Your flea market hobby is just a fancy way of saying you’re a hoarder.
Heather Shouse parlayed her collecting habit into something more sustainable: custom terrarium/planting company Bottle & Branch.
A household name in the Chicago food world (she writes for Time Out and authored a book on food trucks), Shouse is working toward her Master Gardener certification at the University of Illinois.
School or no school, she’s got the touch. Bespoke terrariums (for homes, events, and restaurants) are true works of art. Repurposed flea finds (vintage apothecary jars, cocktail shakers, kerosene lamps) become tiny green worlds with air plants, moss, lichen, stones, and geodes. Shouse even works with a local glassblower who creates one-of-a-kind vessels.
Wedding centerpieces can double as bridesmaid gifts; terrariums using boutonnieres, bouquets, and memorabilia are living, breathing mementos.
And fear not, plant killers: She gauges your abilities and ensures the right types of greenery for your light, time, and capability.
It’s time to branch out.
Available at P.O.S.H., 613 North State Street, between Ontario and Ohio Streets (312-280-1602 or poshchicago.com); Roost, 5634 North Clark Street, at Olive Avenue (773-506-0406). For more information and to see styles, go to bottleandbranch.com.
Photo: Eric Burton / Courtesy of Bottle & Branch