to adapt to the changing times.Their presence in the plant/floral community goes back to the 1950’s and the current brand has been in the family since the 1970’s. So, while we may not have always had a mainstream and recognizable brand, our team was often behind high fashion, art-based installs across the city. As we all know, the house plant industry has seen major growth the past 5 years with a huge social media following. Our focus, though, has really been on bringing the best quality plants and flowers to New York and beyond as we service clients across the US.
We rolled out a relatively new concept this year opening two new shops in New York that focus on coffee, plants, and flowers, to curate a retail experience that pulls you out of the busy Manhattan lifestyle.
Since we aim to bring floral and plant life into our homes to create a more relaxed and peaceful environment, we also wanted our retail spaces to reflect that. The lifestyle aesthetic in combination with the café culture of Europe blends really well and brings with it a low-pressure shopping experience. Pairing botanical drinks with nature scented candles and working with local artists pulls you out of the typical plant shop or café vibe.
We open up early: by 7am the café is ready to serve coffee + pastries and our floral and plant crews are in tow as well. Personally, I love NYC in those early moments on the streets waiting for the sun to peek around the buildings -- definitely a meditative moment for me. We buy all our flowers direct, with connections in Holland bidding on flowers for us at the market, cacti and succulents coming from Arizona and the West Coast, and constantly bringing in plant material from Florida, Long Island, and the Pacific Northwest. Basically, we exist in all the time zones. From processing flowers, creating arrangements, interior and exterior plant installs, special events, and merchandising for the stores, you can imagine our team is busy.
I don’t really know what a typical day looks like for me, other than being caffeine-infused and full of nature, so I can’t really complain.
(Design Aglow charcoal craft paper serves as unique floral packaging at PlantShed.)
Currently we have three retail locations. Our largest is located on the Upper West Side of NYC in a 118-year-old building which we have been operating out of since 1981. Here we have 10,000 square feet of retail space + offices with a little surprise. After wandering into our space and feeling inspired by the plant material, you can take a ride up to the roof where the elevator exits directly into a greenhouse in the middle of Manhattan. Here we house both tropical and native plants, plant material for jobs, and offer the space for photoshoots (it’s become pretty popular for couture fashion shoots). This space is generally a constant buzzing hive with hundreds of deliveries coming and going all the time -- I’m not sure there is a vision of this space ever being finished or complete, and I’m okay with that.
The creative industry provides a lot of opportunity for expression, building a community, and for a rewarding career that is fulfilling.
We face hardships that often revolve around commanding value in our work, managing expectations of clients, and embarking on every single project with a piece of ourselves.
Our work is highly personal and much of it is done behind the scenes, which can be a struggle when deciding rates or pricing. In the floral and plant industry, which is not only a luxury but also a temporary luxury, we are guided by market pricing and wanting to share our product with as many people as possible.
For PlantShed, I think what allows us to stand out in a saturated market is our no-frills approach. We try to keep things functional, fresh, and of the best quality. Our packaging is environmentally friendly and we pick colors that will allow nature to shine. We truly stand behind our product and believe that investing in building the infrastructure around bringing in the best product feels like the most authentic way forward for PlantShed.
Casey Godlove is a florist and plant lover based out of NYC, currently working as the Creative Director + Visual Merchandiser for PlantShed. Having grown up in Virginia, you'll probably catch him saying "y'all" too much and spending days in the park with Marty, his curly-haired mutt he adopted from the humane society. Most days he’s pretty hard to track down between PlantShed’s three locations - though most often he can be found slingin' flowers and doing the plant hustle in the city, and loving every minute of it.
Photography by A Girl Named Leney