When Christan Summers arrives at work each day, the first thing she does is “say hello to everyone,” she tells us. She’s referring to each cactus, succulent, euphorbia, palm, and fern with whom she shares a sunny showroom in Brooklyn’s industrial Bushwick neighborhood. The exotic companions are the focus of her and her partner Ivan Martinez’s newly launched business, Tula, which seeks to equip people (and businesses) with the right plants and design for their space, plus knowledge of proper soil and care. “Plants shouldn’t be put in a corner and treated like an object,” she tells us emphatically, her round, brown eyes widening as prevalent sunlight filters through her soft curls. “They’re alive! And they love it when you care for them. How we live—our plants share that with us.”
Launching Tula at the start of this year was a departure for Christan and Ivan, whose careers were in fashion marketing and advertising respectively. Like many, Christan always longed to pursue something a little more pure—in her case, something closer to the nature she enjoyed as a child growing up on a farm, or summers spent helping a beloved aunt sell flowers at the market.
“One weekend last spring, Ivan and I were driving upstate, and I was daydreaming out the window,” Christan reminisces. “I was like, ‘I want to open a greenhouse or something!’ Ivan knew I had a lot of crazy ideas, but he told me this was one I should stick to. So, I did.” Now, the couple runs Tula together full-time.
Then, it was Ivan’s turn to bring a crazy idea to the table. What if—in addition to their Brooklyn showroom—they had a mobile greenhouse? His idea came to fruition when Christan was out for a walk one day and saw an ‘87 Chevy diesel truck for sale, which—after extensive refurbishing that they did themselves, including cutting off the roof—became the first plant truck to hit the streets of New York City (truth be told, we haven’t seen one anywhere else, for that matter). “Tulita,” as the truck is affectionately nicknamed, will begin service on April 28, 2016, and details of its whereabouts will be updated frequently on Twitter and Instagram.
Earlier this month, The Window got the full Tula experience, including a sneak peek of the truck, when we teamed up to shoot Aquazzura’s spring shoes alongside the well-curated selection of plants at the showroom. Below, we share highlights from the glamorous-yet-earthy collection (same could be said of the plants in the shots!), which has us dreaming of balmy summer evenings and lush gardens.
Suede fringe in lemon yellow add a quirky-cool twist to the otherwise minimalist summer sandal.
The tawny color and soft petal-like fringe of Aquazzura’s ‘Tulum’ sandals instantly transport us to the eco-spirited Mayan Riviera.
The stiletto heel and laces read glamorous, while the khaki suede hue and scalloped edge feel down-to-Earth.
These natural cork wedges are the perfect complement to a midi-skirt or dress.
For more on how to care for plants, check out Christan’s basic tips:
How To Keep Your Plants Alive, Courtesy Of Tula.
Visit Tula online or at 174 Bogart St #304, Brooklyn, NY, and keep an eye peeled for Tulita roaming the streets of New York this summer.
This Sunday April 24 from 2 to 7PM team Tula invites one and all to a launch party at the showroom featuring drinks, plant lessons, and giveaways.