People aren’t all that different from plants – put us in the right environment and we grow and thrive. The ups and downs of the pandemic have made us all a bit more conscious about the sanctuaries we create in our homes and the importance of cultivating vital spaces for self-care.
Meet the BLK Girls Green House Founders: Kalkidan Gebreyohannes and J'Maica Roxanne
Kalkidan Gebreyohannes and J’Maica Roxanne co-founded BLK Girls Green House in Oakland, California as a welcoming outdoor space where consumers can purchase everything from plants to home goods and apparel, while Black business owners can meet to shop and network at the same. The co-founders are two lifelong friends who decided to turn their passion for all things verdant not only into a bustling brick-and-mortar, but a true community hub built around spotlighting all walks of the Black and brown creative community. The flagship is located in what’s affectionately known as “The Town” and delivers a unique experience that draws one into a world that combines the conventions of an outdoor nursery with modern trappings and elegant tributes to people who have inspired and fueled this duo’s talent for interior design and their world of “homescaping.”
TV Origins: BLK Girls Green House and Bet on Black
You might recognize these two “boss babes” from Revolt TV’s Bet on Black.
What's Bet on Black?
Bet on Black is a business competition reality show focused on supercharging the next set of Black trailblazers. The series, co-created in partnership with Target, allows entrepreneurs to present ideas to panels of celebrity judges for potential funding of $200,000 and mentorship from the corporate giant. Judges have included T-Pain, Zerina Akers, and DJ Envy.
How Did BLK Girls Green House Do on the Show?
Although the opportunity to be featured and pitch to the Bet on Black judges was a once-in-a-lifetime sort of experience, Gebreyohannes and Roxanne are most excited that the panel recognized the importance of the spaces they have set out to create.
BLK Girls Green House Transforms Community Spaces with Cannabis
“We must create more spaces and places that provide any of us a sense of balance,” says Roxanne. “Everything we do is designed to help the individual find their own unique voice empowered through our world of curated greenery and community artifacts.”
What Are the Best Tips to Green Interior Spaces with Cannabis?
Gebreyohannes and Roxanne have a few key tips to transform interior spaces and create the perfect cannabis crib complete with all the greens. These two ladies lead by example and draw attention to their own retail space, which feels more akin to a place for respite and restoration and your favorite spa than a place to pick up a plant or two. When looking to alter your own spaces, the two encourage you to start small with just a plant or two and layer in as you get more confident.
“You want to cultivate and curate your experience with care,” said Roxanne. “It’s good to build your foundation and expand out from there as homescaping can be gradual – it’s not a race.”
How Do the BLK Girls Green House Founders Enhance Their At-Home Cannabis Experience?
The pair were quick to highlight that greening your interior space is the perfect way to enhance your at-home cannabis experience by incorporating the best elements of nature to create a different time of organic and authentic pairing. If you are worried about maintenance and upkeep killing your “good vibes,” Gebreyohannes and Roxanne are quick to point out that plant care is pretty minimal for the most part, but it does require some intention and that you slow down for a moment and pay attention. They draw attention to the idea that plants will often tell you what they need if you look closely enough. An added byproduct of caring for another living thing – even if it’s just a plant or two – translates to an increased mental state of self-care and self-reflection.
Betting on Black: BLK Girls Green House Supports Black Entrepreneurs
These Black women are sowing more than seeds of hope. Since opening, their unique offering has reserved 80 percent of their shelf space for Black makers, which is one of the primary barriers to entry in the retail space. Their entirely Black staff will happily take you on a journey to find the perfect greenery to upgrade and encourage you to live out loud. Embracing cannabis – something the duo points out has been a part of cultivation for a variety of uses for centuries – is another way in which one can create diversity within their interior ecosystems. More than anything, BLK Girls Green House wants to encourage people to indulge in a world of cannabis and plant life that feels right for you. It’s “or,” “but” and “and” as to whether you want to grab your favorite preroll and prune the verge, or unwind with your favorite edible and the perfect Etta James playlist while reclining under the shade of a well potted interior ficus.
BLK Girls Green House Founders on Their Favorite Cannabis and Horticulture Pairing
If there is one thing we learned from these constant gardeners, it’s that there’s no one way to green with your greens. When pressed on their own perfect cannabis and horticulture pairing, the duo did not hide their opinions.
“A current fave of ours is MAISON BLOOM!” said Roxanne. “The flavors are truly unique and it’s the perfect garden in your glass to sip while sitting in your own private garden.”
Where Can You Find BLK Girls Green House?
Catch Blk Girls Green House Tuesday nights on Bet on Black or stop by for a curated experience at their retail location at 1700 Center Street or online at bggh.shop.
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A version of this article first appeared in Honeysuckle's Black History Month print edition, featuring Wiz Khalifa! Buy your copy now and get your copy of our 420 issue featuring Lil Wayne and Young Money.