What started out as a mid-pandemic gardening hobby with her daughter inspired Ravee Elmer of Tipsy Terrarium to set up shop in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
Elmer, a 34-year-old phlebotomist and mother of three, moved from Georgia to Cincinnati in the fall of last year. She started to gain an Instagram following because of her homemade terrarium posts. That’s when her interest in starting her own small business took off, and her followers were asking to join in.
“That’s how I kind of got into the element,” Elmer says. “Let’s go ahead and upgrade.”
Terrariums are like aquariums, but for plants instead of fish. They can be made using just about any type of glass container. They often mimic a miniature garden or forest, filled with succulents, colored moss, decorative rocks, and trinkets.
Elmer created these open-air terrariums with various succulents and drainage rocks in an area inside the leasing office of her apartment building. Then, in January, she started searching for a place to expand, where she could finally host step-by-step classes and provide customers with a fun night out.
Tipsy Terrarium opened its doors this summer, taking root in a 1,104-square-foot space in OTR. Elmer says the spot is ideal because of the sense of community and how the area brings a lot of people outside. “It’s just a beautiful place to be and a totally fun environment,” she says.
The farmhouse-themed plant shop provides everything you need to design your own personalized tabletop terrarium. Succulents are low maintenance and retain water very easily—all they require is an adequate amount of sunlight and a spritz of water here and there, and they’re good to go.
Elmer plans on hosting a plethora of events in the future, including birthday parties, bridal showers, girls’ nights out, and date nights, to name a few. She even has a couple fall-themed projects in the works: jack-o-lantern-themed terrarium bowls for Halloween and Thanksgiving hand turkeys for children.
Tipsy Terrarium is kid-friendly up until 5 p.m.—after that, it’s “mommy and daddy time,” as Elmer calls it. Guests are even allowed to bring their own food, drinks, and decorations. The shop is BYOB, however, if you forget your drink of choice, Standard Beer Shop is conveniently located next door.
One weekend a month, Tipsy Terrarium will host Sip and Paint, where customers will be able to paint their own wine bottle, accompanied by an artist. Two workstations can fit eight people each, where socializing and getting to know each other is highly encouraged throughout the two-hour class. Each workstation will provide various decorations, so attendees have the opportunity to wander around and meet new people. The finished bottle will be topped off with a succulent or a long stem plant of your choice.
Elmer wants everyone to realize that her business is “gardening with a twist,” regardless of age. Tipsy Terrarium gives customers the opportunity to socialize, have a drink and create an earthy piece of art.
Tipsy Terrarium, 110 15th St. W., Over-the-Rhine