Love of Plants and South-Facing Window Spur Growth of The Plant House at Rust Belt Market

Love of Plants and South-Facing Window Spur Growth of The Plant House at Rust Belt Market

(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 23, 2019)

Ferndale, MI – Before she and her husband launched the Rust Belt Market eight years ago, Tiffany Best worked for a Beverly-Hills (Michigan) –based gardening business.

Not only did she fall in love with digging in the dirt and the joy of creating happy yards, she also learned a lot about the different types of plants and what makes each one special.

That’s why the latest project at the Rust Belt Market means so much to her.  In a large space with over 50 vendors of locally made products and art, she is literally carving out a place (in the sun) to start another business.

Remodeling is underway to section off a new room and create an outside entrance for what will become The Plant House.

“This is where you can go if you’re searching for something beyond the Home Depot specials.” Best said. She’s been scouring distribution options and looking for varieties that will stand out.  The store itself will take a spot that has been challenging for the market – a space in the front of the building with large windows that is great for street visibility, but too bright and warm for most vendors.

Best had been looking for other retail space to open her houseplant store, but when the space opened up at the Rust Belt, it made sense. She already has another shop there called Lady Lazarus which focuses on cactus and succulent plants. While both stores are plant-themed, they will be different.  “I view it as a separate company,” Best said.  “It will be different. I just like to express myself in different way.  It’ll have a different personality, different branding and I think that will show.”

Even without factoring in the beauty of the products that will go inside, The Plant House is shaping up to be stunning.  The inside wall is made of small-paned windows from a 1930s church, and a sliding door is being custom built to match. The frame and the walls inside the store are wooden with a Shugi Ban finish, which is a technique where wood is charred with a torch until it is black, then protected by sealant.

The outside wall is glass with a new glass door installed. Custom-fabricated shelves will provide nooks for plants from floor to ceiling.  Above the door will be a sign that is also a long planter.  The name of the business with be made of zinc, and plants will grow up behind the letters.

In the middle of the store will be a long table wooden table custom made for the space, that can be for merchandise, or for small gatherings or workshops. The table, the custom door, the sign, and many other details are being fabricated by John Showwalter of 12th Street Industrial who is also a Rust Belt vendor.

Best said she hopes to open The Plant House in mid to late May, starting with the same hours as the rest of the market, and aiming for more hours in the near future.

“Plants make great companions because they grow according to your care for them, which can be hard, but once you get good at it, it’s a great feeling,” Best said.  “I hope to bring life and a little bit of happiness to someone’s habitat.”

Learn more about Rust Belt Market at

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