Mother’s Day #LoveFromDetroit

The story behind the greenwalls at Shinola stores nationwide.

Shinola goods in front of Boston living wall

The live plant backdrop highlights the genuine Shinola products at this store.

This Mother’s Day, all Shinola storefronts are adorned with greenwalls of live plants and azaleas by Detroit based designer, Sarah Stalker, creative director of Planterra. The display of spring freshness is the perfect backdrop to feature the fine timepieces and handbags at Shinola. The results are beautiful, so we asked Sarah to tell us more about the design and implementation.

Let's talk plants!

Shinola Watch in front of Living Wall

Vibrant live plants help to accent the vibrance in Shinola's products.

Planterra: Sarah, what were the client’s objectives?

Sarah Stalker: “When Shinola approached Planterra about designing special floral installations for their window displays, they showed inspiration images of soft, lush floral arrangements that were loose and natural in form. Their objective was to create an abundant and feminine spring feeling to celebrate Mother's Day.”


P:  Tell us about the creative process?

S: “I proposed the temporary living wall concept because I liked the idea of creating a vertical backdrop for their product display and because we have successfully installed really ‘wow’ temporary living walls for other special events, such as trade shows, galas, grand openings. I presented the concept to Shinola and they were excited about it. I think that’s a really bold, unexpected sight, to see so many live plants and big blooms in one small window. It’s a breath of fresh air.”


P:  How was the big idea translated into an actionable plan?

Living Wall Rendering

This rendering was used to maintain consistency nationwide.

S:   “We designed and built these walls from scratch. It’s not a pre-fab living wall system.  Kevin Faulkner, Planterra’s director of operations, created the system with me a few years ago for a previous project and he is the reason we were able to accomplish this challenge.  Once we decided on the wall concept, I created a rendering of the plantings that could be replicated at each individual window wall size, in 10 different stores around the country. The logistics required a team at Planterra’s HQ to produce 3D models and precise instructions for installers in each market in the form of kits. These green wall kits are the secret sauce behind the achievement of installing 10 locations with 8 different contractors from New York to Los Angeles within a 48-hours.  It required an enormous amount of communication by Chase Faulkner our national accounts coordinator.”


P:  Why were live plants chosen instead of artificial ones?  Wouldn’t fake plants have been easier?   

S:  “Certainly, fake plants would have been much easier. But, what can I say, it’s just not the same.  The Shinola brand is based on authentic on quality materials and detailed construction. Live plants fit their story and I think that customers can appreciate and tell the difference. There’re nothing like live green plants and big bursting azaleas to celebrate the arrival of spring and Mother’s Day.”

Planterra's living wall behind Shinola Products

Brightly lit displays emphasize the natural beauty of Shinola's products, mirroring the natural wall at the Detroit location.

Planterra’s national account program serves client sites in 40 states and three Canadian provinces, providing design services, procurement and on-going maintenance for plant displays and interior landscapes. To learn more about Planterra’s national account services for interior landscaping please contact us.

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For information on events visit the Planterra Conservatory website