From a small Brunswick courtyard to a spectacular Collingwood warehouse, this is the story of Greener House
Written by Ruby Syme Photography by Jean Baulch
Greener House in Collingwood is a leafy oasis amidst the traffic and bustle of Alexandra Parade. Bursts of green line an elegant office, and a cool warehouse reveals a collection of plants in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Indeed, the plants themselves are fascinating, but the story behind this green paradise is even more so.
What’s now a busy business, with an inner city warehouse and a solid, loyal customer base, was once a monthly plant sale run from a Brunswick home.
Started by Josh Tynan, 24, and Maggie Dunleavy, 22, Greener House is a testament to hard work, a little luck, and the benefits of perseverance.
“We started while I was studying and working crazy hospitality hours, and Josh was working fulltime,” says Maggie.
Soon, free minutes and dollars were solely dedicated to sourcing and collecting plants for their green collection.
“Josh would spend all week in the hot car driving round to suppliers to pick up plants, and then we would sell them in our front courtyard,” Maggie explains.
“I owned a Holden Commodore which didn’t have air con or anything, so I’d be driving in the middle of summer to Dandenong and back every week to fill up the car. You couldn’t see out any windows!” adds Josh.
Steadily, business picked up and the pair began popping up in Urban List and Broadsheet.
“When you’re in things like [that] lots of people start to come,” Maggie laughs, “so we decided we needed somewhere bigger.”
“We found a studio space on Johnson Street, so we were able to do sales there. We would alternate – Johnson street, then our house.”
“We ended up building a pretty solid base of people who came to most sales and getting really nice suppliers.”
One sale brought past Nordik Living, a Scandinavian style furniture company and owners of Greener House’s current space.
“They really liked what we were doing, so they bought some plants and asked us to come and have a look at their warehouse,” says Maggie.
And so the current Greener House began.
The business is now run out of the Alexandra Parade location, with popular warehouse plant sales a regular occurrence. There are plans to expand beyond the inner north and even head interstate. But it’s not business that takes precedence here, it’s the genuine love for plants, and for what they provide people that’s obvious in the pair’s dedication to their work.
“People are starting to see indoor plants not as a whimsical thing but as a necessity,” says Maggie,
“so we really care that people’s plants keep going.”
“We cater for people on an individual basis, and offer 24/7 Facebook support. Just message us about your plant or send us a picture… even if you didn’t buy it from us we’ll help you out.”
Both Maggie and Josh agree it’s been a crazy ride, from the courtyard of their Brunswick home to this busy office, but as Josh says “it’s been the most amazing thing.”
“It’s been such a learning experience, making so many mistakes… but its been worth it,” he says.
And Maggie agrees.
“It brings us so much joy to make something and have it be a success,” she says.
“It’s just such a gift.”
Keep up to date with Greener House and all their indoor plant warehouse sales at facebook.com/greenerhousenursery
Visit the warehouse at 57–61 Alexandra Parade, Collingwood
Now open every Saturday 10am – 4pm