Indoor plant specialist

Phoebe Rose Hutcheson


Where did you grow up?
In my early childhood i grew up in the Stockbridge colonies in Edinburgh. I have a lot of fond memories there. My parents have often told me how I would go 'missing' sometimes, later to find me with our elderly neighbours next door watching telly. A couple years on when my brother was born we moved to Leith. We enjoyed a very lax childhood there, playing outside for hours on end, even eating most dinners on the doorstep in fear of missing out.

School days
I always struggled at school. Being dyslexic I never quite found my feet in my first high school which was very academic and sport orientated. At 15 I took myself out of school as i got to the point i couldn’t cope anymore. This was until I found out about the Edinburgh Steiner school. Even being so young, I immediately fell in love with Steiner philosophy. I loved how they would concentrate on pupils as whole people and not just on their academic abilities. At Steiner I made life long friends, including teachers, who I still see today and consider family. Steiner curriculum is a lil different from your average, for example, in class 11 (5th year) my Wednesdays consisted of an entire day of weaving and knitting with one period of english thrown in at the end of the day for good measure. Oh and I once had to hand wash freshly sheared sheeps wool as a punishment for being late.

What do you currently do and how did you get there?
In the last 6 months I’ve been working hard on growing my first business! I've been running plant store Dahlia in Marchmont . Customers often don’t believe me when I tell them I didn’t actually plan on opening an indoor plant shop. I initially started off with dreams of a lifestyle store specialising in natural candles, skin care and all the good stuff, but as time went on I feel like the shop really grew into itself. Now walking in, EVERY corner is green, Ivy’s hanging from the walls and little clusters of oddities dotted just about everywhere. I'd say its thee healthiest environment I’ve ever had the pleasure to work in - both mentally and physically. Only being 22, I get asked a lot how i ended up where I am today. From a young age I'd always been absolutely sure that I would be studying art and pursuing a career possibly in illustration or even pottery. From finishing  school I went on to do a foundation year at Leith school of art, which I have a lot to thank for. Although mostly loving my year at Leith, it made me question wether I was ready to commit to the next 3 years of art school. I ended up working along side my mum in her business for a few years before being ready to start growing my own business Dahlia.

Typical day
After checking emails and instagram my working day usually begins with re-merchandising the shop floor. This is the part of my job I love the most. I always want to keep things looking fresh and exciting, whether its giving things a dust, restocking or creating new green displays mixed in with our other products such as ceramic pots, candles and books. The rest of my day is usually filled up by trying to water absolutely everything without leaving anything out! At the end of my days I will most likely return home, have a lot of hugs with my dog and cats and watch a couple Louis Theroux episodes I’ve probably seen 10 times before.

What you working on now?
My newest lil project has been starting to build my own terrariums! I've recently just started to build some of my own after much research and collecting all necessary equipment. Starting out I didn’t quite realise how much work goes into creating your own little ecosystems. From special soils and charcoals, to suitable jungle plants and glass jars. I've loved learning about something completely new to me. My goal is to have Dahlia filled with our own unique terrariums, that can also be made to order, in the next couple months.

What are your future plans?
So far I have no idea. I don’t like to think too far ahead although it can be tempting to dream sometimes. Currently I’m trying to stay present and put as much as I can into growing Dahlia and making my new flat homely and beautiful.

Do you need qualifications to do what you do?
I wouldn’t say I’ve needed certain grades or academic achievements to be able to do what I do, but I have definitely needed experience! I've been working in both retail and hospitality since i was 18. I trained as a barista in Pret A Manger when I was younger and although you’d think retail experience would prepare you better for working with plants and other products, I’ve actually found working in hospitality to be one of the best experiences I’ve had for pushing me and learning the skills that it takes to run your own business.

Other jobs prior to this one?
Barista in Pret A Manger & retail

Advice to your 15 year old self?
To tell myself that nothing is permanent, feelings change. Not to get hung up on the small things and try and live as presently as possible.