When she first moved to the city, Eliza Blank was just like you and me: killing all her house plants. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but something about those tabletop plants from Key Foods and the basement of Home Depot was not well suited to her New York City apartment. 

For those of us in small, poorly lit apartments with minimal windows, a struggle with houseplants (and seasonal depression) is surely a likely scenario. Nevertheless, Blank was perplexed. After all, she grew up with a green-thumbed mother who, aside from actively gardening, has also managed to keep plants alive for 40-50 years. (Yes – you read that correctly!) What was missing? Where was the disconnect? As Blank discovered, it was all about plant education. 

As her fascination with plant education grew, she started harnessing her knowledge and her skill sets. Friends would ask her for plant guidance, both in shopping and in caretaking. She, herself, was accumulating more plants, and they were thriving. Soon after, she confirmed her long lasting suspicion. “Plants make people happy.” Now, that might *feel* optimistic, but it’s true. According to multiple studies as reported by Forbes, houseplants have a direct impact on minimizing stress and anxiety, improving air quality, and increasing your overall wellbeing. But Blank takes it one step further: she is of the belief that taking care of a plant can encourage self-care, too.

So, in 2012, at just 26 years old, Blank founded The Sill.

Photo by Tory Williams 

The Development

The first iteration of The Sill was founded in Blank’s 100 square foot apartment on the Lower East Side. Running the business eCommerce style, and in a literal direct-to-consumer fashion, Blank was running around the city hand delivering her plants to her customers. As the demand grew, Blank borrowed some office space from her brother before becoming totally overwhelmed by the positive response to her services, at which point, serendipitously, she found a retail space up for grabs. In 2014, her first true Lower East Side storefront was up and running.


Two years later, she opened a storefront on the Upper West Side, and has since opened The Sill in Cobble Hill; Los Angeles; San Francisco, and Chicago. Plus, as of October 7th, The Sill Williamsburg is open on Berry Street in between North 3rd & North 4th! 

Why Williamsburg?

Blank is thrilled to have The Sill be a part of the Williamsburg community. She said it’s always been on her mind, and a lot of her customers are residents already. While acknowledging the well-rounded selection of horticulture stores in the neighborhood, she is excited to bring something new to the table, or to your windowsill. Plus, after expanding bicoastally, she’s excited to open another store in the city she started in, as giving back to NYC has always been important to her.

The Selection

The Sill carries a wide variety of plants; small, tall, low light, bright light, pet friendly, air purifying — you name it. And with plant education at the center of the mission, The Sill also provides necessary details about the plant and plant care protocol. 

Not a huge plant person (yet)? There’s an entire “easy care collection” to get you started in your plant-person journey. In addition to the plant care guides and the user-friendly shipping, I’m also a huge fan of the sleek, pretty planters that they come in. 

The Williamsburg location at 190 Berry Street will host a large variety of inventory, with fresh, new selections each week. 

Photo by Tory Williams 

With this new store also comes a few job opportunities! If you’re interested in working at The Sill in Williamsburg, find application information on their website.

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