Whether you’re looking to liven up that new home office with a touch of greenery or take a deeper dive into homesteading through learning how to build backyard garden boxes or even just some home-brewed kombucha, Covington’s Sage + Garden may be your new favorite neighborhood shop.
Jessica Starr, founder of Sage Yoga Co., opened the store with her partner Aaron Wolpert in late November below her second-story yoga studio on Covington’s Pike Street. The idea? “We really want to be a welcoming and inclusive space for people who want to live more sustainably in an urban environment,” Starr says.
The storefront is a bright and aesthetically pleasing plant shop and community education space that any millennial would gawk over. English ivy hangs over the doorway and sunlight pours in from a large front wall of windows. Vinyl records play throwback tunes from a turntable in the corner. A pristine jungle of plants—from string of pearls to green papaya—and sustainable home goods sit on vintage furniture throughout.
A Covington resident who previously worked in human resources, Starr switched careers when she started Yogi and the Farmer, a community supported agriculture program that offered yoga courses, back in 2015. She then opened two yoga studios, one located above Sage + Garden and Sage Yoga Hot in Over-the-Rhine, and created an urban farm at her Covington residence. Now, she’s extending those offerings with Sage + Garden.
With this new venture, “we want to nudge people to act and think about what they’re doing,” says Starr’s partner Aaron Wolpert, “and to get people to live a bit differently and to live more mindfully.” What easier way to do so than by starting with a houseplant?
All of Sage + Garden’s plants are sourced from local greenhouses to support local business and help reduce the shop’s carbon footprint. And, each comes with its own unique care card with instructions for the plant’s water, light, and fertilizing needs, so plant parents can be successful in caring for their plant regardless of their experience level. A hashtag and an email address are even supplied on the card so plant owners can reach out with any questions—or to show off their green thumbs.
The shop’s full inventory is also available online for curbside pickup or delivery. The shop fulfills local deliveries on Wednesdays within a 20-mile radius of Covington, with a small delivery fee, but it also ships anywhere within the U.S. As an extra option during the pandemic, Sage + Garden offers private shopping appointments for those who want to feel extra comfortable and safe while perusing the space.
If you’ve graduated from houseplant ownership and are interested in taking your sustainability lifestyle a step further, Sage + Garden has a variety of other offerings, such as kombucha and kefir home brewing kits, refillable detergent and soap stations, a potting station (rentable for your own use or for plant drop offs), composting kits and guidance, and a robust offering of eco-friendly home goods—think beeswax candles, reusable silicone storage bags, bamboo toothbrushes, and natural deodorants and soaps.
The back section of the store will eventually be utilized for community education offerings, including tips on worm farming, composting, beekeeping, backyard chicken raising, building backyard raised garden beds, and more.
The ultimate goal is to serve as a spot in the community where people can come together to live more sustainably. Sound appealing, but don’t know where to start? The shop founders have some advice. “The main thing would be to start small,” Starr says. “We did a meditation this morning at a yoga class talking about… Where is there excess in my life that I need to release? I think that’s just the start, making a small effort to rid yourself of excess or find a way to be kinder or gentler to the earth.”
“Or,” as Wolpert says, “just start with a house plant.”
Sage + Garden, 12 West Pike St., Covington, (859) 307-8126