Shop Local: Seed to Stem

February 8, 2016


Today we bring you an extra special post! The Fashion Cookbook is starting a new Shop Local series, where we share local gems in the greater Worcester and Boston area with you. To start us off we are visiting a whimsical store called, “Seed to Stem” a small gift shop located on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. Seed to Stem is owned by two lovely ladies, Virginia Orlando and Candace Atchue, who curate eclectic natural pieces, from air plants to various animal skulls and so much more, to make a unique shopping experience like no other.

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Tell us a little about yourself? We are both in our 30’s and are from small towns that skirt Worcester… Westborough and Grafton. Candace and I met about 12/13 years ago and quickly became best friends… always doing projects together and going on adventures…antiquing..exploring..etc. I grew up in my mother’s flower shop with an attached greenhouse where my love of plants started. Candace worked at the flower shop when we met and also grew a love for plants. We both enjoy creating with our hands, painting, art, interior design, good music, good beer, animals, the outdoors, antiquing and traveling.

airplant seedtostemshoplocalwoo plants shoplocalbooks shoplocalplants

What inspired you to start the store? Candace and I started making terrariums at home for fun and decided that we should do a craft show. Candace was working as an executive assistant in a large company and I was working as a veterinary technician. We attended stART on the Street in Worcester and people were so interested that we soon began doing more shows. I was living at my mothers at the time and her kitchen became a plant lab. We then took over Candace’s spare bedroom and did the same. We decided to then rent a small room in the Cider Mill building in Sterling to set up our wares in-between shows. We quickly outgrew that space and opened our little shop on Shrewsbury Street. We were inspired to open the shop due to the positive response we had from customers, friends, and family. We also both love merchandising and setting up store displays, so having a space to change all the time is perfect for us. We also wanted to bring nature into people’s lives in a more modern and stylish way. shoplocalhomedecor shoplocalwoo

Where do you see yourself in five years? We hope within 5 years (or sooner) to expand our store…. We are planning on carrying a much more diverse line of goods… We are hoping to become a true “lifestyle” shop. We are hoping to expand into having a kitchen section with carefully curated kitchen goods… a very selective clothing and accessory section, expanding our furniture and antiques collections, and offering more home decor items.

seedtostemplants shopwoo3 shoplocalwoo2 seedtostemshopwooshoplocalseedtostemworcester

 What advice do you have for budding female entrepreneurs? Our advice for budding entrepreneurs is to just go for it… take the risk and don’t think too much while doing it.


What do you hope people take away from their experience at shopping at your store? We hope that by connecting people with nature who might otherwise not have much connection, that we can help them further connect to themselves..”connecting humans with their roots” …. We wanted to create an environment that can inspire and intrigue people. We both believe that your surroundings really affect your well-being. We hope people can step into our space and feel inspired to re-create their own space. We also hope people will feel inspired to live with plants, and feel good about learning how to care for them until it becomes second nature.

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 Thank you Candace and Virginia for letting us tour your beautiful store and interview you!


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