Hidden inside the Inner Rail at Aksarben is an oasis from the bleak and dreary effects of Nebraska’s harsh winter months. As you open the double doors, you are greeted by lively plants in every shade of green, growing in every direction. Plants line the entire store from the floor up to the ceiling. The walls are painted a deep slate gray, which have been adorned with gold hand-painted flowers. Chlorophyll is a first of its kind: an urban plant boutique whose mission is to bring the community together through nature.
“There are enough nurseries in Omaha,” said designer Nate Huse. “We don’t feel the need to add to that. We wanted to bring something new to the community by being design oriented; we’re very custom.”
Unlike other businesses in the Omaha area, Chlorophyll is not a nursery where the plants are physically raised. Instead, the boutique focuses on importing indoor plants based on public demand, and works with individuals to design the display of their dreams. Nick Walker is an employee and plant designer at Chlorophyll, who said his favorite part of his job is selecting which plants are sold in the store.
“I love getting to order plants every week,” said Walker. “I am constantly ordering from different wholesales. New plants come every Monday and Wednesday, and I get to pick every one of them. I look for what’s new in the industry, what’s big, or what’s trending on Instagram. I want to get the things people are interested in.”
The designers work closely with customers to ensure their needs are met and that they are knowledgeable about their purchase before leaving the store. Chlorophyll aims to emphasize the importance of nature in our everyday lives, as well as encourages a basic understanding of the botany in their store.
“We want to be more engaged with the customer,” said Huse. “We try to really push the science, learning, and excitement behind the plants. We hold classes, kids’ birthday parties, and different events.”
The business often holds classes that are featured on their Instagram, such as terrarium building, plant potting and more. These classes are a great and easy way to not only learn something valuable, but also to meet others with similar interests and build community in the Omaha-Aksarben area. If classes aren’t your thing and you prefer something more private, the boutique invites community members to stop in with any questions they may have.
“Our goal is to make everyone feel like they can come in with any plant that they got anywhere,” said Walker. “Regardless of where you bought it, if you have questions about it, bring it in. Send your pictures, send us an email, we’re happy to help.”
Chlorophyll aims to be a center for engagement, learning and adventure. The business also hopes that they can emphasize the health benefits of owning houseplants, while deconstructing some of the narratives that have been instilled involving plants and gardening.
“I give everyone permission to kill houseplants.” said Walker. “Don’t feel bad or discouraged for doing it. Think of it this way; if you bought yourself a bouquet of flowers, it would last, at the longest, a week. If you bought yourself a houseplant and it lasted six months, you’re already winning.”
As a business, Chlorophyll prides themselves on their uniqueness and individuality. Huse said the building has a moody atmosphere that is a stark contrast from the typical open concept and bright-white walls you often see associated with plant stores. The layout and design of the boutique are inspired by vintage barber shops in New York City and Parisian gold stores.
“We want customers to walk in and feel cozy, like they’re at home,” said Huse.
Chlorophyll is every plant lover’s dream, and the welcoming ambiance invites in even the newest of botanists. The staff is eager to help anyone with any questions regarding plants, including the science behind their plant of choice, how to care for a plant they may already own, and offer design inspiration for those who may need it.