Tassy de Give

by Jessica Underhill | November 14, 2017

Tassy de Give, a self-taught gardener, has spent the last two decades working hands-on with plants. Earlier this year, she joined our team as Glasswing's new Plant Director and has brought her wealth of knowledge to all of our everday aspects in-store. Prior to working with us, Tassy was living in Brooklyn where she co-founded the wildly popular Sprout Home gardening store in Brooklyn. During her time there, she penned a book with former Sprout partner, Tara Heibel, called Rooted in Design. The focus for their book is indoor gardening with an interior design focus and features so many inspirational spaces. After 10 years in New York building Sprout Home and her children's shop, Geometry Kids, this Northwest native knew it was time for a shift in scenery. Tassy moved back to Seattle with her husband Dillon and son Peregrin earlier this summer.

 

Tassy’s love of plants and genuine desire to share her knowledge spills over. A self-described plant nerd, she beams while describing the rare Pilea Peperomioides she sourced or why that seemingly plain Anthurium is so special. Tassy inspires people to fall in love with plants and encourages appreciation for the natural world. Even self-identified "black thumbs" will walk away feeling excited and confident.

 

Find Tassy at Glasswing selecting our weekly shipment of plants, leading workshops and diagnosing all your plant questions. She is also lecturing at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture.

 

Photography by AJ Ragasa

 

Growing up in the Northwest, my parents had a 5-acre house in the woods with land to roam and a big garden. Being around all those plants and trees really set the foundation for my love of nature. In terms of my knowledge of plants, I really didn’t know anything until 2003 when I started working at Sprout Home in Chicago. Both Tara and I just called everything “assorted foliage” until we got more comfortable with the different species and varieties. I had just finished my Art History degree, so studying and memorization came easily to me. I read as many Botany and old house plant books as I could. Anything to give me a guide on what I was doing right or wrong with plants. So much of my knowledge comes from trial and error, learning from other gardeners and growers.

 

 

After moving to New York from Chicago, I decided I wanted to open my own garden store. I knew I needed a partner financially and thought it would be easier to open a second location of a pre-existing brand instead of starting from scratch. I approached Tara and she immediately jumped at the opportunity to open a Sprout Home location in New York. I ran Sprout in Brooklyn for 10 years and within that time we expanded a ton. In 2016, we moved into a bigger retail space which was an old noodle factory. That was great cause it had tile and drains in the floor so we could just water at will!

 

 

At Sprout, there were 30+ employees, so at any given time someone is going to be pregnant or having a kid. Allowing moms to bring babies to work was really beneficial in terms of environment and productivity. I was blown away that these moms could just strap a baby to their back and do their work. Being a mom myself, I wanted to create an environment where I could bring my son to work. This is how Geometry Kids (Children’s store in Brooklyn) came about. I was always trying to find ways to hang out with Peregrin more and start a business with Sprout staff. To share the responsibility with a co-op approach and build a business while also having an environment for our kids.

 

 

Before moving back to Seattle, I researched plant stores in Seattle and came across Glasswing. It looked like a cool space and ended up being a natural fit when they asked me to come on as Plant Director and expand that division. Hand picking plants is the best way to get the really good ones. You form relationships with the growers and see if they can bring in unusual plants that people haven't seen before. I love hearing reactions from customers like "there are so many plants!" or "I've never seen this one before." My goal is to fill Glasswing with as many plants as they will allow me, along with beautiful handmade pots and garden products.

 

Sprout Home

59 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY 11249

Geometry Kids

48 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

 

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