Plant Expansion: Gurton's opens annex in Multnomah Village
The store front with the big windows at the intersection of Southwest Capitol Highway and Canby didn't stay vacant very long.
Shortly after Living Room Realty pulled out of the space, seeking more room on Southwest 35th across the street from The Ship, Julina Abbott hung up her shingle.
Abbott owns Gurton's Plants in Hillsdale. Now she's operating Gurton's Workshop in Multnomah Village and may be the only local merchant with a foot in both Hillsdale and Multnomah Village. (Starbucks doesn't count.)
"I had a lot of requests at the Hillsdale shop for workshops and classes in plant care," she said. "So this space will be used for a bunch of different classes in things like terrarium building, macrame and kokedama." (Kokedama is a Japanese gardening art using moss balls.)
Abbott's 1,000 square feet of workshop space will also be available for people like Cassie Fellows, a friend and floral designer.
"I'll be giving classes to educate newer florists. Like people who will be doing floral arrangements for weddings. You can't really go to school for something like that but you can come to classes here," Fellows said.
Gurton's Plant Shop is known for its inventory of plant and vase creations made by local artists. Some of them will also be giving classes in the Multnomah Village location.
According to Abbott's business plan, Gurton's Workshop will be rented out during the week for a variety of events, she said. "It will be available on weekdays for corporate events, meetings and get togethers."
"Just think, you can get out of a stuffy office into a light-filled, plant-filled space," said Fellows.
"We've got a kitchenette, bathrooms and conferencing equipment. It will be a good space to come to when people want to go off-site for a meeting," according to Abbott.
One feature she's currently exploring is providing catering menus from local restaurants, like Village Hut right across the street. "We'll make that a part of bringing other businesses into what we're doing," she said.
Abbott started out in the retail plant business in May 2017 with her first location in the French Quarter. She then moved to her current shop in Hillsdale.
Plants run like a green fuse through her family history. Her great-great-great-grandfather on her mother's side was Henry Gurton, the royal florist at Buckingham Palace in the 19th century. Her maternal grandmother, Georgina Gurton, was the one who urged her to get into the plant business.
Abbott told the Southwest Community Connection in May, 2017 about her grandmother's advice and about the huge home garden she maintains in Southern California, "My grandma was also always an entrepreneur, she was like, 'Do it. It's great to work for yourself and have green thumbs,'" she said.
Gurton's workshop will have a "soft" grand opening on Friday March 1, which is First Friday in Multnomah Village.
To find out about classes or to book space in the Workshop you can call Gurton's at 503-387-7750 or go to www.gurtons.com.
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