Catching Up With Our Friends at Solabee Flowers and Botanicals
In this series, Urban Nest sits down with local PDX business owners to talk shop about what makes their store or business fit so well with Portland. Learn about new neighborhoods, new businesses, PDX community and more!
Creative Floral Treasures in North Portland
Walking into the shop on North Killingsworth, it’s immediately clear that Solabee Flowers is unlike any florist you’ve experienced before. By taking a minimal and artistic approach to horticulture, the shop has evolved into a space that feels more like an art gallery than anything else. We talked with owner Sarah Helmstetter about why Portland was the perfect city to make her botanical vision a reality.
UN: How long have you been in business?
Solabee Flowers has been in business since 2009.
UN: How would you describe the community that surrounds your business?
We are located in the Humboldt Neighborhood of North Portland, on the corner of Albina & Killingsworth. The neighborhood boasts a vibrant and diverse community filled with everyone from young college students to long time residents and an increasing population of young families and working professionals. The diversity of our neighborhood gives us the opportunity to provide a mix of products and services for our customers. Our shop is stocked with a huge selection of lush greenery along with fresh seasonal flowers and locally crafted and botanically inspired goods, which allows us to provide a lot of options for the unique clientele that comes through our doors.
UN: What do you think makes your shop a great fit for Portland?
Portlanders have such a strong commitment to sustainability which is reflected in its wide range of artists, makers and growers here in the PNW. Sustainability is one of our core principals at Solabee. We are committed to sourcing everything from our flowers to our pots all within a very close radius. We love that we can provide a showcase for many talented local artists and craftspeople as well as support so many local plant and flower growers. These collaborations allow us to provide a rich selection of unique Portland made goods.
UN: What is your favorite thing about Portland, and why?
I love that Portland has seasons! Each new season brings with it a whole new set of blooms and foliage to work with. As the weather changes so does our work, the colors and textures are constantly evolving. Much of our inspiration comes from our local landscape, and while we do have a heavy rainy season, all of the lushness this creates can be brought inside year round in so many unique ways. We love being able to take advantage of all of the abundance Oregon has to offer.
UN: What part of town do you live in, and what do you love about it most?
I lived in North Portland until just recently when our family moved to Sandy. We love our North Portland community, but this new chapter in Sandy is going to allow us to really embrace our commitment to locally grown product. We have several acres to dedicate to flower growing, plant cultivation, beekeeping and a completely sustainable model for Solabee. This will allow us to continue bringing fantastic product at competitive prices.